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“It’s Getting Ugly in Here So Take off All Your Clothes”


It’s sad, but this post is destined to dissolve into a conversation not about music. It’s written on the walls everywhere — it’s written in the fear in the eyes of people who won’t step out of line for a hurricane. Music is basically dead, the new culture, in short, racial hatred.

I mean I’ll be honest: I’d never heard of this rapper Huey [1] [2] who just got shot in Kinloch, Missouri [3] [4], his hometown. He**, I didn’t even CARE, when I heard it. I guess black lives don’t matter to me. Sh**, if they did, you’d be pretty bent out of shape by this point, you have to say.

But then it hit me. This isn’t even going to be a big news story. It’s a black on black crime. It’s a dime a fu**ing dozen.

He got killed? He’s a rapper? Oh. Well he shouldn’t have been doing that rap music. That’s what people will say. Well if he didn’t want to get killed he shouldn’t have been doing that rap music, growing up in and repping a town that’s basically a real-life horror film. He should have gotten a job, in a town with an urban town with a population of 298 people and 0 people who would be there given the choice [5].

Oh, it happened in St. Louis? Oh, I don’t like St. Louis. It’s a sh**hole. I don’t like the Midwest. People genuinely care that I’m crawling around on the Aggro Crag [6], eating granola. I have proof.

So here we have a tragedy, a fatal shooting of a 31-year-old black man who’d been involved in the arts [7], and nobody knows, or seems to care, why it happened. The reason behind this is that music is just not a vital part of our culture. In fact, where it was once a triumphant, uniting and symbiotic force, it’s almost like it’s seen as weakness now, embracing or valuing music — as if you’re cowering behind a shroud instead of standing up and being yourself (whereas art should be part and parcel with “being oneself” in a functional society — that’s the whole reason it exists and why it has existed through the millennia in human gatherings).

And it’s a perversion on our own parts that has led to this decimation of music as a synergic force — we let two-bit mauts like Nelly execute the chorus of “It’s getting hot in here / So take off all your clothes”… we let Fetty Wap drawl on the topic of looking at a girl’s butt in a voice that sounds like he has Down’s Syndrome. Oh, this sh** exists. Well, music must suck. Huh huh.

I mean, I can’t explain all this sh** right now and am not even sure if I want to but from where I’m sitting now, and from the general waft of sentiment I’m getting surrounding the respective events, the life of George Floyd, who wasn’t a rapper, is worth more to the world than the life of Huey, who was a rapper. Now, this is in deference, obviously, to a couple of variables, one being the especially brutal NATURE of Floyd’s death (irrespective of the assailant’s skin color, which I suppose is an issue in its own right). Well, I don’t know if I’m just like Mr. Wonder Bread Boy here or whatever but it’s not SYMBOLIC to me that the person who killed George Floyd is white. In a sense it’s symbolic that Floyd is black in that I know black Americans are locked in a state of considerable to severe sociological malignity, but when George Floyd dies, not to sound racist but it’s just one more death of an African-American to me. And I know nobody cares that I’m pi**ed off at this gaggle of condescending “black lives matter” posts, stories, speeches, orations. But that’s what it is. It’s condescending. And it’s an absurd statement to make to me because I never said they didn’t or would even dream of thinking that they didn’t — it’s the straw man logical fallacy 100%, through and through. The movement is founded on the motive of punishing white people, not helping black people (excepting the notion of a black person actually being “helped” by a white person being dispatched via capital punishment, which is theoretical at best, blatant hate mongering and noxious bloodlusting at worst) [8], and I don’t necessarily agree with charging the Minnesota cop with murder because now you have people quitting the police force, you have young people less inclined to become cops when this immunity to the law disintegrates and who can blame them? The job entails dealing with violent criminals, on a regular basis, and with a lack of leeway coming from the public, my response as well would be, “Fu** you too.” But the paradigm is negative now. This is how we see that.

There was a comment that the white cop was “grinning” when he was crushing George Floyd. That’s a lie. It wasn’t a grin. It’s desensitization. And I’m desensitized to killing, having grown up in South Bend, Indiana, a place of rampant murder and armed robbery (and where there’s probably a strong chance I’ll WANT a cop, at some point). Well, hip-hop is music borne out of the destitution and thwarted voice of African-Americans, an entity once positioned to help and potentiate them, so to see it get thrown under the bus like this is really troubling to me. But here we are in the whirlwind, aren’t we? Between thought and expression lies a lifetime, like Lou Reed said, although for some that buffer zone disintegrates and we get this garish chaos that we have now. And so violence becomes the form of human expression.

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[1] It’s astonishing the storylines that abound even just in regards to this late rapper’s name, which mimics the “Huey” who gets shot and killed in the plot action of 2pac’s “Changes,” based on Black Panther co-founder Huey Newton who met that fatality in real life. It’s apparently 2pac’s belief that Newton was murdered for his political involvements so I guess I’m maintaining that stance here.

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[2] Actually the rapper Huey was born the year Newton got shot, though a few months before, so it’s doubtful that the rapper were actually named after the BPP figure but not probably completely out of the question.

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[3] Kinloch is a suburb of St. Louis.

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[4] Along these lines, the back story of the community of Kinloch, which lies directly adjacent to Ferguson, the locale of one of our poster boy police brutality victims, is certainly quite disturbing in its own right. According to Wikipedia, “Kinloch was home to a vibrant and flourishing black community for much of the 19th and 20th century” but “Between 1990 and 2000, Kinloch lost more than 80 percent of its population, and the city became an increasingly violent and dangerous place to live.”

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[5] I realize that Huey was once, in 2006 (which would have made him all of 17 years old), a successful rapper and so could have moved away, or whatever). Well, he wasn’t old enough to drink, and he probably didn’t make enough to move his whole family away — also take into account a move would have mandated a strong cultural assimilation for these people who are molded to an unsettlingly caustic ghetto lifestyle. I’d be surprised if the town of Kinloch even had a functional library, following 2000, much less one proviso of self-improvement groups like Toastmasters and job search coaching.

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[6] Please excuse this reference to Nickelodeon Guts, if that’s possible.

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[7] “Rap isn’t art”… well guess what neither is defunding music programs in Bronx public schools relegating black creativity to scratching the record player.

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[8] I was actually the victim of an antipathetic, race-based diatribe in my own hometown earlier this month and NO I DON’T FU**ING CARE for the record, just like I don’t give a crap if a white person gets killed by a black cop, but on the off chance I ever have the impetus to procreate in this world I’d rather my kids’ environment not be a veritable unflagging jungle of rhetorical hatred.

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