It seems like Kanye is marking the beast for another cruel summer. The day before his Saturday Night Live appearance he projected his video on 66 buildings throughout 6 continents. Then he announced the release date of his upcoming album “Yeezus” would be 6/18 – a divisible date that can be interpreted as a choice of the holy trinity or an unholy alliance.
As the clearest sign of evolution in Hip Hop seems to be a rapper’s pursuit to get the sponsorships of a Nascar driver, Kanye projected the phrase “not for sale” as a backdrop to his SNL performance. Meanwhile there’s been a recent trend of racist commercials from companies such as Uni-Ball and Pepsico that have very little to do with the product they’re selling. Tyler the Creator even defended the Mountain Dew ad he participated in. I assumed they didn’t stop the check since they got their money’s worth from Lil Wayne’s racing team.
This summer’s heat wave will start in Florida with the NBA Finals and the Trayvon Martin trial. The only memorable reference I heard in Hip-Hop since his death was from Ricky “Reebok” Ross and it kind of sounded like a plea bargain for any future run-ins with the Ku Klux Klan leaving me confused which white hoodie the lyric was for. George Zimmerman’s main defense is Stand Your Ground. Meanwhile, Marissa Alexander, a black woman in Jacksonville, is in jail serving a mandatory 20 year sentence after letting off a warning shot in the air while protecting herself from her husband who had a history of abuse. No one was hurt in that incident, but both Yeezus and the Anti-Christ know there will be blood and burn victims from a highly flammable Zimmerman verdict.
As the heat rises, let’s take an up North trip to the State Penn-sylvania, where Mark Ciavarella Jr., the second judge in the “Cash for Kids” scandal was recently sentenced to 28 years for taking bribes from a builder of a detention center. The builder, Robert J Powell, an attorney, shelled out nearly 3 million in bribes to guarantee the success of his privatized jail. He was sentenced to only 18 months and $60,200 in fines. It sounds like justice because of they were caught, but what about those who weren’t? More importantly, what about the juveniles thrown in jail at the strike of the corrupted gavels? Hide your kids.
Lyrics from “New Slaves” brought light to a little known contract stipulation between the Corrections Corporations of America (CCA) and 48 states regarding a mandatory 90% occupancy rate in new prisons. 48 States also have voting restrictions on convicted felons. If you haven’t connected the dots by now, the lines are increasingly blurring between convicts (who are no longer allowed to get college degrees on the inside), ex-convicts (who face a myriad of barriers on the outside), law abiding citizens (Marissa Alexander) and our targeted youth (stop & frisk, stop & kill, and terrorist arrest like Kiera Wilmot). The venial black and white double standard is increasingly palpable. If you’re brown, there is a much higher chance that you will get a slap on the wrist – in handcuffs.
The trill, Y.O.L.O, sell drugs, spit clips and make a stripper famous lifestyle we glorify in hip-hop is programming our kids to follow a path that has severe consequences. While Chief Keef visited a Nigga in Paris, their hometown of Chicago continued to have war-like casualties. In New Orleans, 19 people (including 2 kids) were injured as two seemingly motherless bastards, pardon, I mean, two African American males, who are brothers, indiscriminately shot into a parade of revelers celebrating, Mother’s Day.
Being that there’s a direct correlation between police, poverty and mercury rising; will “New Slaves” be a “Fight the Power” equivalent to a “Do the Right Thing” summer? I doubt it, though it should. Spike Lee won’t like that it’s not, let me finish. Since Kanye’s been adopted in so many circles, he’s actually less a public enemy and more a radical version of Arnold & Willis having a temper tantrum in a penthouse. He’s a Gemini like Tupac, but unlike Pac, Kanye tends only to go against the system if there’s an audience to protect him. He feels socially awkward rubbing elbows with high level oppressors, so he talks about the Maybach they have in common. The encounter is further surreal knowing that some people in his newfound fraternity of wealth could have him killed, at will. Luckily, even his demons like watching “Yeezus walk” the runway while contorting out of a designer strait jacket.
For all the illuminati trolls who probably never read some basic books on the new world order, contemporary Freemasonry may, likely be a more coded language for members only to ensure employment than it is a satanic secret society, who knows? Mystic numerologists that suggest a correlation between the current year and when Yeezus was born (’77) attract lunatics to lunar cycles so theories are dismissed as heresy at best. However, similar to buildings with no thirteenth floor, the compass and the square are proof that there is a grand design. Whether it’s just an architectural layout of how consumers walk through Ikea or plans for global population control, there is an ideological war amongst powerful people over how sheep should live and die. Corruption and conspiracy are kissing cousins that appear to be distant strangers in public, making their proximity, seemingly, coincidental and unrelated.
I have brotherly love for Kanye and mixed feelings of how he reinforces stigmas of illiteracy and self-conscious conspicuous consumption that he would blame on the pigment. Black celebs in particular have different ways of staying connected to their roots to rally mass support. Yet, one must be careful how they feed the mal-nutritious. It’s rumored that he’s scrambling to touch up the album with more commercial friendly tracks due to the mixed reception of “New Slaves.” To me, when you’re a respected artist like Kanye, you don’t release that single with another song called “Black Skinhead” and expect airplay. “That’s why another Goddamn dance track gotta hurt, that’s why I rather spit something that’s got a purp.” It’s about time and that’s not directed at him. Since Kanye has shown more courage than most, don’t let him take on this summer by himself. He’s doing God’s work, are you?
I’d like to dedicate what you just read to D’aja Robinson, 14 and Tayloni Mazyck, 11. Both were recent victims of stray bullets. Hats off to 50 Cents for financially supporting D’aja’s funeral. Tayloni is currently paralyzed but let us pray Jesus walks with her.
T. Better Baldwin is a creative mercenary and ethical lobbyist who was born, raised and resides in New York City.