Whats Your Malfunction?

image

I received a letter from the Schomberg Center For Research in Black Culture.  They thanked me for my regular contribution and support. They also enclosed a survey about ” The Future of Black America.”

I breezed through the questions effortlessly (but who made me an expert on black people?) As I read each question about education,  progression,  current challenges, I answered honestly.  Yet, I couldn’t help but wonder if I’m the right person to submit that feedback.  Obviously,  I’m aware of the issues if I’m already a supporter. If I’m on your mailing list then I’m receiving the necessary information. Shouldn’t we be trying to get feedback from people who dont have easy access to the issues?

I would imagine it would be more prudent to send mass mailings. I would imagine a guy in jeans with hundreds of surveys in a big bag slung over his shoulder.  He should walk up to random people of color and give them the survey to complete on site in real time. Its like blatantly saying, “Hey! What’s your malfunction? ”

I am sometimes offended by the misrepresentation of blacks in places of esteem and the jaded picture of us painted by media.  A week ago there was a report on New York 1 that more black women have had terminations this year than live births.  All I could think was “why are we highlighting black women? What are our counterparts of other ethnicities doing? This is not a ‘race’ issue! PEOPLE are broke and unemployed and scared to start families!”

I read a great book recently called “Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome.” The author notes the three elements that she thinks define the title: vacant esteem,  ever present anger and racist socialization. (P184)

image

With statistics like the one blasted on New York 1 and the continued statistics on the prison population (ex: The inmate population was eighty five percent African American in 2004.)  Present day we still make up 12% of the general population but 1/2 of the prison population. 

Just as a bonus…” 1 in 56 men of Hispanic origin are behind bars (p103.)
Just in case you thought you were exempt from bigotry and intolerance! Yea you over there! 😉

So if someone came up to you questioning the issues of your presumed ethnicity? If they asked you questions that offended you but showed you statistics you couldn’t deny and asked you to be a part of the solution. ..
What would you do?
Most stereotypes are either magnified or exaggerated truths. Some are completely manifested by fear. 

So you..
Yea you over there…

What’s your malfunction?

-Shaun Nickens

Advertisements

New Release from “The Wealth Club” w/ commentary by Figgy

Disclaimer

The opinions, recommendations, and comments expressed in the following post are solely those of the artists’ and subjects quoted.  They do not represent the position of ShutYaMouthAndCallMeUgly.com.  This site does not endorse the expletives used in the song nor do we necessarily share the intended outlook of the artists.  However, it is our estimation that art (no matter what form) should be celebrated and never calibrated. As always we request the feedback of the ShutYaMouthAndCallMeUgly.com family and we encourage you to engage with the artists’.

“The Nike Strike” ft History [Prod By. Dre Dollasz]

Nike Strike

Nike Strike

 

 

 

 

 

 

To listen to the new release click here ——> The Nike Strike

If you read the feature we did on The Wealth Club in July 2012, you may have noticed a drastic difference in content and delivery.   I asked Figgy for a brief commentary on the song so that we may clear up any misunderstandings or presumptions.

SYMACMU: We all know there’s been controversy revolved around the low wages and working conditions in overseas Nike shoe factories. Is that all that inspired this song and the accompanying cover art?

FIGGY: Well actually, The Nike Strike is a metaphor for a break from the norm. Our culture becomes so infatuated with what’s in and what’s trendy that we forget to set the trends. You take a ride on any form of public transportation and you’re bound to find teenagers rockin’ the latest Nikes or Jordan’s, or some other fashion that someone told them was fly. The fact that Nike takes part in the overseas underworld of menial labor only attests to the fact that we don’t even know what we’re doing. I made the song to let people know that the only person that benefits from the 300 dollars spent on these sneakers is Michael Jordan himself. I want to encourage people to think for themselves and not be subject to believing the things they are told.

SYMACMU: The closing of the song says, “Art over commerce.”  A synonym for commerce is trade.  Some may argue, commerce strengthens our international social relations.  As with many revolutions, we historically coin phrases that are catchy or attention grabbing.  Is it safe to assume that you are attacking the art of fashion and accusing major brands of being trendy rather than authentic?

FIGGY: Art over Commerce is the title of my series’ of mixtapes. The theme Art over Commerce focuses around the idea of art being more important than the monetary gain. Obviously the point of making a career out of being an artist would be to ultimately make money, but at what cost? Too often we see hiphop artists portray an on-screen facade to make themselves relevant or to “come up”. Hip hop is based around the premise of honest expression. How can we call ourselves hip hop artists or be part of the hip hop generation if we aren’t willing to stay true to its origins?

SYMACMU:  Do you consider yourselves “conscious rappers”?

FIGGY: We aren’t conscious rappers. We find inspiration in our everyday lives and what’s important to us and we speak on it. I don’t like to categorize us at all. The categorization places limits on the directions that we can go. Basically we do what feels right.

SYMACMU: The majority of my readers are females.  This particular track is laced with profanity including the word bitch.  Traditional and contemporary feminists have fought against the common use of this word almost as much as Black educators and neo-revolutionaries have fought against the word Nigger.  How do you defend the use of the words bitch and nigger in this song?

FIGGY: I have a deep respect for the power of language. I feel as if the context gives the word a situational meaning. For example, women call each other bitches all the time and it’s okay because within the context, the word bitch becomes a term of endearment. But if I were to call a woman a bitch it would be a blatant sign of disrespect. On the other side of the spectrum I also believe in calling a spade a spade. Although we’re blessed to have many respectable upstanding beautiful women making their way in life, we also have the bottom of the totem pole bitches and that’s fact. As for the word nigger, I think it affects you as much as you let it. I look at the transition of the word as a mark of our progression. We have taken a word that was used to demean and terrorize our people and alienated the people responsible from using it. I know many people would disagree and state that we should rid ourselves of the word all along which I don’t any problem in doing,  but while it’s being used I say we keep it to ourselves.

-Shaun Nickens