Skip to main content

The Story of Good Music

P1 V1 41 yo Terrence Thornton of Virginia Beach-via-Gun-Hill projects in Bronx, New York rapped recently about the pain of broken wedlock, pride of fatherhood, and authenticity in art. He did so very publicly, very brutally, named names and left listeners shocked at his nerve and audacity. Thornton gleefully shattered the aura of invincibility shrouding his business rival Audrey Graham’s public persona as the face of global entertainment brand “Drake”. Thornton revealed Graham acting (earnestly) in blackface, disclosed Graham’s secret paternity, attacked Graham’s conduct as a son, mocked the ill health of Graham’s best friend, and injured Graham’s new product launches planned for this summer. His work, "The Story of Adidon", borrowed the naming convention, music, and “my skin is black” refrain from Jay-Z's "The Story of OJ" -- itself a song about denying self-evident attributes and immutable facts. In subsequent radio interviews, Thornton made it clear that he wasn't waging only a rap battle based on rhetorical achievement but also a political war for freedom and about character in the era of mass American incarceration: "You are silent on all black issues, Drake, you don’t stand for nothing, you don’t say nothing about nothing. You have all the platform in the world. You were so passionate back then? No you weren’t. That’s number one. That’s what I know."

P1 V2 Last week, Thornton - better know as “Pusha T” - promoted his new album “DAYTONA” via the urban American radio circuit. The album’s 7 songs just over 20 minutes are rich with subliminal criticism widely understood to refer to “Drake”. So much so that Graham-cum-Drake was compelled to retort in 24 hours in a smoooth song that challenged details of Thornton’s “Pusha T” persona and the creative originality of Thornton’s boss, Kanye West. Graham also named Thorton’s fiancĂ© in an awkward promise to “make it ring on you like Virginia Williams”. Widely perceived as a comprehensive, competent defense from the industry’s biggest brand, Thornton dissected a line crossed and escalated. In an industry of egos protected by outlandish pen and stage names and millions in brand building dollars, Thornton indicted Graham as a son, father, and partner: “you say marriage like it’s a bad thing...you are hiding a child...deadbeat motherfucker playing Border Patrol”. He alleged Graham failed to sanitize the personal social media of his baby’s momma - to wit: “the stench is on her” - and intended to reveal his son at a promotional event for Graham’s line of sneakers and sweatsuits. All told over Nina Simone repeating “my skin is black” accompanied by Graham grinning in blackface.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Inextricable and Mutual Sadness

Measured by % of the overall population, black men in the US are most disproportionately victims of fatal police violence; black women are also disproportionately killed. Whereas police kill Hispanics "equitably", only non-Hispanic white and Asian men, and women, are killed less than their share of the general population. In Asians’ case, much much less. That inequitable pattern is amplified in California. In California, Asians make up 15% of the population and less than 4% of police killings, a proportionality gap 3x more favorable than the gap for non-Hispanic whites. By comparison, black Californians are 6.5% of the state population and 16% of police homicides: an inequality 38% worse than the already inequitable national benchmark.

That data led to basic factual and analytical errors, including among high-profile California officials. Those errors also revealed the best and brightest's basic ignorance of #BlackLivesMatter most important messages. Take future CA govern…

Blue Magic

Southern Command's boss, Marine John Kelly, stepped down Friday, 1/8/2016 (CSPAN). He gave his final press conference at the Pentagon. Kelly toured Iraq and lost a son to combat in Sangin, Afghanistan, Nov. 9, 2010. The man put skin in the game for USA and lost. He bravely and honorably answered questions about his personal pain as a parent. His support for Gold Star families. By my count, Kelly fielded 16 questions. 6 concerned Guantanamo Bay detainee transfer operations. Prisoner logistics. People movement. To/from Cuba. 3 questions concerned Kelly's POV on Iraq and Afghanistan wars. He discussed women in combat.

A question about Colombia. Venezuela. UAV. Kelly's opening statement emphasized the "great" 2015 KPI: 200 metric tons of cocaine. That's not counting what their Colombian partners interdicted within Colombia itself. (A comparable amount. ) Kelly answered no questions regarding the meaning of 200 captured tons. Was that really good news?  Do you wa…

Tamaulipas

Before the 2016 US Presidential Election, and for the fifth consecutive year, Texans reported immigration and security as their highest priorities (San Antonio Express). 2000 miles northwest of Texas, on the same international border, Californians ranked employment and the economy as principal concerns (USC).

Many people might assume differences between the state governments and cultural histories of California and Texas, together 20% of the US population (Census), explain their wildly different perceptions of national issues related to Mexico and drugs. But you have to understand the difference in Mexico between those two border areas - California and Texas - and how that might influence different Americans perceptions of "the problem" of Mexico and or drugs. Breitbart Media brands Breitbart Texas and Cartel Chronicles did not emerge from a political vacuum. They emerged from the 21st Century's hottest global drug war zone outside Afghanistan's Helmand River valley.…