Thursday, June 26, 2008

Hip-Hop Vs. America - Vol II

So while channel-surfing last night I caught a revised programming version of Hip-hop vs. America by BET. Again, I felt it (just like the first one), was all talk no action from a network that have gone so far from its early mission of uplift of its core audience - blacks.

Here's my first beef: Why is it black folks have to shout over each other to make a point? We are not deaf people! The shouting must have taken a good ten minutes off the one hour program not to talk of the incessant commercials. So that left maybe a 30 minute time for real talk. Culprits of this noise: Rapper David Banner, Princeton Professor Mellisa Harris-Lacewell and the Rev. Eugene River - the last two were going after each other. I almost felt like they should get a room.

Second beef: Nobody wants to take responsibility for their actions. The rappers (i.e David Banner) says black people won't support thought-provoking lyrics instead of gangsta lyrics. To which Lola Ogunnaike (I wish the dread-locked hair host could pronounce the last name right but he did a pretty good job) said she has been in many interview meetings where producers have insisted the number of b-words, H-words (Ebonic form of "whore") and N-words were not enough. So my question is why are they doing this the second time since no correlating action will be derived?

Third beef: Stage craft! How in the world would you have six people on the stage and only three people get to talk? There sat San Francisco's DA (and strong Obama supporter) Kamala Harris with only a couple of minutes (if that much) talk time while two folks kept bickering. Then two people are left with nothing to be said.

Fourth beef: Let Women Speak! Hel-lo, this program was sub-titled "where did the love go?" It was about the misogyny in the rap lyrics and videos where women were often used as props rather than intelligent individuals. So why did the rappers keep interrupting any woman who wanted to make a point. A black British author had to keep asking "can I finish my sentence?" There I saw the rappers may deny all they want but their actions speak louder than words on their notion that women should be seen not heard.

That's it for now . . . hopefully, I'll see another installment of this "quality" programming and give my take.

Tags: BET, Hip-hop, Women