Not to be confused with Ta-Nehisi Coate’s criticism last week of Cord Jefferson’s “rape apologia”.
Here is Jefferson on a young Chicago-based rapper named Chief Keef. Keef is a member of the Black Disciples gang and he tweeted in approval of the recent death of a rival gang member:
As its name portends, “I Don’t Like” is a musical rundown of the things that chap Keef’s hide, including bitch niggas, snitch niggas, and fake shoes. The video he recorded to accompany the song depicts him and his friends smoking a lot of weed, passing around a handgun, and dancing around his grandmother’s house shirtless.
Fortunately for Keef, it’s unlikely that a rumor about him being involved in any sort of gun violence will hurt his career. Getting put on house arrest for a weapons charge was the initial fuel for his reputation’s fire, and this latest controversy bolsters that reckless young hellion image. Besides that, the list of rappers charged with gun crimes only to emerge mostly unscathed is long and star-studded, including T.I., Corey Gunz, Beanie Sigel, Gucci Mane, Soulja Boy, Prodigy, Ja Rule, Young Jeezy, Fabolous, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Lil Wayne, and Jay-Z, to name a few. Keef’s alleged ties to violence and the tools of violence are being frowned upon by many in media currently, but these sorts of ties are nothing new or unique in the rap world.
This is what rap music is about. This is the center of rap and young black kids are more likely to buy into it. This brings to mind a post by Jack Hamilton who attempted earlier this year in the wake of the Trayvon Martin shooting to defend rap:
But if you don’t like rap music—a genre that contains multitudes—because of a self-satisfied moralism, or because you’re scared of it, or because you wish those people would stop talking about their problems and get out of your television and radio and kids’ bedrooms: well.
And I’m not just talking about the American right, I’m talking about all the well-meaning white folks who’ve told me how they want to like Lil Wayne but lo, the misogyny, the violence, the drugs. But, but, I’ll say: Bob Dylan aced misogyny; the Rolling Stones sang about violence; the Velvet Underground knew their way around some drugs. Yeeeah, but it’s different, they’ll say, elongating that “yeah” with conspiratorial inflection: you know what I mean. Yeah, I know exactly what you mean.
This argument is laughable. First, when people say that they hate country music is that anti-white? Second, songs on violence or misogyny from white artists are the exception. They are the rule in rap.