Five young white men sit in a nondescript room, dressed in all manner of clothing taken directly from the streets…t-shirts and scullies..various pieces from Hip-Hop wardrobe 101. In front of the camera stands a thin teenager…smoking on something and beginning to awkwardly move to a stiff beat coming from the same computer that is recording his image for the world to see.
“Shhhh..he’s about to rhyme..” All the teens begin to bob their heads in time as the first participant in the cipher begins his message. His first line “some wack bitch chillin in the projects…..you ashy and Black so you probably got blisters”. I immediately look up from my multitasking..Da fuc did he just say?? I squint my eyes and blink…naw son..I MUST be buggin! My brows furrow as I continue to listen. He continues to talk about being high and drunk…I figure..ok he’s talking about some girl (obviously Black) that probably wouldn’t give him the time of day. He’s venting.
Then he rhymes…”I’ll attack you with my cock…you so black and f’ing grimy..what u gonna do call your black squad? N*ggers ain’t gonna do Shyt….” NEEDLE SCRATCH* hold on hold on….word? He’s talking about raping Black women?!?! I’m so mad my fingers tingle…but I can’t stop listening..I can’t believe it..he stops and the next cat shouts “I’ll go!”
I take a deep breath..son was buggin..lemme sit down. As I begin to wonder what manner of fuckery this is, his boy starts rhyming and all I hear is the word “coon”…I tune my ears back to the music. His face lit up by the screen, I can see he is wearing a scully cap and a scarf. He nods his head in perfect timing and says “you crusty ass Black…with your tongue hanging out” …Say word??
The assault on Black people/women continue…with each kids anally raping hip hop and Blacks with swift deep strokes. Running a train on the art we created and shared with the world in the hopes of tolerance and true expression. It feels like a knife is plunged into my chest when all 5 break out into unison “You don’t know about that cause your Black” (this line was said in relation to having a father.) Apparently these students of Stuyvesant Hight School decided to record this “rap” for a young Black woman who had “inspired” them. Note that Stuyvesant is a specialized school for gifted children. Only 12 Black students were admitted in a freshman class of over 850 students.
I’ve never felt like this before. I want to cry and fight and kill at the same time. Is this how it felt sitting a a lunch counter in Alabama? This sting feels the same as the fire hoses that was turned on Black skin, that sharp pain in my gut must be how it felt to have a dog turned loose on you.Not only was this an assault on my Black skin, but on my beloved hip-hop. Violated. Fucking Youtube…a racist rant brought right to me in the comfort of my iPad, in my language – beats and rhymes.
I always took for granted the stories my Mom and ’em used to tell me about outright racism and how it actually felt. I could only shrug and chirp “they are ignorant” , but I never understood that pain until this moment. Watching Roots, seeing old Malcolm X and water hose footage allows the modern day black the luxury of being desensitized. I realize how sheltered I’ve been by the people around me (of all races).
I feel helpless. What’s even worse, is that I can’t do what I want to do … which is find these cats and take them to a Brooklyn basement. I know violence is not the answer, but I’m furious at their young, privileged, uppity and condescending view of anyone with skin like mine. I hate their parents, their school, the very lung tissue that allows them air to breathe. I hate the fucking tree next to the building they are in that provides them oxygen. It infuriates me that I can’t control this, that I can’t protect other people from this….Black, White Chinese or otherwise. Is this my daughter’s future? Is this the future of Hip-Hop?
I am mortified and humiliated. I am disgraced and furious.
Side note: the 5 boys were all suspended from the school.