Sunday, April 24, 2011

Mmm Whatcha Say

Alright, so maybe I’m a bit out of touch with the current rap world, but I have never heard of this rapper Lil B. Have you? Correction, I hadn’t heard of him until yesterday. I read an article that discussed his decision to name his album “I’m Gay” and the onslaught of publicity (and death threats) he received because of it. 

(Is this a new trend in the gay community that I'm unaware of?)

“Great”, I thought, “a ‘cool’ black male representing the gay community, what courage.”. As far as gay black men go, there aren’t very many of them who are out and vocal enough to support each other and the few that I know find it very hard to assimilate their culture with their sexuality. Not that I have any idea about the plight of a gay black man, but I can imagine that in a world that champions hip hop and rap with heros such as Kanye West and Jay-Z, it’s probably a little hard to come out to your friends. Don’t get me wrong, I love these musicians, but they sweat testosterone. 
Anyway, I was totally wrong. This kid is pulling a complete and total publicity stunt. I think it’s rude and (bottom lining it) ignorant. Lil B (original name, btw) claims that he is not coming out, but simply using the word “gay” for its original meaning: “happy”. He’s just a real happy guy and apparently only strict definitions of words matter to him, connotations are for losers. As he put it so eloquently, “Some people worried about [...] the definition of words and shit. First of all, gay means happy.” Thanks, Webster.  Wonder how good his raps are. 
What Lil B did do, completely by accident, is draw attention to how our nation still reacts to the gay community, and how words (definitions and connotations) carry a lot of weight. Which brings up an intriguing what extent is it our responsibility to choose our words based not on what we intend by them, but how they are perceived and understood? 
First off, it’s ridiculous but unsurprising that Lil B received death threats for his “I’m gay” claim. Granted, the forum for his unintentional “coming out” is similar to Sarah Palin sporting an “I love Kucinich” sticker at a Tea Party rally, but the fact remains that there is still a whole lot of hate in our country. In my opinion, we encourage and allow this behavior by not allowing equality in marriage and by letting it slide that political leaders like Michele Bachman (click that link, it's hilarious) and Newt Gingrich support groups like The Family Leader. 
(side note: The Family Leader is a group that has stated it is proud to be a “hate group” and considers Matthew Shepard’s death a necessary victory for their cause). 

It is our responsibility as individuals and as a community to speak out against hate. All kinds of hate towards are fellow citizens, or better yet, our fellow human beings. We live in a time where hate should be unacceptable. I am not talking about taking away freedom of speech and disallowing people to voice their concerns, but speaking out as an individual against violence and hate can go a long way. 
(can't we all just get along?)

Moving on, I’ve been thinking a lot recently about words and their meanings (nerd). There are plenty of words that have developed in their meaning from a banal definition to an incendiary and hurtful connotation. Faggot, retard, nigger (are you offended yet?) even the word gay went through a period of negative connotation. However their level of offense is certainly different. For example, it took me awhile to decide if I would even type the word n***er or whether I would star it out, as I did here. The word is so inflammatory, and so hurtful and offensive that I personally am not comfortable saying it in any scenario. The many times I find myself quoting Chappelle Show, I tiptoe around the word, avoiding it at all costs. I know in the black community there is a lot of debate as to whether the word should be used at all. The fact remains that the word, while still maintaining it’s power in most settings, has developed another connotation meaning “friend”. 
I also find the word faggot extremely offensive, I personally chose not to say it and would prefer not to hold company with those that do. I do not however, find it has quite the same effect as the “n” word. 
While still offensive but not quite as incendiary is the word “retard”. Tim Shriver’s recent campaign to end the use of this word has brought a lot of attention to this one. Now I can’t pinpoint why exactly this word packs less of a punch than the others. Is it because the connotation and denotation are essentially the same? Shouldn’t that, in theory, make it more offensive? Is it because the group that is being offended is not the target of vehement hate? 
Whatever the case my be I believe that we are responsible for our actions and we are well aware of the connotation of these word. If we use them, we use them with the intention to hurt, we use them with hate behind them. At the extreme end of this spectrum we have complete responsibility for our words, but as things get more unclear, our level of responsibility becomes questionable. For example, I remember in college signing a line to a rap song that consisted of referring to someone as “boy”. I was immediately informed by my friend that I shouldn’t use that word because it contained connotations of slavery. Who knew? Well not me in my sheltered little world, anyway. So without the knowledge and intention behind the word, how can it possibly contain the same amount of offense?
Let’s bottom line it. Unfortunately we are not judged by our intentions, but by our actions. Whether Lil B was trying to draw attention to the plight of the gay community is ultimately irrelevant because his actions implied that he’s just trying to garner publicity. All we can do as individuals is choose not to use language that promotes hate. Where language gets hazy and connotations blend into each other, it comes down to your decision as an individual how you would like to be perceived. 


  1. “Wonton Soup”
    Written by Brandon “Lil B” McCartney

    Oh my god Basedgod
    You could fuck my bitch, Basedgod
    You swag to the maximum
    Swag on a hundred thousand, one hundred trillion. Oh god damn Basedgod

    [Hook] X 2
    Hopped up in my car, then I drop my roof
    Wet like Wonton soup, that’s just how I do
    Then I park my car, then I fuck your bitch
    Eat that Wonton soup, wet like Wonton soup

    [Verse 1]
    Eat the cake like Annie Mae
    Young Basedgod and I been doin my thang
    Take my shirt off and the girls go insane
    4 diamond rings, 2 big-ass chains
    Eat that Wonton soup I got the cash like chang chang chang
    Bitches suck my dick because I cum like 36 ways
    AK-47 leave that bitch with no fuckin’ name
    Got my main bitch and she stay giving me brain
    Put a bitch to shame, violate that brain
    Young Basedgod dope my bitch like I’m cocaine
    Bitches snort my ring, that crackpipe like my chain
    Found a dope man, I ride that bitch like Ace of Spades
    Ho don’t play that game
    I’m Rapping not for the fame
    I almost went to jail for like 500 days
    Bitch don’t give no fuck, that’s why I fucked her in the face
    Fuck you sucker’s heads then I ask her what’s her name, Basedgod

    [Hook] x 2

    [Verse 2]
    Suckers stay talking on them Internet comments
    Mad cause I’m most wanted like Osama
    Please bitch, you haters don’t got no felonies
    Young Basedgod flex 10 armed robberies
    Young Basedgod been breaking & entering
    Young Basedgod ride hot when you bought it
    30 on my dick on that court like Spalding
    Bitches suck my dick because I look like JK Rowling
    Harry Pot my bitch I fuck my ho her brain is awesome
    Fuck my damn ring, bitch I pay what it’s costing
    Jewelry is awesome, Basedgod is gorgeous
    Going down to Georgia to fuck my thick bitch
    Mane fuck her cuz she gorgeous, young Basedgod stay posted in the fortress
    Fuck my main bitch then I dumped her in the forest
    You niggas know I got money bitch one hundred thousand Basedgod nigga

    [Hook] x 2

    [Verse 3]
    Damn I look good so I’m running for the mayor
    Young Basedgod got hoes in different flavors
    You know I’m fucking two and I run like Jason Taylor
    Hoes on my dick cause I look like Frasier
    Andy Milonakis, bitch I’m Johnny Cochran
    Smooth with that chopper, I’m gone like my father
    Ho suck my dick cause I took her to the opera
    Bitch suck my nuts cause I wear nice watches
    I’m looking like an ostrich, black like I’m Gothic
    Hos suck my dick cause I laugh when they shopping
    Young Basedgod gives a fuck about your problems
    Label left me dead and they gave me no options
    Fuck you rap niggas cause you scared of your damn self
    Bitch suck my dick cause it’s good for her damn health
    Young Basedgod kill a bitch with my ring
    Young Basedgod got the world insane, Basedworld

  2. I particularly enjoy the line "hoes on my dick cause I look like Frasier". 1. You look nothing like Frasier. 2. Comparing yourself to Frasier does not equal comparing yourself to somone who has lots of sex with women.

  3. While I support everyone's right to make the all important dollar, pulling a publicity stunt like that to make said dollar is not only insensitive, but it's also lazy and uninspired. There are far more productive, clever, and original ways to garner attention, and thus, make your money. If you're going to title your freshman album "I'm Gay" simply to gain infamy, why not go balls to the wall and really market yourself as the first homosexual rapper? After all, if you're willing to cross one line, why not fully commit yourself and cross them all? I'm assuming that his willingness to set himself apart and get people saying his name only goes so far...which means that by next weekend, no one will remember him. There is, apparently, a God.

  4. lazy, I like that. It's totally true. But as far as not remembering him...did you read that lyrical masterpiece?!?