G.L.Piggy [at] gmail.com
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Wyclef Jean’s Trayvon tribute song “Justice” is a blight on the protest song. It’s the musical equivalent to a dude seducing a girl with the words “Wanna do it?” Dylan’s “Hurricane” it is not. Wyclef’s song reminds me of Family Guy’s running parody of Randy Newman. There is no art in the lyrics, just a restatement of the un-facts to which Wyclef has subscribed.
If you’re 17 and you’re wearing a hoodie
You’re on your phone and you’re talking to your Shawty
There’s one like you in every city
You know the story
He gonna creep up, from behind,
Have you leave earth before your time
By the time, oh for sure
He gonna say he was so scared
That he shot you up
It is written. No matter what facts come out, and no matter what a rational, fact based, and probability based reconstruction of events might indicate, the image of Zimmerman sneaking up behind Trayvon Martin and killing him in cold blood is the one that taste-makers and culture-shapers are going to run with. There’s more art in such a narrative, even if Wyclef can’t find it at the moment.
Most have scoffed at the chorus of the song:
He could have been the next president
He could have been the next Steve Jobs
He could have been the next astronaut
So until we can judge this
This is a prime example of the utopian unconstrained vision of humanity that is embraced by “artists” and liberals alike. Except, it was very unlikely that Martin was on a path to be any of those things as such achievements depend on a devotion to something besides getting pussy and smoking weed – even at the age of 17.
This sentiment is also reflected in Dylan’s “Hurricane”. Looking past the guilt or innocence of Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, Dylan paints an aspirational picture of the boxer in his lyric “He could have been the champion of the world.” One would guess this is an artistic device used to maximize the feeling of lost potentiality. Looking at Carter’s boxing record, this was probably not true. Carter ended his career with a 27-12 record.