Twenty five years ago as a college student one of the songs that I played on my walkman was “Self destruction”. The lyrics were intense and the chorus still haunts me today “self destruction we headed for self destruction.” Talented East coast rappers from Kool mo dee, Heavy Dee, KRS one, MC lyte, Ms Melody to Public enemy chanting about stopping the violence. One of the hardest hitting lines in the song was the verse from Kool Mo Dee with words like
“Back in the sixties our brothers and sisters were hanged
How could you gang-bang?
I never ever ran from the Ku Klux Klan
and I shouldn’t have to run from a black man”
I wonder if the black kids killing each other 25 years later give a crap or can relate to any of these lyrics?
25 years ago Red head kingpin rhymed “do the right thing.” Public enemy blared “fight the power” and Queen Latifah asked “who you calling a ho?” Today’s rap is big business commercial noise with female rappers competing to see who will be the biggest ho and wanna-be gangstas glorifying a culture of ignorance and violence sold to them in movies and music videos. Art imitates life, life imitates art and children keep killing children.
25 years ago Chuck D and Flavor Flav (before his flavor of love days) rhymed in self destruction:
“Yes we urge to merge we live for the love
Of our people the hope that they get along
(Yeah, so we did a song)
Getting the point to our brothers and sisters
Who don’t know the time (boyyyee, so we wrote a rhyme)
It’s dead in your head, you know, I’ll drive to build
And collect ourselves with intellect, come on
To revolve to evolve to self-respect
Cause we got to keep ourselves in check
Or else it’s…”
“Self destruction we headed for self destruction”…
So 25 years later I watch the video again on Youtube as we mourn (or ignore) another dead kid in Chicago, north Omaha, Houston or other US cities…