So last night, I was on YouTube watching Oprah’s “Now What” special, which is dealing with Black life & respect within & outside our community post Imus. The program had a very specific focus on who we talk to each other & how rap & hip-hop music plagues us & creates a double standard within & outside of the color line.
While watching part 2 which is the portion in which she had Russell Simmons, Common & to other Brothers that pissed me off during the whole hour special.
The bottom line is that they basically defended the stat of Rap & hip-hop music while admitting that there is a problem & that things need to change. The panelist did a lot of talking about needed change but they mentioned very little if anything about steps to make the change happen. From what I picked up, they are willing to talk to defend the music but not willing to speak out directly to make things happen.
I think I was most disappointed with Common because he is a very positive Brother & lifts up Black woman & shit the community. So when he said that he felt that changes needed to happen but he was not willing to go against his hip-hop family to do so (I’m paraphrasing loosely).
To summarize, by the time everything was said & done with, it was 2am, I was sleepy & pissed off by watching these grown ass men make excuses for 20 years of cooning to an ass shaking beat, misogyny & homophobia.
I got in the bed & bitched at Suite Suzy about my thoughts; she then told me to shut the hell up & got o damn sleep. So I did & while I was drifting off the one word flashing in my head was coon.
With this said: Coon is the term of the week & I dedicate it to anyone who gets paid to put their people down. People who spit venomous words that ingrain hate amongst brothers while degrading our women & children.
According to the Urban Dictionary:
Cooning is a verb derived from the word coon. A coon was/is a person of African decent whose sole purpose was/is to entertain white people. These ‘coons’ started out as wearing black face, characterized by having big eyes and painting big red lips on their face. These people would tap dance, play instruments and sing.
Modern day coons are blacks who play stereotypical roles and black entertainers that promote ignorance. (Source).
History of the Coon:
The coon caricature was born during American slavery. Slave masters and overseers often described slaves as “slow,” “lazy,” “wants pushing,” “an eye servant,” and “trifling.”2 The master and the slave operated with different motives: the master desired to obtain from the slave the greatest labor, by any means; the slave desired to do the least labor while avoiding punishment. The slave registered his protest against slavery by running away, and, when that was not possible, by slowing work, doing shoddy work, destroying work tools, and faking illness. Slave masters attributed the slaves’ poor work performance to shiftlessness, stupidity, desire for freedom, and genetic deficiencies.
The coon caricature was one of the stock characters among minstrel performers. Minstrel show audiences laughed at the slow-talking fool who avoided work and all adult responsibilities. This transformed the coon into a comic figure, a source of bitter and vulgar comic relief. He was sometimes renamed “Zip Coon” or “Urban Coon.” If the minstrel skit had an ante-bellum setting, the coon was portrayed as a free Black; if the skit’s setting postdated slavery, he was portrayed as an urban Black. He remained lazy and good-for-little, but the minstrel shows depicted him as a gaudy dressed “Dandy” who “put on airs.” Unlike Mammy and Sambo, Coon did not know his place. He thought he was as smart as White people; however, his frequent malapropisms and distorted logic suggested that his attempt to compete intellectually with Whites was pathetic. His use of bastardized English delighted White audiences and reaffirmed the then commonly held beliefs that Blacks were inherently less intelligent. The minstrel coon’s goal was leisure, and his leisure was spent strutting, styling, fighting, avoiding real work, eating watermelons, and making a fool of himself. If he was married, his wife dominated him. If he was single, he sought to please the flesh without entanglements. (Source | Dr. David Pilgrim – Ferris State)
Back to me:
While doing my coon surf, I stumbled across this “Yall Should Get Lynched” video on by NYOIL on Myspace & it is very fiery & on point! It’s calling out rap & hip-hop artists big time for their misogynistic, negative & bullshit lyrics.
Apparently, the video was too hot for YouTube and was pulled off within 48 hours of posting. While I totally agree with the message, I was struggling because NYOIL was using some of the same lyrics that he is mad about. On the other hand, I see the message from a final straw POV & maybe NYOIL is just at the point to make him over the top pissed off.
If you could give a Watermelon Award to any Rapper for his/her conning ways, who would you nominate?
I would give nominations to Nelly, Snoop (even though I love his music), Lil’ Jon & his entire BME Clique, Remy Ma & Puff Daddy aka Diddy or whatever he is going by nowadays.
BTW: There is a woman in Detroit named Agnes Hitchcock who does give out Watermelon Awards to “leaders” in the Detroit/Highland Park, MI area on her public access program, which is where this I go the idea. She refers to her award as a “Sambo Ward”.