July 14, 2004

Jadakiss’d Off

I’m not normally one to get all bent out of shape about either outlandish criticism of President Bush or about “controversial” rap lyrics, as I usually take the position that such things are at best perversely entertaining and at worst easily ignored. But one new hit song combines both and has got me a bit pissed off- as have the comments from its defenders.

On “Why,” the new single by rapper Jadakiss, he asks various questions, such as “Why Aaliyah have to take that flight” and “Why did Kobe have to hit that raw?” But one particular line in the otherwise non-political song has touched a bit of a nerve: in the second verse, Jadakiss asks, “Why did Bush knock down the towers?”

Since the rapper goes further into the realm of “unsupported assertions against Bush” in seven words than Michael Moore did in two hours, it’s no surprise that the right –and even some to the left of the right- have gone apeshit. I’m not for censorship- barring the unlikely event that the president of the United States should file a libel claim against a rapper- but shouldn’t we consider that tossing around such accusations, as part of popular music, is just a bit irresponsible?

But what’s particularly galling is certain defenders of Jadakiss, who are just as demented as Moore’s. A programming exec at New York’s Hot 97 defends the decision to continue playing the unedited version of the track, with the laughable rationale that “If Michael Moore's entitled to his opinions, why not Jadakiss”? As though the completely unsupported assertion that the president of the United States were responsible for the murder of 3000 Americans is just “his opinion.” Were I to make up a rumor on the spot about that same Hot 97 exec being a serial child molester, would I also be “entitled to my opinion”?

The wonderfully monogrammed music executive Kevin “Always Bet On” Black, undoubtedly thrilled and how much the mini-scandal will enrich him, told Billboard.com that “It touches the heart and says things that a lot of people are afraid to say." Yea, that may be because those things AREN’T TRUE.

Posted by Stephen Silver at July 14, 2004 01:15 AM

Shut up. Regardless if Bush didn't knock down the towers, that's Jadakiss's opinion. I have a question, "Why is it ok for you to get upset with Jadakiss's one lyric, but it's not ok for him to say it." That pisses me off. Listen and interpret the whole song, you might learn something.

Posted by: Kanesha at October 11, 2004 07:39 PM

Dear Kanesha-

I was going to just call you an idiot and leave it at that, but I'll try to talk some sense into you instead.

Steve never said that Jadakiss couldn't say it. What he is asserting is that Jadakiss SHOULD NOT have said it. There is a big difference, there, kiddo.

Just because you CAN say something, doesn't mean you SHOULD say something.

Posted by: Jordan at October 11, 2004 07:54 PM

jadakiss can say what he wants he being real that is what is going on in the world.

Posted by: at December 17, 2004 10:55 AM
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