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"Each individual should allow reason to guide his conduct, or like an animal, he will need to be led by a leash."
Diogenes of Sinope


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Thousand Flowers tapestry (15th Century) - Beaune, France (detail)

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Jay-Z in Washington

It's official - the collapse of western civilization is imminent now that both the President of the United States and the House of Representatives Majority Leader have tunes by Jay-Z and Lil' Wayne on their iPods.

President Obama held a press conference recently in which he said goodbye to his personal assistant Reggie Love, who is leaving the White House to attend the Wharton School of Business full time. The President thanked Mr. Love for his service, which included updating his musical tastes:
One thing Love does to perfection is help make the president look hip. He taught Obama how to fist-bump, bought him a silver iPod for his birthday and introduced him to the music of Lil Wayne and Jay-Z. Last year, Obama playfully referred to Love as his "iReggie."
Not to be outdone, Republican Eric Cantor, House Majority Leader, revealed that he too is a fan:
Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and President Obama have butted heads on many legislative policies during the last year, but there’s one thing they can both agree on: they heart rap music.

The House Majority Leader revealed on CBS’ “60 Minutes” on Sunday his (perhaps unexpected) love for a variety of rappers, including Lil' Wayne, Jay-Z, and Wiz Khalifa.
What the hell is going on here? The President of the U.S. and the second most powerful Republican in the House of Representatives are listening to rap music? For those of you out there who are not familiar with Mr. Z's oeuvre, here's a sample of the lyrics from a 2009 track called Ignorant Shit:
This is that ignorant shit you like
Nigga, fuck, shit, ass, bitch, trick, plus ice
C'mon, I got that ignorant shit you love
Nigga, fuck, shit, maricon, puta, and drugs
C'mon, I got that ignorant shit you need
Nigga, fuck, shit, ass, bitch, trick plus weed
I'm only trying to give you what you want
Nigga, fuck, shit, ass, bitch, you like it don't front
Mr. Cantor professes to be a Li'l Wayne fan. Here's a sample of his 1999 release Kisha
Her name's on my beeper
I called her on the Nokia
And told her come pick me up
As soon as I got in the house she got on her knees and grabbed my penis
Ate it up like some peanuts
I said oooohhhh Kisha
This what I got to meet her
She drunk it like a 2 liter
She blow like a pro
Oh no I got to keep her
Told her l'd be back about eleven I'm gone creep her
But don't go to sleep
I got some more meat to feed ya
Or maybe 2007's Time For Us to Fuck is more to Mr. Cantor's taste. Maybe he plays this for his wife Diana (who is a successful lawyer and accountant) during a romantic candlelight dinner before bouncing her booty like a basketball:
I see ya, I see ya
Girl I wanna love you long like ether
I know you want that pita
Girl I say I know you want that pita
That banana like Chikita
I'ma hit it like Derek Jeter
The neighbors gon' think I beat her
I'll throw that dick much deeper
Come be my wide receiver
I'll give that girl a seizure
She forget her boyfriend, amnesia
She wanna ride it, I let her have it
She betta ride it like Danika Patrick
I get behind it, and move her
Like the Heimlich maneuver (OW!)

[CHORUS]

I don't know about you (chea)
But I'm really, really fucked up (chea)
No more liquor in my cup (chea)
I think it's time for us to, time for us to, time for us to fuck (let's go)
I think it's time for us to fuck (let's go)
I think it's time for us to fuck (let's go)
I think it's time for us to, time for us to...

Bounce that booty like a basketball
See, I'm a ball-hog; I don't pass at all (ha-ha)
And now she wanna put her sister on
Now I got twins like "The Whisper Song"
And you could call her Mrs. Me Too
I say I'm on a strict diet, I can only eat you
Lick it lick it, lick it, lick it; I like to
Lick it lick it, lick it lick it..(ha-ha)
I got that Goose in my system
Somebody gon' be my victim
I got patrone in my system,
Somebody gon' be my victim (OW!)
President Obama of course has two daughters, and Mr. Cantor has three children - two sons and a daughter. Are neither of these men worried about the message that the music they are listening to sends to their kids, especially their daughters?

And more to the point, is anyone concerned about the complete degradation of modern culture that is evident in the trajectory of black music? Black Americans have created modern music, from Jazz and Blues to Rock and Roll. In one generation the tradition that gave us Duke Ellington and Chuck Berry has not only degenerated to Jay-Z and Lil' Wayne, but the President of the United States is listening to it on his iPod.

There's no hope.

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