Tuesday, October 09, 2007

We taught them to do.....

People generally have simple or strong opinions about the word nigger or nigga. It basically follows a political barometer. Either a person is against it (conservative) or a person is permissive of it (liberal) or falls somewhere within the spectrum. If you know me than you know where I stand on the whole issue. I don't want to turn this blog into my perspective on the word (and no matter where you stand isn't it incredible that this one word gets so much play).

What I do want to bring focus on though is how one person's perspective can be suddenly transformed not by an intense form of 'reducation' yet rather through a strong incident or episode. One of the most public one that comes to mind is how Richard Pryor stopped using the word after traveling to Africa. This appears to be another type of transformation yet only time will tell.

Chamillionaire triumphs over cursing on 'Ultimate Victory'
By Steve Jones, USA TODAY
Chamillionaire says watching white fans singing along on the N-word prompted him to eliminate it from the rhymes on his new album, Ultimate Victory.
The Houston rapper, whose platinum 2005 album The Sound of Revenge spawned the Grammy-winning hit Ridin', says he made that decision long before criticism of rap lyrics erupted over CBS Radio shock jock Don Imus' racially tinged insult of the Rutgers University women's basketball team.

"I never really cursed in my everyday speaking or music," says Chamillionaire (aka Hakeem Seriki), 27, whose profanity-free Ultimate Victory is being released Tuesday without the usual Parental Advisory sticker.

"When the Don Imus thing happened, people asked me what was I going to do now, and I was like, 'I don't have to worry about it because I'm not cursing.' "

His stance drew jeers from rival 50 Cent, who shrugs off complaints about hip-hop's violent and misogynistic content. "Let (Chamillionaire) go sell gospel records, if he's so (expletive) righteous," 50 told Spin magazine in July. But rather than getting into a beef with the rapper, Chamillionaire used the controversy as fodder for the album's first two singles, Hip-Hop Police and The Evening News.

FIND MORE STORIES IN: Don Imus | Bill O'Reilly | Chamillionaire | Bone Thugs-n-Harmony
"It's really not about the police but the people who police hip-hop," Chamillionaire says. "It's like loving hip-hop is a crime these days, so I did a Murder Was the Case (the Snoop Dogg hit) type of record to paint the picture."

In the two-part, nine-minute video for the songs, Chamillionaire dons makeup to play hip-hop cop Al Sharpless, news anchor Bill O'Wildy (references to critic/activist Al Sharpton and Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly) and news reporter Cashus Burns. He also appears as himself. Hip-Hop Police portrays Sharpless arresting and interrogating Chamillionaire while O'Wildy's newscast details the arrests of other rap stars.

Then the video segues into The Evening News, with Chamillionaire struggling to get a word in during a debate with O'Wildy about everything from gas prices and Hurricane Katrina to the war in Iraq and President Bush.

"Whether you agree with the opinions (expressed in the track) or not, it's something that gets people talking," he says.

The album-opening The Morning News spews a litany of dreary headlines, while on The Bill Collecta,he's trying to stay one step ahead of the repo man.

The latter features a return appearance by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony's Krayzie Bone, who joined him on Ridin', which helped Revenge sell 1.5 million copies. Ridin' sold more than 4 million ringtones and sparked Weird Al Yankovic's White & Nerdy.

"That parody was the reason I won the Grammy, because it made the record so big it was undeniable," he says. "It was so big overseas that people were telling me they had heard my version of Weird Al's song."

He says the title of Ultimate Victory refers to learning to appreciate the important things in life.

"On my last run, I was so worried about getting revenge against people (who doubted him), I'd go to Hawaii and wouldn't even do the simpler things to enjoy it."

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