Thursday, October 19, 2006

David Cameron and the Rapper...

Violent rap music "encourages people to carry guns and knives", David Cameron told Radio 1 earlier this year, suggesting it should be banned from the airwaves. A US rapper , Rhymefest - real name Che Smith- is due to meet the Tory leader for a "summit" to discuss the effect of the genre's lyrics on young people. They will probably meet in the Tory leader's office in the House of Commons today. Is such a meeting really necessary? Especially after "hug-a-hoodie". Actually, I don't think it will be a bad thing. Rhymefest, a former teacher, opposes pimp fantasy and thug glory and wants "a social music.” Less bling and more thought. Vast numbers of the yuff listen to rap and find something of value in it. to each his own. Tories should not avoid or systematically denigrate things that we might not appreciate. But as for what the tabloids will say...


Croydonian said...

Violence in music is not even remotely new, and as a sad old blues nut I can haul out all sorts of brutal lyrics from the 20s and 30s.

For example, Robert Johnson's 32-20 Blues:

"'F I send for my baby and she don't come.
'F I send for my baby, man, and she don't come.
All the doctors in Hot Springs sure can't help her none.
And if she gets unruly, things she don't wan' do.
And if she gets unruly and thinks she don't wan' do.
Take my 32-20, now, and cut her half in two."

A 32-20 is a pistol. It is the same with a lot of other genres of historically black music, but the lyrics only became a matter of concern to legislators when white kids started listening to said music.

CityUnslicker said...

I lived in South Central Los Angeles when doing my MBA some years ago. The culture there is jsut unbelievable in its harshness. Eveyone has a terrible time, men, women, kids you name it.

The gang culture that goes with it is frightening and I hope it never gets to that level in the UK.

The music that was spawned by this culture though does celebrate it; which only encourages the young to join the gangs and get street cred.

I am with Cameron for criticising this culture, just as I am with those who don't want the full veil worn by muslim women in the UK.

We have a good, if receding, culture that we should defend. It is not a racist argument, although this is hwo it is always portrayed by the left.

Ellee said...

Let's wait and see what Ryhmefest has to say after his meeting with Cameron, I'm sure he could conjure up a nice Tory rap! In fact, a pity nobody thought about it for the party conference.

istanbultory said...

I tend to agree with Croydonian. But I do acknowledge the unpleasantness and violence implicit in the genre and its degrading effect on our own culture as mentioned by Cityunslicker. Of course, DC's meeting with Mr. Rhymefest has only symbolic value. It carries no particular meaning other than that the Tories are a bit more open to cultural diversity and are more willing to listen to yuff concerns than we once were, etc. It's just PR. But the tabloids are going to be merciless.

Incidentally, Turkey is home to a particular nasty and irritating form of rap. Count yourself lucky that you have never heard it.

Croydonian said...

There is a fair amount of the absolutely brutal in rap lyrics, but equally well, even some of those who are truly hardcore like Ice-T have an amazing facility with words.

I'm not keen on censorship, and I don't think that there can ever be a straightforward equation that runs thus - studious child listens to lots of gangsta rap, /then/ goes out and buys a gun and shoots at people in direct imitation. Whether endless aggressive lyrics serve to brutalise over time is a harder question to answer.

Same thing with films, plays etc - there are few splatter films (admittedly not my bag) as bloody as the fifth act of Titus Andronicus, and if memory serves, The Sicilian Vespers has a higher body count than Rambo. As with all questions of censorship, the arbiters will claim that they can watch hours of it without being corrupted, but lesser mortals cannot. Back to the blues, I hate to think how many hours of that I've listened to, but the nearest I've got to violence as an adult is swatting insects.

CityUnslicker said...

I don't believe in censorship; my point is that some cultures, in this case 'gangsta' culture, are inferior.

They should be counselled against and their worst aspects highlighted frequently.

Censorship will not work; they need to be defeated.

Anonymous said...

Found some video of David Cameron

bottom of page Real Player