L-R: Chicago rapper Chief Keef; Interscope Founder and Chairman Jimmy Iovine
Does corporate Hip-Hop profit from paying Black men to prey on Black women?
Writing for Clutch Magazine, NewsOne’s Contributing Editor, Kirsten West Savali, opines that Chief Keef — and others like him — are bought and paid for puppets in an industry where rapping about murdering and raping women can make you very, very rich.
“The most disrespected person in America is the Black woman, the most unprotected person in America is the Black woman, the most neglected person in America is the Black woman.” – Malcolm X
When the laser sharp backlash finally grew too intense to ignore, Reebok severed ties with spokesperson Rick Ross for his failure to sincerely apologize for glorifying rape in the song “U.O.E.N.O.”
That’s the good news.
The bad news is that the fraternal twins of misogyny and violence are as necessary to corporate Hip-Hop’s survival as Black men are to the Prison Industrial Complex – and it didn’t take long for Chicago rapper Chief Keef to grab the baton from Ross to ensure that it lived to see another day.
Conveniently leaking the lyrics to his latest song, “You,” at the height of the Ross controversy – no doubt to prove that he’s “hard” and not intimidated by feminist wrath – Chief Keef, born Keith Cozart, spit the following bars:
My first instinct was to address the lyrics themselves – and the shattered community structure and subsequent lack of character from which they derived. But I swiftly came to the conclusion that deconstructing the words of a 17-year-old boy whose pathetic perception of manhood is so inextricably linked to his penis as to be a tired cliché would be an exercise in futility.
Because Chief Keef is nothing but corporate Hip-Hop’s latest poster boy, a generic figure interchangeable with many young Black men on the streets with mediocre talent, incessant bravado and dreams of stardom with no viable options in sight. He is a pawn about as pivotal to the eradication of entrenched rape culture in Hip-Hop as a minimum wage drive-thru worker at McDonald’s is to reducing pink slime in their cheeseburgers.
He is merely another Pinocchio – Look, Ma! I’m a real man! — manufactured and sold as an MC to a frustrated, young urban populace looking for a hood hero. So to be effective on any level, any dialogue or course of action must focus on Geppetto – in this case, Interscope Records. While I abhor censorship, there is nothing free about speech when rappers are bought and paid for and young Mr. Cozart is a caricature of Black masculinity repurposed by Interscope to line their own pockets.