Donald Trump almost attacked at Ohio rally by protestor Tomas DiMassimo. Dude may be a fan of J. Cole, too.
It never fails. An unarmed, undangerous person gets slaughtered reasonlessly by those sworn to protect and serve. As hands, heads, and hearts come together for prayer and personal upliftment, a voice from in the distant shouts “But y’all kill each other every day. What’s the big deal?”
Words by Cordrick Ramey
On November 23, 2015, Bernie Sanders held a rally and gave a speech in Atlanta to strengthen his endeavors to be President of the United States of America. He had a great turn out. However, there was NO political support on hand to see Bernie.
Words by Cordrick Ramey
90% of what Americans read, watch or listen to is controlled by six media companies. Some might say, “so what.” But herein lies the problem.
Do you know who the main investors in the corporations that serve us Hip Hop are? Would you believe me if I told you that they are also the main investors in the prison industry?
I present to you, The Vanguard Group Incorporated. Who just so happens to be the third largest holder in Viacom. Some may continue to say, “that proves nothing.” Ok, dig a little deeper and we find Blackrock, the number one holder of both Viacom and Time Warner. Blackrock is also the second largest holder in Corrections Corporation of America, second only to Vanguard.
You don’t have to believe me. Do your own research. (But I’m right.) So if the same people who own private prisons are the same people who own mass media, this may be the exact reason your cousin or your husband is locked up now. To further demonstrate this idea, I found a graph courtesy of Musical Hegemony that will provide better detail.
a. The Vanguard Group is the largest shareholder of CCA (SEC, 2013a).
b. The Vanguard Group is the second largest shareholder of Warner Music Group (Bloomberg, 2013a).
c. The Vanguard Group are also the third largest shareholder of Viacom (Bloomberg, 2013b).
d. The Vanguard Group are also the third largest shareholder in GEO (SEC, 2013, b).
e. BlackRock is the second largest holder in CCA (SEC, 2013a).
f. BlackRock is the largest shareholder in Warner Music Group (Bloomberg, 2013a).
g. BlackRock is also the largest holder in Viacom (Bloomberg, 2013b).
h. Vivendi (Universal Music Group) bought one half of EMI’s operations in 2011 for $1.9 billion (Sisario, 2011).
i. Sony bought the other half of EMI’s operations in 2011 for $2.2 billion (Sisario, 2011).
j. Sony was funded in part by the Blackstone investment group for this deal to purchase EMI (Sisario, 2011).
k. BlackRock is a subsidiary of Blackstone (BlackRock, 2013).
l. Sony and Viacom have reached a tentative deal to stream cable channels (Stelter, 2013).
m. CCA and GEO have spent a combined total of $24 million lobbying government (ITPI, 2012, p. 5).
n. Federal and State governments pass laws lobbied for by CCA and GEO
o. Which are imposed by Law Enforcement
p. Law Enforcement provide CCA and GEO with prisoners
q. CCA and GEO provide cheap labour to business affiliates (Cummings, 2012).
So just to reiterate, The Vanguard Group, the number one shareholder in Corrections Corporations of America, is the second largest shareholder of Warner Brothers. Warner Brothers by way of Asylum Records used to be the parent company for 1017 Brick Squad Records founded by Gucci Mane. Gucci and his prison label mates released a total of six albums for the label. The relationship dissolved in 2012. Roughly two years later, Gucci found another way to make money for The Vanguard Group, as property of Corrections Corporations of America.
Sony Music was funded by Blackstone, a subsidiary of Blackrock, to aid in the purchase of EMI Records. Don’t forget, Blackrock is the second largest shareholder in Corrections Corporations of America and the largest shareholder in Warner Bros and Viacom.
Back to EMI, they held ownership of little label called Priority. Maybe you’ve heard of them. Home to Ruthless Records, No Limit, Roc-A-Fella for a minute, and Rap-A-Lot. Just those names alone, brings a feeling gangs, guns, decadence, drugs, and violence. Blackstone knew this was the ideal situation to make an investment. Maybe they will sell a few records, but the brainwashing is where the real money comes into play.
Think about it, when you have ultimate access to everything a person reads, sees, or hears….why not experiment a little. All people of color have been used as this planet’s guinea pigs at some point. See the Tuskegee Experiment and The Willie Lynch Letter for closer confirmation. This is another form of keeping the (insert color here) man down.
You see, when the privatization of prisons became a real thing, investors became fascinated with nothing more than increasing their investments. What is the best way to increase your investment if you own a prison? Easy. Make more prisoners. Even if they are not real criminals. Even if that means continuously driving and drumming ignorant shit in your direction day, after day after day. Even if it’s made into a commercial.
Now that was a joke of course, but I’m sure you have heard some commercials that are not too far from that. But all jokes aside, only on black urban radio can you hear commercials to beat your DUI case, that you caught from a commercial last week concerning a Turn Up Tuesday party.
My point is the people or company, or entity, that serves us the closest, have absolutely no interest in our well being. If we are all dollar signs, they can sell us Kool-Aid, crack , weave, high interest loans, or even a chance to become state property. It sounds comical, but it’s not. How many commercials have you heard on urban radio about investments and financial empowerment? Rush Card don’t count. I’ll wait.
So the next time you hear The Migos talking about trapping out of a bando, remember to thank Time Warner, who owns Atlantic Records. Don’t forget about Vanguard, as the third largest holder in Time Warner. As fun and as sexy as a bando sounds, the consequences of association will have you paying Time Warner twice. One as a record company, the other as state property because of where the bando lead you.
Remember a couple of years ago, when it seemed that White guys were taking over rap music? Mac Miller, Macklemore, even the oft-putting Yelawolf were all descending upon the Hip Hop culture at breakneck speed and even though there were voices against their imminent contact, they landed with relatively no damage done. Everyone is still safe. Years later, after the proverbial smoke had been comfortably settled, the Internet’s trolls have struck again, this time targeting new
White kid on the block, Post Malone.
Malone is best known for his internet hit “White Iverson,” and as surely as his nominal celebrity stock began to climb, there has been an attempt to pull him back down a few pegs. It never fails. A clip has been “leaked” of him saying nigga as he watches cute kitten videos with a questionably overstimulated friend.
The 7-second clip has been looped below so you don’t misinterpret what Young Malone is muttering.
Right on cue, the sanctified Hip Hop nation sank their claws into Post Malone, even though the clip is some odd years old, condemning him for doing what he’s probably been doing for God-knows-how-long: appropriating Black culture to the point of recognized actuality. What that means is that he’s likely been “acting Black” for so long that he’s on a Rachel Dolezal level of self-awareness. Augmented reality in a sense. He said “nigga” because in his world, he is a nigga. Just look at his presentation. He perceives the Hip Hop culture as what he projects, and before we blame anyone for his seemingly intrepid identity crisis, realize that we aren’t the first group of African-Americans to witness his routine, if I may call it that. He’s passed hundreds, if not thousands of brothers and sisters over the years who assumedly had numerous opportunities to pull his coattails about his Blackface lifestyle. Nope. Didn’t happen. And by my calculations, it won’t happen. I doubt he’ll ever say I the n-word again publicly, but it won’t be because he’s been socially rehabilitated, it’ll be to avoid all this hassle. (But hey, all publicity is good publicity, so there’s that.)
I don’t see what the problem was to begin with. Obviously he was accepted by Hip Hop with open arms, like many Black-washed rappers before him, so why cry over spilled milk? No pun intended. These are the children of the Hip Hop Internet. Our babies.
I’m more concerned with the rap community’s lack of public support for the Black Lives Matter movement than I am about this kid calling some kittens nigga. I’m more disturbed by the number of BLM-inspired anthems and protest songs than I am about Post Malone emulating Jay Z or Schoolboy Q. For the Hip Hop nation to light up with scathing backlash toward Malone but continue to remain relatively quiet on what is arguably the second coming of the fight for civil rights is nothing short of mind-blowing. And for what it’s worth, I don’t expect rappers (or any other artists) to become activists or politicians for convenience, but as the issue of police brutality evolves into an issue of human rights, people who are blessed with a platform should at least grant others the access to it if they don’t want to use it themselves. It isn’t necessary for one to make waves to make a statement. All you have to do is make a move.
Hip Hop has always had its own freedom fighters, and aside from the astute X-Clan/Public Enemy/Poor Righteous Teachers/Paris days of rebel rap music, the rapper has always been more of a social standout than a purported political spokesperson. Ask any rapper that gets paid for his skill and he’ll quickly tell you that there’s no money in fighting the power, however there are still pockets of artists sprinkled throughout the rap game who decide to hunt for truth and justice.
Overall, it seems the message has gotten to burdensome for the messenger to bear, so it goes uncarried. Meanwhile we’re calling Post Malone a racist, which he clearly isn’t, and his braids are proof of that.
And shout out to Macklemore for helping the old school eat while those that truly benefit from their door-opening have no idea who they even are.