Letters From FreakLoud: Twelve Midnight

When we left off last, I was awakening from a life of deceit and fallacy into a new paradigm of personal honesty. I don’t know if you read all that into it, but that’s sure in the hell what it felt like. It was a warm and vibrant kind of feeling. Like the discovering of a new light to lead me through the darkness of this earthly existence. And it lasted me the better part of…two days.

In my limited understanding of Buddhism, there’s a concept called the Everspinning Wheel. It symbolizes the inevitable cycle of enlightenment going back into human drama. It shows that no matter how free one might feel after detachment from earthly ideals, sooner or later, one will be drawn back into the illusory world of attachment and desire. Knowing this, I should have expected that the bliss of my honesty revelation wouldn’t last long. I learned quite quickly that our world is not ready for honesty.

Lesson One:

Don’t diss IP writers.

After my mini-tirade at the end of last week’s letter, I got my wrist slapped quicker than a class clown at catholic school. I guess in the end I sort of expected it. It’s got to take some serious voodoo to keep people doing this much work for free, so it’s only right that they wouldn’t want anyone to throw off the balance. Honestly, my beef comes from the fact that I’m very sensitive about what people say about Hip-Hop. So when anybody posits that their humble opinion is the be-all, end-all I get a little touched. Especially since most of the people that say that don’t do anything hip-hop oriented. I consider them fans, but I’ll leave the matter at that.

Lesson Two:

People can and will twist up your words.

While I have many examples form my personal life to back this up, it may be more effective to use a little news bit that I happened upon this week…

Daily Hip-Hop News:
“Common’s a Racist beeyatch,” Says UK Emcee

In reaction to Common’s recent comments disapproving of interracial dating, several heated UK rappers recorded a response track, where among other terms called the Chicago rapper “a racist beeyatch.”
Common, an emcee known for his conscious image, recently revealed to Touch Magazine (The UK’s leading urban music publication) that he objected to mixed race relations. He specifically said he opposed black men with dreadlocks dating white women because these men would be “going against what the dreadlocks purpose was.”

After reading the interview rappers Rising Son, Yungun, and Doc Brown decided to address the comments rhyming over the beat for Common’s “The Corner.” All of the emcees come from mixed races and felt personally attacked.

On the track, titled “Dear Common (The Corner Dub),” Rising calls the Chicago emcee “a racist beeyatch.” Yungun adds fuel to the fire spitting “I liked your words but it’s hard to believe in ’em now/ and I’m a friendly type of guy I want peace to abound/ problem is though, if I ever see you around/ I’ma have to stop Rising from beating you down/ because he wants to slay ya/ show ya how you turn a concious rapper/ into a fully unconscious rapper.” He continues saying. “I quote’sellout like a dred and a white girl,’ shocking/ I thought that who you date is a personal option/ and who made you think you’re the one that could stop them/ You said they sold out, well I guess you got something in common.

Furthermore Rising had this to say about the windy city representative, “he needs to be careful because no matter what his opinions are, he’s still got a lot of white fans. He comes over here and does gigs here; most of his fan base here is white. I mean, who was that ‘Electric Circus’ album aimed at? That wasn’t aimed at no one in no ghetto, that wasn’t aimed at no black people, that wasn’t a black album. If he keeps wanting to use the term sell out, what was that album all about?”

(credit: sohh.com)

This article had me stuck for a number of reasons. First, I never would have expected Com to say something like that. In older columns we’ve explored the image of the “conscious emcee” and what assumptions we as listeners make about who these people really are. In spite of all that, I never would have figured him to make a comment that sounded so…ignorant. The comment sounded more like something DMX would say, maybe even Kanye on the wrong day, but not Common. The cat just seems too close to enlightenment to speak so generally.

Another reason I was shook up is because these dudes got AT him. If you haven’t heard the diss you should check it out. It’s not just a commentary, it’s a SCATHING diss. These dudes were heated. You can tell that they were fans who’s had their feelings hurt. Kinda like Com when Ice Cube dissed him back in the day. You can hear it here.

Third reason? They said that Electric Circus was aimed at white people. Aside from a 50 Cent comment made last week that I’ll touch on later, this is the most ignorant thing that I’ve read in 2005. That opinion would most likely come from someone who has no knowledge of black American music before hip-hop. They should be beaten about the head with an open stapler.

Nevertheless, here’s Common following Kanye onto the Chicago Rapper “foot-in-the-mouth” boat, based on some shit he said in a song five years ago. The main difference being that the interracial statement would only garner about .2% of the support that West got.

So right when I’m about ready to beat him with my “bitch” stick , I get a grand idear. How about I actually READ the interview…f*cking astonishing…

Touch caught up with rapper Common to hear his take on race and relationships

TOUCH: This is a lyric from the track ‘Heat’ on your ‘Like Water For Chocolate’ album: “State senators, life twirls, most sell out – like a dread with a white girl.” Explain please.
COMMON: Rastafarianism is a black culture. When you see dreadlocked dudes with white girls that’s like they going against what the dreadlock’s purpose was. The dreadlock was a symbol of black love and the black people gettin’ to a certain level. In America we’ve got a lot of dreadlocked dudes and all you see them with is white girls. I don’t think there’s anything the matter with somebody loving somebody from another race but it’s almost like a stereotype that if you’ve got dreadlocks you go out with a white girl. I just feel like, as black men, we do have to be aware that, yo, every time we step out with some woman it’s setting an example for our daughters and it’s also representing something for our mothers. If you can’t really love your own, how can you really love others?

TOUCH: So you don’t agree with mixed race relationships?
COMMON: I don’t disagree with them. It’s just I’ve been around black girls who say, “I only date white men”. I’ve been around black dudes who I see only be with white girls. Is that a lack of self-love? To say “I only deal with these type of people” has gotta be a problem.

TOUCH: Have you ever dated outside your race?
COMMON: Nah, not dated [giggles].

TOUCH: Have you slept with anybody outside your race?
COMMON: Yeah, I definitely have.

TOUCH: So sleeping with someone outside your race is OK but dating isn’t?
COMMON: People got their choice. I’m not telling them how to live their lives. I just tell them what I think about and what I feel about certain situations. Dealing with having sex with a white girl is something I have encountered and I’m not acting like white girls and other races are not people. We all people: children of God. But our race has been damaged. Sometimes to get back up to the level of respect and love, you’ve gotta stick with your own for a minute and build a certain amount of strength and community within yours so that other people can respect and honour your traditions.

TOUCH: How do you feel about a black person dating a mixed race person of black and white parentage?
COMMON: Ah man, if you’ve got one black parent and one white parent, then the majority of the time you considered black. People don’t look at Tiger Woods and see he’s mixed. They say he’s a black golfer, even if he say he’s something else. Look, I ain’t here to judge people’s relationships. I’m more about, “Hey black people, I see you out there talking about how you a Rastafarian, but you only wanna date white women”. Is that what Rastafarianism is based on?

TOUCH: Rastafarianism has different houses with different views. Though Rastafarianism is about celebrating who you are and where you’re from, isn’t it also about loving people regardless of creed or colour?
COMMON: I don’t know all the bases of Rastafarianism, but I know that it stems from Africa and Ethiopia and really came into fruition in Jamaica during the time that the blacks were being oppressed. It was about black people paying homage to their culture, embracing their culture. So when you embrace your culture and then say, “OK, but I’m only gonna date the opposite race”, to me that’s a little opposite to what you’re projecting out through your hair and the way you looking. I know you don’t agree, but I’m glad that you bringing these things up. How do you feel, as a white lady?

TOUCH: I absolutely loved your album ‘Like Water For Chocolate’ but that lyric pissed me off. I live in a very multicultural environment, maybe if I lived in America I would feel differently.
COMMON: Yeah, it definitely has something to do too with the way I was raised. I mean, not even from my parents, but from being in Chicago, a very segregated city. There is very much an enforcement of black culture where I grew up.

Common boards his plane. We agree to disagree. I tell him I respect that he speaks his mind in music. Days later our conversation continues.

TOUCH: Last time we talked about mixed race relationships…
COMMON: It was good that we talked about that. I talked about it even more after I hung up. I was talking to my team about it and they had their own views. My whole thing is that black women have been so put down – whether it’s due to the oppression of a white government or we [black men] putting our own women down. When dudes say they only gonna focus on white girls, to me, it’s like a slap in a black girl’s face. What’s ironic is when you hear this song on my new album called ‘Real People’. It deals with something almost of the same nature. I say: “Black men walking with white girls on they arms. I be mad at ’em as if I know they moms. Told to go beyond the surface, a person’s a person. When we lessen our women our conditions seem to worsen”. I’m glad we got to discuss this though. Ya know, I still feel like because I’m an artist and I say certain things, I have a responsibility to let people know what I mean. I can’t claim to be perfect. I’m working too to be a better guy.”

(credit: touchmagazine.co.uk)

Well ain’t that about a bitch?

Talk about your creative license…Not only did he say in the first response that “I don’t think there’s anything the matter with somebody loving somebody from another race”, he also made it quite clear that he was only taking exception to people who date EXCLUSIVELY outside of their race. I feel like the dudes that made the song, couldn’t have possibly read the entire article. It seems that they were victims of someone who wanted to twist the story up to get a racy headline, now they’ve immortalized their own ignorant moment in song.

(And didn’t it seem like the interviewer had a helluva jones for that one subject?…)

Lesson Three:

If everyone’s honest, I’ll have to put up with shit like this all of the time…

Are you ready for the words of a real true-to-life asshole?

Peep what your boy 50 said about Kanye last week…

In a recent interview with MTV, 50 takes credit for Kanye’s success by saying “I feel like Kanye West is successful because of me. After 50 Cent, [hip-hop fans] was looking for something non-confrontational, and they went after first thing that came along. That was Kanye West, and his record took off.”

Of all the…

…and you can tell he really believes this shit. I was hoping that he might have been misquoted, but no such luck. I won’t reprint the article here because his opinions bring down the quality of my column. If you would like to see for yourself check it

And as always check me and my music here…

Check me out!