07.30.06

It’s Hard Out Here For An English Professor

Posted in Hip Hop, non-sporting journalism, Racism Corner at 12:35 pm by

The only thing more exasperating than today’s editorial (excerpted below) in the Chicago Tribune by Notre Dame’s William O’Rourke is the possibility, however remote, that he might be invited to speak at the next EMP Pop Conference.

Joe is now 15 (and I am 60) and he is overscheduled, which I don’t mind, except that it makes me overscheduled. I often drive him around and he plays CD compilations consisting mainly of rap tunes on the car’s player.

“I’m gonna get my gun!” Around our neighborhood here in South Bend, Ind., young folks do often go and get their guns.

I, of course, dislike Joe’s taste in music, but can’t keep from recalling that my parents abhorred my music. The Beatles? Janis Joplin? So, I try to temper my criticism–I don’t want to sound like too much of a hypocrite. So, I let Joe listen to his music of choice. The sexual content and language of a lot of it shocks me–me, a child of the ’60s! Petey Pablo’s “Freek-A-Leek” is one of the worst offenders.

We live in what’s called an “urban” neighborhood, which translates into poor black people living within shouting distance of the white college professors. So I make Joe listen to my anti-rap tirades. My tirades sound pretty much like the anti-rap speech the character played by the rap star Ludacris makes in the film “Crash.” Oh, the irony, Ludacris’ character sounding like Bill Cosby, or for that matter Bill O’Reilly, attacking rap for what it does to black culture, shortly after he and his buddy have carjacked a monster luxury sport-utility vehicle. I wondered, after “Crash” won the Oscar for best film this year, if a white screenwriter had penned that anti-rap monologue, or if a black writer had done it. In any case, the gangsta rap group Three 6 Mafia won the Oscar for best song, “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp.” Pick your irony.

Joe has forced me to listen to Eminem and his band D12, and after a while I began to realize M&M (my preferred spelling) has some talent.

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