Rapper Soulja Boy shamefully apologised for lyrics in one of his songs which criticised American soldiers and the FBI after music outlets run by the military threatened not to stock his new album.
Twenty-one year-old Soulja Boy, whose real name is DeAndre Cortez Way, was listed 18th in Forbes list of the 2010 Hip-Hop Cash Kings, earning $7 million.
His song “Let’s Be Real“, caused outrage in the American military community because it contained the lyrics, “Fuck the FBI and fuck all the Army troops/Fighting for what?/Bitch be your own man.”
According to a Reuters article titled, “Soulja Boy apologizes for slamming U.S. Army” (Alex Dobuzinskis: 7 September, 2011), Soulja Boy apologised for the offence his lyrics caused in a blog post on GlobalGrind.com, a website founded by hip hop mogul Russell Simmons. He said, “When I expressed my frustration with the U.S. Army, not only did my words come out wrong, I was wrong to even speak them.”
It seems that Soulja Boy’s regret came not from a change of heart but commercial pressures as music stores run by the military refused to stock his new album because of the song.
His shameful apology is a warning to all music artists who dare to speak out against Western military terrorism overseas.
Musicians against war
In February 2003, Hip-Hop mogul Russell Simmons, joined the Musicians United to Win Without War coalition. Musicians such as Jay-Z, Outkast, Zap Mama, Busta Rhymes, Sheryl Crow, Massive Attack and R.E.M, released adverts opposing the war in Iraq.
It should be noted however that while Simmons and other musicians were against the war they did not condemn American foreign policy outright.
Simmons said, “Iraq’s been contained for 12 years. Hundreds of thousands don’t have to die. Stand up, demonstrate, and have your voice heard.”
Observe Simmons’ wording “Iraq’s been contained for 12 years.” This is in line with American foreign policy and in one of his anti war adverts he says that tougher United Nations inspections can disarm Iraq. Simmons and other musicians may mean well but they continue to indirectly support American foreign policy overseas by assuming naively or with deliberate intent, that American governments are a force for good in the world.
Rappers keeping it real
There are musicians and rappers who refuse to bend and apologise. Rappers like Paris, real name Oscar Jackson, Jr, from San Francisco, California, whose political rap is inspired by the Black Panthers.
Paris’s 2003 album, Sonic Jihad, contained the anti war song, “What Would You Do?“, where he says “Ain’t no terror threat unless approval ratings slumpin’ So I’ma say it for the record we the ones that planned it Ain’t no other country took a part or had they hand in It’s all a way to keep ya scared so you think you need’em Praisin’ Bush while that killer take away ya freedom How many of us got discovered but ignore the symptoms?”
Paris was bold enough to say it as it is, that the September 11 attacks was an inside job planned by the Bush government.
Other musicians such as Hip-Hop duo Dead Prez, who focus on Pan Africanism and opposes the corporate control over the media, Kam, a West Coast underground rapper whose lyrics is inspired by the Nation of Islam, and the legendary Public Enemy, whose “Fight the Power” song inspired popular culture, expresses the real roots of rap; which is anti establishment and politically rebellious.
A Tribute to Real Rebellious Rap
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