MIXTAPE 117 – NIGGAS AND BITCHES


MIXTAPE 117 -NIGGAS AND BITCHES

So I’m going to apologize upfront:

1. The intro is long. The outro is long. This episode is long. Almost an hour. I talk a lot.
2. I repeatedly use a word that I’m not really known for using, pharm ever.

That out of the way, tadalafil here’s the background:

The other day, during the course of my very serious research (read: half-asleep, cruising the Japanese interwebs), I discovered Japanese beef.

Apparently underground rappers Seeda and Oki of Geek had taken offense to something in the outro of the Teriyaki Boyz’ (probably only known in the States (and Japan) for showing up on Youtube videos wearing Bape and dancing around with Kanye) new single, “Serious Japanese”. They then proceeded to air their frustrations in public by recording a dis track (complete with accompanying video) and posting it up on Seeda’s blog.

Check the video below:



SEEDA & OKI from GEEK – TERIYAKI BEEF

The two lines which we will be tackling today are below:

一人はビッチで後はカス you are serious? へそが茶を沸かす
One of you is a bitch, the others are trash. You are serious? Don’t make me laugh

二番煎じはニガの機嫌取り ass hall ガバガバ $をばらまく
You’re played out, just trying to make the niggers* like you. Assholes**, throwing money around

*Ostensibly, the black rappers/producers they’re associated with. I could have used the “nigga” form, but it’s being used more as an insult here, so it’s sort of in between a swap-word for “dude” and an actual proper racial slur.
**I think that’s what they meant.

Note that the above is a really loose translation. If you have a more eloquent one, let me know and I’ll fix it.

Oh yes, shouts to VTS for this week’s image design and some insight on the lyrics. Also shouts to ミスターポポ.

So yeah. Pretty much every underground Japanese rap fan is aware of this dis, the Teriyaki Boyz’ Verbal has responded to it on his blog and mentioned it on his podcast, and it’s been picked up on every site I can find – but there’s one angle that hasn’t been touched – the fact that in the first twenty seconds, somebody drops the N-bomb.

I thought it was interesting. So today, using this dis track as a starting point, we’ll look at some of the different ways we can look at this phenomenon (if you want to call it that), some of the background on how we got to this point, and in the end, I guess, look a little closer at the situation as it is at home.

A lot of talking, a lot of what will likely come off as little more than pointless theorizing, but at the very least, an awful lot of dope music.

Tracklist

beatro: The Brothers Johnson – Q.
beatro 2: Nipsey Hussle – Hussle in the House

Re-Up Gang – Real Niggas. I didn’t actually sit down and listen to the whole mixtape, but I do dig this cut. I had a conversation at a ramen shop this morning (somebody needs to tell these dudes that letting customers in at 3:AM, handing them soup, and then closing down at 3:20 is not funny) about the above dis track, and he said “Dex, you know that for these guys, ‘nigga’ just means ‘guy’”. If so, this song gives more than a few real-life examples of how to use the word – actually, this one goes above and beyond and expands on it, giving you the macho angle on the word as well. myspace.com/ablive

beatro 3: Super Smoky Soul – Simply (Extended Version)

Stat Quo – I’m Sorry. As I said in the episode, this stands on its own as a piece of art. All of these songs do. You don’t have to “agree” with what the dude is saying – since when did we start judging art with a PC ruler? But dig dude’s stance on the word: “They can’t say it but we can…Look at the power we hold in our hand”. And while this dude does make an attempt at showing respect towards women, this song is sort of uncompromisingly misogynistic – if you spelled it out in mathematical terms, bitch characteristics = “female” characteristics = undesirable characteristics. A = B = C, thus A = C, Q.E.D. This is sort of a theme throughout a good number of these songs. myspace.com/statquo

beatro 4: Jr Don – Bring In Black 2

Tribe Called Quest – Sucka Nigga. I guess this is the most palatable song of any of these for the PC set. That said, there’s not much substantially different from Q-Tip’s and Stat Quo’s stances on the word. myspace.com/atribecalledquest

Three 6 Mafia – Watcha Starin At feat Lil Jon. Sort of had to put these dudes in here. Lil Jon was possibly the root cause of white frat dudes screaming “nigga whut” at college parties from ’03-06′. At least from what I saw.

beatro 5: Unagi – High? Yes

Tahir – You Don’t Know Me. Probably the most challenging cut on here. Make no mistake about it, though – as the dude says, the sentiments expressed on this record aren’t rare, and they aren’t new. Lyrics to rewind and contemplate: “It’s my right to say this right here. This is my shit. This is my hood, and you’re in it“.

beatro 6: Sadat X – Hang ‘Em High

Jayo Felony – Don’t Call Me Nigga. I’m realizing that it’s starting to look like I put a large portion of this together just doing a search in my iTunes folder for “nigga”. Early 90s west coast. A lot of prison rap on this particular album, for good reason. myspace.com/jayofelony

MC Tucker and DJ Irv - Where Dey At? Probably a couple hooks in here you’ll recognize. Obviously this is just the intro, but the rest of the song sorta does the same thing.

beatro 7: Platinum Pied Pipers – After the Worries

You know, maybe I should have said this earlier, but I’m not here on some NAACP whining about how the word itself is bad. I’m not really interested in “nigga” right now beyond its use as a tool here to give us a look at a bigger issue. You know, just putting that out there.

Sporty T – Sporty Talkin 93. Edited. Note how “niggas” and “brothers” is used absolutely interchangeably. The first time I ever saw the Beef DVD series was in Japan (they got all 3 out here). Subtitles. And every time the dudes on TV said “that nigga this, a real nigga wouldn’t that, I don’t like them niggas”, etc, the “nigga” was translated as “黒人” “black person”. Sometimes 黒人男性, “black male”. So if you want to go with the “ignorance of the weight of the word” route, this would be a good thing to cite. Also I’m realizing now that I didn’t talk about bitches as much as I promised – maybe some other time. myspace.com/sportyt504

Jayo Felony – Niggas and Bitches. This was released as a radio single, believe it or not. And since the hook (you sort of have to hear it to believe it, try not to laugh) wasn’t going to work on radio, they actually cut a totally different version for the B-side called “Brothers and Sisters”, complete with each “nigga” being replaced for “brother”, and “bitch” for “sister” throughout the song. It’s sort of interesting to think about how simply switching the two words around makes such a large difference – the sentiment of the song doesn’t change at all (either way, it’s a tribute to loyal friends).

So that’s what it is for this round. Hit the comments, I’m interested.

(oh, and even though I said this in the episode, let me put it in writing – don’t mistake this as ‘dex is hating on Japan/Japanese rap/rappers’. And I like Seeda (and what I’ve heard of Geek). I sorta wish I woulda done a proper Japanese rap show before I put this out, but I had to get this off my chest first. Look for an actual music episode coming soon.)

45 thoughts on “MIXTAPE 117 – NIGGAS AND BITCHES

  1. airr

    nice research!

    what is goin on with their transnational beef to the other asian countries son?

  2. lol, Sporty T went hard on ‘em! If I had to guess, I’d say it was someone, not something, that set him off. As far as the word nigga goes, personally I could care less who uses it w/ one exception– it can’t be used in an ethnocentric tone.

    Just to add something to the discussion that’s kind of related.. more so to Q-Tip’s angle than the others (by the way, I seen him on Martha Stewart this morning doing some home & craft shit.) Anyway, the track is called “Free Mumia” & its by Krs-One ft Channel Live. There’s 2 different versions though. Here’s one (mp3 format):
    http://www.yousendit.com/transfer.php?action=download&ufid=Y2o4NHB5OC9GOFJFQlE9PQ

    The other version, which I prefer, is slightly different but all I got is a link to the page where you can find the lyrics:
    http://www.lyricsdepot.com/krs-one/free-mumia.html

  3. Sup dex. Youve prob seen this way back in the day http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-19ioGniZ88
    I mean, can you really expect someone from japan to have an understand of the breadth and depth of the word, its history and meaning or is it more like the word Gaijin being used 1000 times in fast and furious 3, some producer heard it and decided it fit in the film without really knowing it

  4. werd – haha, thanks – but what do you mean on the transnational beef (what country doesn’t have some)?

    vince78 – yeah, checking the first one and then looking at the lyrics you posted, the second one is a little more interesting. Actually the whole “Warner, Elektra, Atlantic equals WEA / Instead of fighting them why don’t you go free Mumia” reminds me of some stuff Davey D mentioned on the show when that whole Don Imus business was going on, something to the effect of a call to rappers to quit beefing with each other and start taking it to the government (which actually sort of seems to have happened up in Oakland to a degree).

    Personally the n-word isn’t one I use (seriously I think I dropped that word more times in that episode than I have in my whole life), but part of that is just personal preference. I think the whole issue (e.g. the dual poles of people absolutely freaking out about it and people who are totally unconcerned with it) makes for sort of an interesting angle to talk about identity.

  5. Paul Wall – dude, a pleasure to have you up in the comment rack son. I remember that video – some dude in my dorm invited everyone over to watch it back in like 03ish or so. And you know how diverse UCR is – so it made for sort of an interesting, if at first uncomfortable, conversation.

    The Gaijin comparison is in sort of another league, but in a way it’s kinda interesting. I have seen people I know – nonresidents of Japan who don’t really know enough Japanese yet to make a self introduction – get really upset at overhearing someone else saying “gaijin” (even if it’s the only word in the sentence they understood), because they were told that it was a racist society’s way of excluding them (I could talk a little about the word but I’d really only be repeating stuff that other, smarter people have said before me).

    I think sort of in a similar way, though, there’s a sort of flinch instinct for some people to “nigger” that says “uh oh. Somebody just dropped the n-bomb. I’m supposed to act upset now. I have to show my disapproval for this word…but how?”. But maybe that’s me.

    Oh, for those following along at home, here’s that Tokyo Breakfast joint:

    of course, while a lot of non-Japanese take it at face value – as something that was actually put together by Japanese – it was actually put together by a couple white(?) dudes and whatever Asians they could scrounge together. The nonsense gibberish on the coffee bag in the first 25 seconds is a dead giveaway.

    What you can’t get from the Wikipedia page, though, is that apparently some Japanese people have caught wind of the video, and are in general not amused. A couple people on the page linked actually seem to be taking it as something made out of some sort of feeling of malice towards Japanese people (there’s also some anti-Korean sentiment mixed in there as well, but, well, yeah.).

    But that aside, what were you thinking watching Fast and the Furious 3? Didn’t you learn your lesson the first two times?

  6. Dude, so youre back in the states? Hit me up on a weekend or whatev I’ll roll out

  7. Hey Dex, everybody,
    I live in Australia, another island, and am the exact demographic you mentioned as the ‘target audience’ for hip hop (middle-class anglo-saxon male). I agree completely with a lot of what you said in the episode and have a couple of points that I think you’ll find interesting.

    One of my most regretted memories is when I was about 10 years old and called a dark-skinned Brasilian kid in my school nigger as an insult when he tackled me in a game of soccer. Now I only knew that word, as you argued in the show, because I heard it in hip hop. My brother had some 2LiveCrew tapes that I copied because I liked the beats and they rapped about sex and used ‘swears’ (come on I was 10..). He pushed me over and gave me this hateful stare that I’ve never been able to erase. Thankfully that was all it took for me to realise it was a word I should never use, and it actually made me listen to the content of music a lot more closely, but I still hate the fact that I had learned it and used it in malice.

    Another point worth mentioning is that hip hop in Australia, apart from a small population of Pacific Islander’s and other migrated peoples, is completely white produced, promoted and followed. Hip hop here, as in Europe, ‘arrived’ in the form of ‘Beat Street’, ‘Wild Style’ and those early conceptual LPs. We were fortunate to be ‘introduced’ to hip hop in a 4 elements package and breaking and graffiti were equally if not more popular than the music itself.

    That being said, the biggest faux pas you can commit in Australian hip hop is to rap using an American accent, dress like the guys in the videos, and speak about situation you’ve only ever heard about in American songs e.g. gang bangin and Cristal, and anyone who does is instantly ostracised. I’ve NEVER heard the n-bomb used in a track, dis, battle, ANYTHING and if anyone ever did they’d get torn to pieces, literally.

    I’ve traveled a lot through Asia (inc. Japan) and South America and lived in NYC and LA. I’ve followed the local hip hop scene wherever I go, and I can say from my experience that although it was born in the ghetto’s of the South Bronx that hip hop is a global phenomenon that is almost completely unique in every city it’s touched. Like LA vs NY vs GA, the core is the same but the reasons for making it are different. In many countries it’s been fused with local music and customs (Chile, Argentina, Australia) and others it more closely mimics the US examples (China, Japan), in some it’s political and others strictly for good times. I don’t think the white man has ‘stolen’ a black mans culture, I think it’s become a gift to the world.

    Peace.

  8. as in tell us more about this beef, what are they throwin sticks at each other in regard??

    gossip == good times

  9. Hip hop has spread all over the world and in every country it follows the same pattern: First people copy and imitate the style from the States and try to sound as authentic as possible (resulting in the opposite in my opinion :). But eventually a unique sound will pop up being the result of people daring to make something different, something that fits that country or region. So what I’m trying to say is that a new hip hop scene is made.

    So now for the n-word. I really don’t know much about Japan and hip hop culture there, but I assume there’s not many black people around. And that means there’s really no consequences for dropping the n-word. People don’t necessary even know there’s something wrong about using the word. Like Dex said, they got the word from their favorite music, music they listen to and like so much they make their own rap music. Maybe these japanese dudes just want to be cool and sound like their idols? I guess it was just a matter of time before something like this happened.

    I started thinkin if u can use the n-word without it being racist and offending? Is there some kind of situation where it’s neutral or even ok? I don’t know and I probably never will because I will never understand how it feels being black and hearing that word (that’s why I don’t use the word)

    And just for the record, I’m from Helsinki, Finland and yes I’m the stereotypical white middle class young male…

    Thank u Dex for a good episode that got people thinking,

    Peace

  10. Hey Dex,

    Just listened to the latest episode and had a quick comment. About halfway through your co-host made a comment about hip hop/rap being your music (meaning black people) and I wanted to know why he thought that?

    I don’t think that hip hop = black music. It may have been started by black people but there are some great white artist in front of the mic and producing the music as well. I think that the N word belongs to black people but not the music.

    Using his logical most sports including basketball belongs to white people, cause we started it. Right?

    Just my thoughts. I’m digging the music keep the episodes coming.

    Steve (yes I’m white)

  11. Salutations from the tanbos of Fukushima, money. I like what you did here, it was pretty interesting. For starters, please get a hold of Nas’ album Nigger and give it a spin. That beat by DJ Toomp that Stat Quo rhymes on is from the title track from the Nas album.

    the bit about the q-tip was interesting. It really reminded me of when I started using the word myself.

    but yeah, these cats using nigga doesn’t bother me so much as the idea of people randomly using nigga out here does, much like the culture out here generally misuses english. my problem is that i don’t like the idea of that word becoming a toy. That’s what these cats are doing in my eyes, using this strong word as a toy, and that is what I don’t approve of. Since there’s so much history and so many emotions behind behind those words, that history should always accompany them.
    even though the word has a feeling of endearment for many that use it, it should never be forgotten that nigga came from hateful beginnings, and while the idea from the gentleman above of nigga becoming a neutral or acceptable word, I don’t think that’s possible given that the NAACP gave the word a funeral. Many black people do not like this word, so for it to become a happy thing would betray the feelings of so many folks. And to be honest, I don’t like the idea of people agreeing “Oh let’s agree to get rid of the negative connotation of nigga so everyone can use this cool sounding word!” either. There’s plenty of words to emote the positive connotations that nigga has, no reason to strip it of it’s full meaning to make the word less awkward for everyone to say/hear.

  12. I love these educational shows Dex it’s like PBS for beat heads. i would like to think since slavery and beyond that everyone who isn’t black has lost their “nigger/nigga” use priviledges, i don’t see that happening. I don’t have a problem with people being influenced or adding to our art i.e.
    music/fashion/literature etc. but i do have a problem when people start exploiting it and treating it as a fad and not giving it the due respect as it diserves. I don’t think you should dabble in anything unless you fully understand it hip hop included.That’s for real my niggas.

  13. (Steve) The basketball analogy was “offensive”.. but revealing. To even get a hint @ where the man is coming from though you’d have to think outside the box. I suggest you start w/ a simple exercise. Try substituting a musical genre, rock & roll for instance, instead of basketball into your argument.

    (Dex) I slept on that episode. Still trying to figure out what you were referring to in Oakland though. Definetly learned some things; like David K needs a platform; his own personal broadcast tower; a megaphone; something! Hope he publishes that book or is it out already?

    Found the BWOPA.. Davey D’s website is comprehensive too. In that interview, he mentioned a book written by Sargent somebody? Said he testified in congress about dossiers he kept on rappers as far back as 1992. You know anything about that; the name of the book; how you spell his name?

  14. Vince my apologies, my comment wasn’t meant to be offensive and in keeping with the music genre (Rock vs Rap as opposed to music vs sports) I see your point.

    I guess what I was getting at was that the music just like sports doesn’t “belong” to any race in the same way that the N word belongs to black people.

    I don’t use the N word out of fear but rather out of respect.

    Man, that picture you have up on your youtube page made my stomach turn.

  15. First off, great show and always a pleasure to listen start to finish. I haven’t had a chance to read through the comments so I apologize if I touch on something someone else has said.

    I am only speaking to the Tahir track and specifically what is said at 35:20.

    Crackers on the mic did not fuck up hip hop. I don’t often make precise objective comments when speaking about hip hop but feel confident that this is just wrong.

    However, the culture vulture/co-opting of hip hop and exploitation of the marketing value is the problem and stealing culture is nothing new. Is it fair to ask where is the protest? Where are the people demanding that hip hop be taken back by force and not pointing the finger? Cause you are not going to get any where by blaming someone. That isn’t going to hurt someone’s feelings into giving them back hip hop. I am as white as they come and it doesn’t hurt my feelings when someone tells me I am stealing their culture. You don’t want me to buy your album, go to your shows, pick up your action figure? Cool, I was probably gonna download it anyways and your show is too expensive.

    Bit of a rant, let me get back on track. I think this piece of music is powerful and confrontational in a good way, but you cannot falter and say something like that.

    On the other hand I could be completely wrong. Not to mock him, but he doesn’t know me and I have rights too and I won’t let historic or ethnic privileged make me feel bad about it.

    I also have very poor grammar, sorry for that.

    Keep it going. I considering this show really important and am glad to see it going strong.

  16. Paul Wall – I’ll holler at you in a minute son.

    werd – no offense fam but I’m not quite sure what you’re asking! If you’re talking about international rap beef, I’m not sure that there’s any at all. Language barriers sorta prevent that.

    Rough Draught – wow fam, seriously thank you for sharing that incident. I’ve definitely had experiences like that as a kid as well.

    Yeah, while a few people have shown me a few groups here and there from Australia (back when I first started up the show there were a few writers and such that were really supportive of what I was doing originally), I can’t say I’m really up on what’s good out there (any recommendations?). And if the racial dynamic of the Australian rap scene is really like that – wow, that’s sort of hard to even imagine. But that still probably would make for some interesting music.

    Erasmus Lynx – Yeah, the “authenticity” thing is always an issue, especially in a genre that is now pretty much dependent upon “being/keeping it real”. But the thing is that keeping it real often requires portraying a quote unquote “reality” that is shown in music videos, a “reality” that only a handful of people actually live. There’s a really long, deep gap between “real” and actuality, I guess is what I’m trying to say. But yeah, generally that sort of thing prevents people from actually relaxing and making worthwhile music. Except for a lot of what you see in the states, because now we’re so good at faking it, it’s like watching a cowboy movie. Totally fake, but still really entertaining.

    sc – whoa fam, here’s a name I haven’t seen in a minute. And yes, seriously I think just ignoring everything I say and listening to the tracks would probably get the message across just as well. So everybody who is getting sick of me talking – just hit mute when you hear me start up!

  17. Steve – haha, does my voice switch up that much? There’s no co-host in there, it’s all me.

    Part of the reason I said that was really just to bring up a possible angle. I think on surface level, it’s logical and easy enough to call hip-hop a Black music. I’ve heard a few white academics that deal with hip-hop talk say specifically that hip-hop is an “African-American music and culture”. But then it starts to get more complicated, because if you look at how hip-hop actually started to spread, it wasn’t just Black people involved with that. Just as an example, look up how much Jewish people had to do with it.

    And you can call it culture jacking, co-opting, swagger jacking, 流用, whatever you want, but that’s what capitalism does. I forget who, but somebody once said that hip-hop became “commercial” the second the first rap cassette came out of the factory. Culture is a business.

    Also let me address Chris Allick‘s comment here too at the same time.

    Tahir’s joint I think is definitely, like I said, not a very friendly track. I think there’s actually a really small population that wouldn’t feel the slightest discomfort with what he is saying. It’s really confrontational.

    That being said, and this goes also partially with what Steve’s “white people invented basketball” joint, I think you kinda have to take vince78‘s idea and look at it a little differently. If you take a historical perspective, the history of the American Black population is a history of being robbed – all the way back to slavery. Robbed of wages for working, robbed of civil rights, and then as if that wasn’t enough, the Black American had their culture (this goes back well before jazz) stripped, watered down, and packaged for consumption for a white audience. When people weren’t “ready” for Black artists, they made put on blackface and played jazz, they made Elvis, so on and so forth.

    So I think that that feeling is still there. I know that if I see somebody from an “outside” culture imitating something that doesn’t have any particular attachment to “blackness” (note: this isn’t necessarily something inherent, but something a society makes up and labels) – say, (random example) some dude from the boondocks of Korea wearing jeans and a cowboy hat and being really, really into pickup trucks, it strikes me as maybe a bit odd, but whatever, everybody needs a hobby, right? But then if that dude switches that cowboy hat up for a fitted, sags his jeans, and starts wearing a chain and throwing up unintelligible gang signs, it turns from “odd” into “that dude is stealing my culture and it is offensive”. It’s not logical necessarily because that guy doesn’t mean anything by it – it’s just an alternative to dressing “punk” or “goth” to him. It’s a fun costume. So what’s my problem?

    And real talk, I don’t have a good answer for you. Hence me putting stuff out like this – I’m trying to figure this out just like everyone else.

    But I think the line Tahir dropped about white people knowing they have “a debt to pay” is sort of an interesting one. Chris, you mentioned not letting ethnic privileges make you feel bad. I think the concept of white guilt (or any other dominant group in any society) is sort of an interesting one. I sort of touched on it when I mentioned in the show how I actually see white folks freak out more at the n-word than I do black people.

    I think if nothing else, that track is something that can really hit people upside the head and just make you wonder “okay, why does this dude feel the need to say that?”.

  18. okay and one last one. I want to comment on the what a bunch of people said about the appropriateness of ‘nigga’, and really, anything I could say, B said it better. Re-read his comment. 大同感。

    vince – lemme relisten and see if I can recall what you’re talking about. It’s been a minute. And yeah, I’m not sure what happened with that DVD (I think he was working on a DVD at the time).

    Timm – really? I couldn’t get into that one.

    Brer – PBS? dude next thing you know I’m going to be telling people how to paint happy rainbows. I better quit while I’m ahead.

    The “treat another’s culture with respect” is sort of a hard too. I mean, where’s the line between swagger jacking and contributing to an art form by adopting influences and making something new? I mean, dig this:


    Slim The Mobster – 10 Gat Commandments.

    I totally meant to include this track in the episode to make this point, but it was getting too long.

    (also I gotta say – the video is so scary it’s wack (or so wack it’s scary), but I like the song.)

    So you might not notice it, but the instrument being sampled sounds a hella lot like one of these:

    So from my perspective, as soon as I heard the beat, I was like “oh man, this joint goes hella hard.” I thought using the shamisen sample was really dope.

    But maybe the man in the second video might not find it very respectful. Sort of hard to draw a line.

    It’s like adding an extra cultural layer to the whole sampling debate.

  19. I live in Japan and love it. The only thing is how can someone call someone a nigga lover when they bite their style off niggas. The Japanese got enough cool stuff in there own culture, I don’t understand why they even have to bite. I really would like to here this subject talked about in real life instead of on a blog or something.

  20. Dex- Dude! I just gotta say I love the show and you keep me laughin at work! Listening to you is such a relief cuz in one ear I got you talking all crazy and in the other I got some stupid customer complaining about nothing. So…like I said it’s a relief cuz even though you ramble on, I feel ya! And the tracks are always on! Many thanks! ~Irene~

  21. i like it because the vocal track on it sounds raw. like they just popped into the studio in sweats and t-shirts and dropped the track as fast as possible then like, went back to work or whatever. its not as processed as other stuff sounds on serious japanese. its a throwback from back when Kanye did stuff like guerrilla monsoon with Talib and i like how that works.

  22. Hey Dex,
    Really interesting show man. I think one of the things that worries me about the n-word and the b-word is when use it without thinking at all. I was the bus to work the other day and there was a group of teens (shit I sound old!) on the bus monotonously reciting the words to a rap with absolutlely no expression or thought. I suppose you could ague that the word is losing it’s impact which is a good thing but still that REALLY unsettled me.

    Still like I say really interesting show man, cheers.

  23. I love your show, man. Hip hop has been one of my favourite forms of music for the past 20+ years (and I’m a white guy living in Australia)

    This last ep seemed a bit incoherent and rambly, man, where you high ?

    My view (not that it counts to you, since you seem to think you can own a word just by being born with black skin? – fine mofo, Im making up my own word now “Dinky Dyke”, meaning a proud aussie lesbian), is that the word nigger propogating around the world (normally as a phrase of admiration) would be a victory for every black slave getting burned in the sun picking crops for some fat alabama landowner ?

    Seriously, its like gays setting out to turn the word Queer into an empowering word.

    You cant own a word, you cant own culture. In fact, I think culture being absorbed and growing and changing is a natural progression – kinda darwinistic, you know ?

    I can use the word nigger. You cant stop me. You can kick the living shit out of me, sure .. but if I call you a nigger, and my intention is to say “holy shit man, you are the funniest, smartest nigger on the net, and I love your taste in music”, is it really so bad ?

    Its a word that was originally filled with malice and contempt, and now its filled with complexity and history, and more often a compliment than an insult.

    That’s a good thing, right ? So why talk about blame .. ?

    PS: one hip-hop group I always loved from way back was “The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprasy”, and I was surprised to find the lead vocalist was white. Big fucking deal, right ?

  24. “I can use the word nigger. You cant stop me. You can kick the living shit out of me, sure .. but if I call you a nigger, and my intention is to say “holy shit man, you are the funniest, smartest nigger on the net, and I love your taste in music”, is it really so bad ?”

    that word, like so many other racial slurs has an emotional history. That history is used in a comedic sense by those who understand it by way of experience. for other people to use it, and assume they have that experience, is insensitive and irresponsible.

    so as for if its “so bad” or not depends on your definition of what it is to be insensitive or responsible. using that word is like discharging a gun in public, you may not be aiming at anyone, but that doesn’t mean no one is getting hurt…

    maybe you don’t know what happens when you discharge a gun in public and that metaphor flew over your head… or maybe it didn’t and you’re laughing.

  25. Hey Timm

    Bullshit analogy.

    A word is just a word.

    If I use a word, and you punch me for it, you are the person morally and spiritually in the wrong.

    A word is not a gun.

    Sure, words have power, but I’ll give you another analogy.

    Aliens land in times square, they are peaceful and want to share their knowledge with our young society. They broadcast a message “We have been watching your media. We love you all, especially the amusing niggers”.

    A word is a word, human beings use words all the time with total impunity against any kind of moral history.

    You hit your thumb with a hammer and grunt “Christ!”

    Offensive to every Christian, I guess, but do you sympathise with them because of their special attachment to the word and its meaning ?

    No, and you probably shouldnt.

    Communication isnt about the words, its about the message.

    If you get caught up in dogma, politics and bullshit pedantry, you lose sight of the meaning behind the word.

    Anyway, censor all you like, pull out a gun if I dare to use the word nigger in public, take a moral high ground, enjoy the view …

    But seriously, I think if a guy picking cotton in a field as the slave-master cursed him knew where the word would go … he would smile a wise, gentle smile.

    S

  26. PS: funny, didnt notice much outcry over the word BITCHES .. I guess feminists win fewer political points with folks with an axe to grind ?

  27. I forget the guy but the song was Tuck Ya Ice and he said “when I say a bitch is a bitch, best believe that the bitch is a bitch.” In the meaning of the word, what’s a bitch? A person who complains alot, a submissive sex slave, a sexually freaky woman, or a female dog? I dunno what the true answer to that question is cause technically it can be all of them and probably a few more I forgot. To tell ya the truth, if I call you a bitch then in my mind you exhibit one or more of those traits which is why I said that in the first place. Besides, what about when yer girl is goin all out on the sexually liberated wild girl thing and you wanna compliment her and you say “damn, you one helluva bad ass bitch!” and she smiles? I dunno what I’m sayin at this point but if you tell me I can’t say nigga/bitch then you best believe that I’m thinkin nigga/bitch and now that I know those words offend you I’m more apt to use them. Don’t give people that kind of ammo. One more thing- any white boyz out here get called a nigga by a nigga? Like when you in the back workin and yer bud comes in and says “Wazzap my nigga?” Does that mean you just got insulted or complimented? I’m goin with complimented at the moment…

  28. (U) It’s kind of like Crooked I said, “When I retire I’m a dissappear w/ a Black diva.. then come back when the worlds in need of a Black leader– I’m not that– I”m still thinking w/ a younger mind I’m.. still dumpin 9′s & fuckin them drunken dimes I’m.. still on the grind for that cake from Duncan Hines I’m.. still tied to crime for the hood my love is blind I.. know that don’t sound like the makings of a Martin.. Luther King but I’m a human being beg your pardon– We can’t all be great mayne– Nobody’s perfect I want to put my faith in politicians nobody’s worth it– Fuck it.. I’m sippin Henny going hard but God forgive me.. ”

    There’s a lot to talk about in that verse alone but I think you get the point. Basically, I can’t say I don’t “accept” this episode. I may not condone all of the messages BUT I definetly respect the dialogue..

  29. Ok. Totally get and appreciate you there Vince. At least it’s a reasoned argument.

  30. oh how to comment …
    ‘sup my brotha? – no maybe I am not allowed, um
    dude, what do you say? – no, maybe it’s not you
    greetings from Cracker? – hmm

    I just heard this p’cast and loved it. Your commentary seems spot on (oops, I can’t say that I ain’t British) as it relates to selling out, diminishing your export adn where to heap a pile o’ blame 9not Irish either). Given your clearly superior intellect and attachment to Doing The Right Thing (lemme go around the corner and ask Spike if I can bite that) I was surprised to hear your causal use of the epithet “cracker” – should that not be left to the band Cracker or the Ritz Nabisco? I expect a lot, you always give more and yet like us all, you too fall. OAO

  31. hey fam. “brother” is just fine. glad you dug the episode.

    On the “cracker” angle, though. I’d say that the word itself doesn’t compare at all to the word “nigger”. But that’s purely my own experience, though, as my moms is white and I can’t remember the word ever being an issue on her side of the family.

  32. Pingback: the mixtape show rap / hip-hop podcast » Blog Archive » Nihongo Rap Breakdown – Seeda – Dear Japan

  33. Dex,

    Loved the shows until this episode. I understand the points you are trying to make for the first half of the show.

    No matter who uses the N word – no-one owns it. It is offensive full stop. Racist.

    Also racist are the words Whitey, Cracker etc when used for the sole purpose to describe a white person in a negative light.

    By using these words makes you as racist as a Klan member that uses the N word. I think it is appalling this apparent acceptance of reverse racism is allowed or rather deemed ok.

    No-one race owns any form on music, words or otherwise. We live in one world and share many things including music and language.

    I do not believe White people are stealing Black culture or vice versa.

    Watch Louis Theroux’s Weird Weekends – 2.3 “Black Nationalism”

  34. Pingback: the mixtape show rap / hip-hop podcast » Blog Archive » More Akira / Rap stuff

  35. Japan is officially off my map even though I did not listen to them before. Hip hop is not a universal thing. No sirrrr. America is where it stays no matter where its copied.
    No way bruh. I exclude the rest of the world from hip hop.

    That “breakfast” video was degrading. I couldn’t believe it and it seemed like something from 1920 mammy, blackfaced bullsh*t.

    Also no one should use the word nigga, nigger, or whatever. I just schooled some kids on a crowded train in D.C. about that in front of white people. Don’t disrespect all that my parents, grandparents, and ancestors went through by using that word. Even me. I was called nigger many times growing up. I don’t understand it. Never will. Fools use that word.

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