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Requiem for a Racist Rapper

Hip-hop artist Scarface’s anti-Semitic tirade may actually signal the beginning of a new, better cultural era

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Rapper Scarface performs onstage at the 2009 VH1 Hip Hop Honors at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on September 23, 2009. (Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)
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Early this week, Scarface—former member of the Geto Boys, first-rate MC, hip-hop legend—sat down for a chat with the music-themed website Kollege Kidd. He wasted little time getting to his point: Hip-hop, he said, was being deviously destroyed by Jews in a plot to make black Americans seem stupid.

Bigotry, like music, is about gradations and shades and is best experienced in full. Lest you think I’m being too sensitive, or channeling my inner Abe Foxman, or missing some larger point, here untouched, and with apologies for its inanity and profanity, is Scarface’s opening tirade:

I feel like we losing [hip hop]. I feel like the people that are in control of what hip hop does is so fucking white and so fucking Jewish until they don’t give a fuck about what the culture and the craft and what it really is about. I don’t know if the motherfucker is trying to really… Let me say this shit right, because I want it to be as offensive as I can fucking make it. These ol’ ass punks that’s running these record labels, in the powerful positions to dictate what the black community hears and listens to, you know what I mean? I fucking hate that shit. Like that shit pisses me off. Like there’s no fucking way that you can tell me it’s not a conspiracy against the blacks and hip-hop, because you put up fucking records that make us look stupid, make us look dumb, you brainwash a generation of hip-hoppers with this fucking crud.

What to make of such drivel? The high-minded approach counsels countering hate speech with dispassionate truth. Which would be: Hip-hop is obviously not lost. Among today’s practitioners are Kanye West (rapper, producer, founder of G.O.O.D. Music, home of talents like Kid Cudi and Big Sean), Rick Ross (boss, Maybach Music Group), Tyler the Creator (mastermind behind Odd Future Records and cultivator of the luminous Frank Ocean), Jay-Z (greatest rapper alive, former acclaimed president of a major label, future potential president of the United States), and Lil’ Wayne (whose Young Money Entertainment is home to Nicki Minaj, Mack Maine, and Drake). Ignoring the immense influence of these stellar artists on shaping the contemporary hip-hop scene is an affront not only to reality but also to their remarkable achievements, which Scarface—a good artist who lacks any business sense—is all too ready to erase in service of his rank theories of victimization and abuse.

You could also, of course, argue that his comments were just so much bravado, the sort of mindless machismo that’s very much in style in hip-hop. Just this week, for example, Lil’ Wayne apologized after the lyrics of one of his songs compared the rapper’s vigorous love-making abilities to the beating that killed Emmett Till, a 14-year-old boy murdered by racists in Mississippi in 1955 after daring to talk to a white woman.

But such level-headedness is largely beside the point. Intolerance flourishes irrespective of objective facts, feeding on wild ideas and unchecked fears and malice. And it’s a string of bigotry that has long existed in the music. In 2004, for example, Mos Def rapped that “some tall Israeli is running this rap shit.” It was a reference to the Israeli-born music executive Lyor Cohen, whom Def singled out—together with white men in general, corporate greed, and drugs—as one of the core reasons for the decline of hip-hop. But Def’s statement was still somehow tolerable—because it was part of an analysis of the use of blacksploitation-style imagery to appeal to white audiences, which the rapper disdains. On the other hand, Scarface’s comments were just pure anti-Semitic garbage. Which leaves us, some of whom count ourselves among his fans, grasping for a way to make sense of it.

In fact, for us at least, the news is good: Nasty outbursts such as the one delivered by Scarface this week are very frequently a sign that a community, an industry, an art form, are moving into a more mature stage. Evidence of this theory was on hand this week in another tale touching on black-Jewish relations. Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Andrew Grossman profiled Leonard Jeffries and his nephews, a story of one generation’s bigotry giving way to another’s inclusive approach. Jeffries, you may remember, is the former City University of New York professor who claimed that Jews were instrumental in financing the slave trade and later used their control of Hollywood to tarnish the image of African-Americans.

His nephews (one biological, the other merely a young associate bearing the same last name), however, have rejected the incendiary politics of racial divisiveness for a more progressive approach: Hakeem Jeffries is now a promising congressman representing Brooklyn, and Shavar Jeffries is a law professor aspiring to succeed Cory Booker as the mayor of Newark. Reading the story, it’s hard not to see the uncle’s hateful claims as the death spasms of a particularly noxious ideology. Jeffries made his comments in the early 1990s, winning him no fans except a handful of like-minded zealots; a mere decade later, Barack Obama offered a radically different vision of race in America and rode it all the way to the highest office in the land. And it’s the same vision that Hakeem and Shavar Jeffries now offer, a vision, with any luck, that will permanently replace the old approach of those who value conspiracy and conflict above all else.

The same is true for hip-hop, which is in the midst of rapid growth, rising in stature not only economically but culturally as well. For at least two decades now, it’s being discovered by more and more fans of all ethnicities and socio-economic levels, exported abroad, and adapted by different cultures. As it takes its place at the fore of the American musical landscape, it’s only logical that some will make one last attempt at discord. I’ll never be able to listen to Scarface the same way again, which is a shame, but I’ve plenty of other artists with better ideas to choose from. To riff on the tagline of Rick Ross’ latest mixtape—titled The Black Bar Mitzvah and featuring a cover showing the Teflon Don donning a huge Star of David—the best kind of music, like the best kind of politics, like the best kind of party, is one where everyone’s invited.

***

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julis123 says:

Gotcha–Jews were in the forefront of supporting civil rights including some who paid with their lives. In return we get baldfaced anti-antisemitism from this rapper and a wide range of black leaders, and this is a good thing?

DJKuulA says:

Scarface is doing more to make black people seem stupid than Jews ever could.

Sometimes we Jews try to be so understanding we end up issuing insane apologetics like this one. Anti-Semitism is rampant in the American Black community and is taking on frightening proportions in Western and Eastern Europe. If the Hip Hop is stupid, it’s because people with no talent are creating it.

Cool_Romeo says:

This is a parody, right? There isn’t a real Liel Leibovitz. That’s just a Jewish-sounding name that someone picked in creating this parodic character of an overapologetic Jewish liberal.

Kind of like the classic Onion headline: “ACLU defends right of KKK to burn down ACLU headquarters.”

Jews were not in the ‘forefront’ of the Civil Rights movement. Jews just publicized themselves as much as they could – as usual.

Jews are at the forefront of Jewish nationalism, colonialism and anti-civil rights in Israel/Palestine though (just like the South African Jewish community was not supportive of anti-Apartheid or BDS then).

Mask and Wigger says:

Scarface should be on his knees thanking the jewish establishment for the opportunity to escape from the hell hole he came from.

Boy oh boy!…Reading some of the comments about “how blacks should be grateful…”, and that anti-antisemitism is ranpant amongst blacks…” – wow, just wow, and speaking of baldfaced lies!!!! And not at all helping increase positive dialogue between two groups of people. The fact that some of you cling to the words of some of the most ignorant and unenlightened people in existence and then go around lying about “the blacks are more antisemitic” than say, Mel Gibson and myriad of other Caucasian celebrities is quite disheartening and quite ignorant of you. If I had a dollar for every white person who made a virulent antisemitic remark to me (and I dollar for every time I cursed them or threw them out of my home), I’d be retired and financially comfortable thirty years before my expectations. Like some of you. they presumed that I hated Jews as much as they did because there are Jews that keep running around telling non-Jewish whites and anyone else who’ll listen that I hate Jews because the worst jerks that I happen to share “skin-ship” with by accident of biology

It matters not that there were Jews that participated in the Civil Rights movement, or that my grandmother stood up to a bunch of white racists in our town when (they attempted to force my Jewish schoolmate to celebrate Christmas) – it is all history, and old history. Generations have passed for both of “our people”, and those new generations are just not interested in that “Struggle”.

And BTW, Black-Americans are less antisemitic in practice: baptist churches named “Good Ship of Zion”, black grandmothers taking from their savings to see the Holy Land, those same black grandmothers who were named “Queen Esther” by their parents.

Oh, and I’ve yet to hear of one black person accused or prosecuted for defiling a Jewish cematary or blowing up a synagogue. Maybe you need to re-define what real antisemitism is, and maybe both groups need to stop clinging to past inter-group hurts of a few a**hats; protest and outrage would be better spent on calling out both the black and Jewish few that make a tone of filth of of this crap defined as “music” or “social commentary”.

Oh, and until you’ve truly listened to what black rappers say about black women, who are their mothers, daughters, nieces, ancestors – then you AIN’T got a clue about hate speech. Compare the Misogyny towards black women against the Antisemitic against Jews coming from the Hip-Hop community: your people get off easy, the women in their own “tribe”, sadly, do not.

“protest and outrage would be better spent on calling out both the black
and Jewish few that make a tone of filth of of this crap defined as
“music” or “social commentary”.”

I meant “ton of money”.

his statements are exact. the majority of the big money people in the industry are Jewish or White, if theres a difference. the majority of the music in the industry is garbage, lacking substance. rappers dont decide what records get played, execs do. consumers dont decide what rapper gets a deal, execs do. def jam gave two chains a deal, why, because he was willing to bring light and fun to drug use, ‘pop a molly’?, and whats being played is a complete mind fuk, that is influencing the world to appreciate all things evil. why is no one willing to accept accountability? it may not be, you all as individuals, but be honest with yourselves, just be honest.

Mars says:

Actually, I don’t see much that’s anti-Semitic about Scarface’s original comment. He’s simply commenting on old white AND Jewish men and their economic incentives as the driving force behind the degradation of hip-hop. Is this not true?

Mars says:

Perhaps if Jews saw their (non-Jewish) neighbors as fellow human beings and treated them as such on a daily basis (vs. an occasional financial gift to improve their image), rather than as host populations to exploit, there would be less antisemitism in the world?

BCohen says:

Post an article about anti-Semitism and the rats came out from the corners. The first president of the NAACP was a Jew. We stood and marched with Dr. King. We helped poor Blacks get the vote in Mississippi and hung for it. Thank you for desecrating the memory of Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner who were lynched for Black freedom.

Larry Kerman says:

Absurdly apologistic

ajweberman says:

Let the rappers blow each other to bits. It’s and combination of social Darwinism and birth control

BCohen says:

No. The more anti-Semitism that exists does not work in our favor. Who could even think so? The world cried for the 6 million until Arafat started spewing his filthy propaganda. Oh, not at first, but tell a lie enough, and people start to believe it. No longer do they hate Jews, but Zionists. It’s not anti-Semitism, but “anti-Zionism”. As if the two had no relation to each other. Ask them what Zionism is, in fact, they can’t even tell you. Same with that other buzzword “apartheid” or “Jewish nationalism” or “Jewish colonialism”. It’s all Jew hatred and it’s getting WORSE not better (see comments on this thread for proof).

I should find good in this crap from this guy where precisely? From the shit or the fuck or the nonsense that spews forth…apparently when he makes more money he will be happier…

BCohen says:

I don’t think most Jews feel this way, that Blacks should be grateful. I think this article is stirring up emotions, obviously. More often than not, our communities work together, not against each other and that’s been my experience the majority of my 50 plus years.

I think it does matter that Jews fought alongside Blacks in the 60s since the majority of whites were living under some Ozzie and Harriet fantasy where Black people didn’t exist, much less their problems. Your grandmother sounds like a righteous woman. Gd bless her!

We believe that it is a sin to forget racist treatment against us. You’ve heard of “Never forget”. I take that further and say it is a sin to forget OR FORGIVE racism in any form and to call it when you see it. You have to, even if it’s from your own people, and we have those self-haters. too.

Peace to you and yours.

Thanks BC.

As Tahid says below, all of this emotional ranting needs to desist, and we ALL need to hold accountable the folks that put this crap in the market place to begin with. 80% of all Hip-Hop, racist and non-racist, is bought by white kids/young people, and yes, that includes Jewish kids. Yep, a lot of the record execs are of Jewish ancestory – which means they’re incredibly ignorant of their own history and the state of the current world, or like the black rappers they produce and distribute, don’t give a rats’ ass and covet the money, power, and attention. Well, at least some of our people are getting along splendidly and working for a common goal! (snark…)

Until we all get on one page and attack this crap for what it is, AND are willing to grow a set and attack our “own kind” for their creation and participation in this “black art (no pun intended)”, then will just go on and on. I will say to the voices above and below that make this a full-on tribal war – “Blacks v. Jews” – um, you’re not helping; and you’re actually contributing to the marketing and sales of this crap. Speak against the music, the “artists”, the producers (they’re easy to find and identify by their names) and NOT against a whole race of people. First of all, we outnumber you – 40 mill to 4 mill, and no matter the numbers, it’s a battle that neither side can win.

As my grandmother would say, “clean YOUR house before you come clean MINE”. My daughter is NOT allowed to listen or purchase this crap-they’re are plenty of black rappers who speak very positively about life on this planet and the economic and social struggle of their “people”. Point the finger at those in “your homes” that listen to this crap, that produce this crap, and yes, some are “artists” themselves and “sing” this crap.

It starts with you. And it starts with me. Quit passing the buck back and forth across the table.

surfer_dad says:

I’m sorry but the entire premise of this tirade by Scarface is faulty. The biggest hip hop labels in 2012 were run by African-Americans (+ Eminem).
http://gwopmagazine.com/2011/11/29/top-hip-hop-record-labels-2012/

YMCMB – lil wayne
Maybach Music Group – Rick Ross
Shady 2.0 – Eminem (btw, why the hell isn’t it racist to hold up an entire musical genre as the sole property of a skin color??)
G.O.O.D. Music – Kanye West

The distributors are the majors (like Def Jam – cofounded by African-American Russell Simmons), but what music is produced and given out for distribution is almost entirely in the hands of African-Americans and/or established hip hop artists.
So this entire argument, this entire tirade and this entire discussion is built on faulty, unfactual information.

csw18 says:

You’re wrong. In 1914, Professor Emeritus Joel Spingarn of Columbia University be­came chairman of the NAACP and recruited for its board such Jewish leaders as Jacob Schiff, Jacob Billikopf, and Rabbi Stephen Wise. Jews also were the earliest supporters of the Urban League, founded in New York in 1911 to help newly arrived black migrants from the rural South. Jewish defense organizations filed legal briefs in civil rights cases dealing with housing, employment, education, and public accommodation. Many local and state desegregation regula­tions actually were drafted in the offices of the Jewish agencies. One black leader in Mississippi es­timated that, in the 1960s, the critical decade of the voting-registration drives, “as many as 90 percent of the civil rights lawyers in Missis­sippi were Jewish.” Large numbers of them were recent graduates of Ivy League law schools. They worked around the clock analyzing wel­fare standards, the bail system, arrest procedures, justice-of-the-peace rulings. Racing from one Southern town to another, they obtained parade permits and issued complaints on jail beatings and intimida­tion. Jews similarly made up at least 30 percent of the white volunteers who rode freedom buses to the South, registered blacks, and picketed segregated establishments. Among them were several dozen Reform rabbis who marched among the demonstrators in Selma and Birming­ham. A number were arrested. Others were taken into custody for attempting to desegregate a swimming pool in St. Augustine, Florida. One of the demonstrating rabbis, Arthur Lelyveld, was severely beaten in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. A young physician, Edward Sachar, vol­unteering his medical services to the freedom marchers, nearly lost his life as his automobile was forced off a Mississippi back road by local rednecks. Two young New Yorkers, Michael Schwerner and An­drew Goodman, served in 1964 as voting-registration volunteers in Meridian, Mississippi. One of their coworkers was a young black Mississippian, James Cheney. Together they were waylaid and mur­dered by Klansmen, their bodies dumped in a secret grave.
So please never again say that Jews were not at the forefront of American civil rights. After all, next to blacks, Jews have been the most persecuted Americans.

surfer_dad says:

No.

YMCMB – lil wayne
Maybach Music Group – Rick Ross
Shady 2.0 – Eminem
G.O.O.D. Music – Kanye West

csw18 says:

“Jewish ancestry?” That’s the kind of reference that Goebbels used. Judaism is a religion. People join and leave religions at will. Many contemporary Jews have no Jewish ancestor. But once you can codify and contain a group, you can persecute them. Jews are not responsible for collusion against black rappers. For decades, black rappers have become millionaires. Why aren’t they stepping and creating or purchasing their own record labels? Statements suggesting that Jews control this industry or that industry are indefensible. There just aren’t enough Jews in the world to accomplish that, even if they were all wealthy and so motivated. Blacks should see Jews for what they are – a small, liberal and benign religious group that has a history of helping African Americans politically, socially and economically.

Adam L says:

The author’s argument seems to me opaque and pretty faulty, but I gather that it basically boils down to this: the old guard of outsider rapper’s are still trying to stir the pot and keep the increasingly popular hip hop outside of the mainstream. Anti-semitism, without a doubt a prevalent undertone throughout the history of rap, is dying in the face of mainstream acceptance.

Not sure where exactly the author has found proof of this theory, but allow me to offer at least one piece of evidence to the contrary. Freddie Gibbs may still be an underground success at best, but he’s a man with an audience and, for better of for worse, a powerful talent as a rapper. Let’s have a look at comments he made in July 2010:

Complex: Once you left Ball State and started focusing on
rapping, you were signed to Interscope in 2005 by the same A&R, Joe
“3H” Weinberger, who almost signed Kanye West to Capitol Records. Why
did that end up not working out?

Freddie Gibbs: He was a “d*ckriding-type” dude, so he wasn’t into the
project. He basically f*cked me over and played with my life pretty
much. He left Interscope and said he was gonna take me with him to
Warner and it didn’t happen. I didn’t get no big advance. I got like 30
Gs. I was just in a bad situation, so after that little money ran out I
had to go back to Gary. He saw the trends of rap starting to shift away
from the gangsta sh*t. He saw more of these f*ckboys coming into the
game. These “Charles Hamilton-type” n*ggas making that
“bubblegum-b*llshit” rap. He saw that and wanted to latch onto that,
instead of latching on to what was real. He saw a dollar-sign
opportunity. I ain’t no racist motherf*cker, but it was the Jew in him.

http://www.complex.com/music/2010/07/freddie-gibbs-talks-major-label-saga-str8-killa-rapping-djs-rick-ross

So yeah, alive and well.

I am less upset by this loser rapper’s uneducated talk then by the money wasted by org’s like the ADL who’s mission is to fight anti semitism yet spend most of their time doing everything but that…

meirmoses says:

Care to give any examples of such daily horrible racism by Jews? Or are your sweeping lies just a provocation?

So now I’m Goebbels? Jeez! Thanks for comparing my words to a being a Nazi – that really helps the dialogue, dude. But but that logic, why should blacks then be more upset or call out “their own kind” for singing/rapping ill of the Jews? Hip-Hoppers have also ragged on Catholics, Whites in general, black women, Italians – why should we hold Jews sold dear, by your denouncement. Maybe most black rappers see it the way you do – Jews are just white people, which makes them more oppressors of black people; therefore there is can be no “special relationship/friendship” between Jews and Blacks anymore than there can be a “special relationship” between Blacks and Mormons, Blacks and White Catholics, Presbyterians, Evangelicals, etc. Yes, 30% of the whites who participated in the Civil Rights movement were of the Jewish faith (is that OK to say?), BUT 70% were not of the Jewish faith; and 100% of the ALL Black-Americans participated in the struggle (and many gave their lives and the lives of their children as well). I’d like to think that ANYONE that stood along side my people to fight the good fight did so because they believe that at the time it was the right and moral thing to do (as my grandmother did when standing up to white supremacists for my Jewish classmate and her family), and NOT because they’d have something to hold over my people’s heads and wash our faces with for an eternity. This article is about a few a**hats who need to grow up – not about how the average black person feels about followers of Judaism – and making all responsible for the ignorance and greed of a few is a very dangerous road to walk; it only serves create further isolation.

Oh, and BTW, all this rage against Scarface is pointless – he’s a Has-Been (and candidly, Scarface was never that big). He’s got about as much influence with “his (and my) people” as David Duke has.

Still. Never heard of this a**hat. Where does he rank amongst Jay-Z, Kanye West, Frank Ocean, Lupe Fiasco, Chance the Rapper, Chief Keef, etc.?

“So yeah, alive and well.”

Your excerpt does not reflect a man who has had much life experience and education; not someone that I would expect much of anything from, just based on how he expresses himself. He’s a jackass, but he is a jackass unto himself, and not an entire music genre, nor a race of people number 40 million. He speaks for himself, and speaks to very few.

And I’m gonna go out on a limb here csw18, and proclaim that I’ll bet I know a lot more black people than you do, and very very few could I classify as antisemitic.
“Blacks should see Jews for what they are – a small, liberal and benign religious group that has a history of helping African Americans politically, socially and economically.”

And those of us of a certain age most likely see and remember it this way. But for both groups, those that know of the past relationship are aging and dying out, and how those that replace us come to view who is friend or foe in their challenges will be, and is theirs to accept or reject. That is how history works for all humans, including those that are Black and American. Alliances are formed based on mutual admiration and mutual goals.

Candidly csw18, I think it would have been more appropriate (and way less offensive to me) had you said “Scarface should see Jews…” instead of “Blacks should see Jews…” – 40 million of my people in this country and you see ALL of us as dismissive of Jews? Racism, like antisemitism, starts with judging a whole group on the actions of one, or a few. Keep in mind, the article is about the antisemitism in Scarface, not the antisemitism in singled-out race of people.

David says:

Liel,

Rick Ross has a better idea to choose from for Jews? The
man who glorified date rape in his song? The same man who was dropped
by his sponser, Reebock, for the song? How are jews better off
identifying with this guy?

“Put molly all in her champagne/ She ain’t even know it/ I took her home and I enjoyed that/ She ain’t even know it,” raps Ross.

Just because this guy flashes a Star of David and names his album the Black Bar Mitzvah doesn’t mean he has better ideas for us.

Demo says:

‘Lish’ sorry to say this but you are an ignoramus and an idiot too. Not to mention a racist. Historically, Jewish intellectuals have been at the forefront of struggles for social justice and progressive thinking, from the 19th century onwards continuing into the 20th century.. The Jewish contribution to progressive causes and ideas has been disproportionate in terms of the actual size of Jewish communities in these countries. in Europe, North America, Latin America and Africa (Republic of South Africa). Think of the role and impact of Jewish activists and leaders in the labor movement, left politics (Social Democratic, Communist and to a lesser extent Anarchism) and in the civil rights movement in the USA. I won’t go into details but will just mention the RSA because you brought it up.

In South Africa, Jewish activists comprised the core of the leadership of the SACP (South African Communist Party)and the SACP played a key role in defining the contours of the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa in addition to playing a central role in the Umkhonto We Siwe (the armed wing of the ANC-SACP). On the eve of the demise of the apartheid state, the SACP was led by Joe Slovo (descendant of Lithuanian Jews) and he was critical in providing direction and strategy to the transition from apartheid, And before you jump to any conclusions, I am not Jewish by nationality. Next time keep your stupidity and racism to your self.

That’s a generalisation not based on either reality, truth or reason and only demonstrates that you don’t know what you’re talking about. On the same level of polemic as all too many hip-hoppers and rappers from what I’ve so far seen.

I understand provocation to be a significantly important ingredient in hip-hop/rap. So misogeny, race and sexual innuendo are all rife throughout the genre. Prove me wrong.

Scarface will love all this attention and free publicity, no doubt. I wouldn’t get too worked up if anything that goes into a rap number is insulting, confrontational or just plain untrue. It’s in the nature of the beast. Youth culture and “street cred” was never about responsible social commentary. I’m not a USA resident so I can only go on what I read. And history is telling me that in America, not so very, very long ago, there was a most respectable organisation called “The Klan” who reckoned, according to a text I read, that “a Jew or a Nigger was as good as each other, dead!”. No doubt those “good ol’ boys” were just as educated and well informed as those who write the more misogynistic and sexist rap stuff today. Full of ho’s and batty boys etc. Hate breeds hate unfortunately. Which is why I can’t tolerate rap myself.

SomeBraveApollo says:

Do you ever consider WHY that was the case?

SomeBraveApollo says:

“We’ve been good to you people!” “Why don’t you pull yourselves by your bootstraps?!”

This doesn’t help.

SomeBraveApollo says:

You maybe young and not Southern. The Geto Boyz were huge, as was Scarface when he went solo. Mind Playin Tricks on Me is one of the best cuts ever.

Liel’s posting himself as an “authority” on hip hop as an example of the controversy is.

SomeBraveApollo says:

Like you, there are others misused Darwinism.

ajweberman says:

I understand the connection between Nazism and Social Darwinism but this crew are doing it to themselves. BTY are you a Blood or Crypt?

I’m not “young”, and I am “Southern”, SBA. Yep, I remember Geto Boys and I’ve heard mention of Scarface – years ago. What are talking here on a timeline when these fellas were a “hit” – 20 or so years ago? In the 21st century (and on today’s playlist) Scarface is about as notable/influencial/popular as Senor Winces or Topo Gigio – in other words a has-been who’s tapped into the right audience of suckers to take in his canned antisemitic bait. If you look at pop cultural sites geared towards Black-Americans – Bossip.com., Media TakeOut, Madame Noire, Viibe – you’re not gonna find posts and ruminations about Scarface or Geto Boys, exception being under the Bossip’s tage “When the Checks Stop Coming In”, a memorial page to has-been, broke-ass rappers who’ve gone bankrupt, had possessions repossessed, or just got old, fat, and forgotten about by “their people”. I’m assuming that the reason why the NAACP has denounced Scarface’s recent antics is that they probably think he’s dead (and technically he IS dead, because he hasn’t had a “hit” record since Hector was a pup!

And so what does Scarface do in 2013? Takes his load of crap directly to the suckers that he knows will take the bait. Uh, you all know who you are – PUNKED!

Problem I have is what I’ve seen posted by “liberal-minded people” – “you blacks”, “the blacks”, “after all we’ve done for (you) people”, “they’re all..”, and may fave, “(he’s) making all the blacks look stupid”.

And with comments like this responding to Mr. Scarface, what make’s this different than my stumbling into a Klan meeting? Or the comments against my entire race in reaction to what one dumb fat tired old bastard – what makes you better/different than “the other white folks” when it comes down to racism against black folk?

” I’m assuming that the reason why the NAACP has denounced Scarface’s recent antics is that they probably think he’s dead”

I meant “has NOT denounced”.

Bei Gezunt says:

Sounds to me like he is doing a pretty good job of looking ‘stupid’ and ‘dumb’ without any second party assistance.

Keep an eye out says:

“After all, next to blacks, Jews have been the most persecuted Americans.”

In America? Really??

Nice going there leaving the native Americans out entirely. Never forget, etc. Yeah right.

Guest says:

and Muslims

danny4572 says:

you have a very ignorant view on rap music…

Mustafa Ahmad says:

I thought it was the dopest video of all times I loved it LOL

I’m glad that energy is out there. If it’s a problem and you feel aggy do your part, stop allowing and supporting the one visual of black culture to exist. Stop pushing the lowest common denominator and then getting mad when someone calls it out. I’m glad Scarface turned the mirror on the Jews in this culture. If you love hip hop and you are in the position of influence and this offends you maybe you should change how you operate and stop killing the culture you love.

I enjoyed the article, but am a bit surprised at the optimism. Outbursts like that of Scarface, if you check the comments on the Youtube video of the interview, enjoy a lot of support down the line. The detractors are a minority. The ones who not only blame the state of Hip Hop on something other than a concerted conspiracy from above, but who denounce Scarface’s claims as anti-Semitic are very few indeed.

I hope you’re right about these outbursts being the final spasms of pseudo-historical thinking, but I fail to see how your example of the Jeffries is any indication of a larger trend where anti-Semitic conspiracy paranoia are always given voice just before they fade into irrelevance.

Actually, no. You cannot deny that a lot of Hip Hop artists to reach mainstream attention, from one-hit wonders (“Me so horny” by 2 live crew, “baby got back” Sir Mix a Lot) to careers (NWA, Ice-T, Dr Dre, Snoop, Ice Cube, Tupac, Biggie, etc), owed part of its success to their use of sex and violence. Remember the 90s? Ice Cube got in the news for talking about burning down Korean-owned stores and for harassing homosexuals and white men who were attracted to black women. If a white rock artists were singing about lynching black men dating white women, about hating gays and Jews… But because this is coming from mostly Black artists, somehow you’ll find people willing to excuse it. i know, I as a young fan, tended to ignore the stupidity, which i would not have done had the artists been a white folk singer. You are being disingenuous when you claim we are being “ignorant” when we say a lot of successful Hip Hop records were helped by sexism, misogyny, homophobia, anti-Semitism, self-hatred, glorifying drug selling and crime and even jail time…

You think White Jewish record execs are taking time out after their board meetings to join Lil Wheezy in the studio to tell him to add more “bitches” to his lyrics to move more units? I remember Rakim complaining about the founder of his new label trying to convince him to change his lyrics and to talk about killing n-gg-s. Who was the White Jew trying to make Rakim go “thug-life”? ………..Dr. Dre. Look, mediocre artists will imitate artists who sell. So you get a lot of mediocre artists sounding the same, using the same formula. Record labels are not as adventurous as they were in the 70s…and now they are losing money to downloads. So they will promote whatever they think is a safe bet, whatever they think will sell. So you’ve got mediocre record labels promoting mediocre artists who imitate the few hit singles out there. And this is why Hip Hop sucks.

this ‘rant’ is barely anti-semitic. face is right. lil wayne, rick ross, nicki minaj and kanye west only represent consumerism and sexualuzation.

Daniel Cipriani says:

Very interesting and extremely insightful article. I completely agree with your point and that Scarface is riffing as one of the last pure breeds of the last age of real Hip Hop. Still, the music has matures as we’ve seen artists like Kanye West and Jay Z become global heroes who have diverted the same old formula of the past. It is interesting coming from Scraface who started out with the Geto Boys under the independent Houston based Rap-A-Lot records.

I completely agree that his rant was a classic anti-Semitic rant with the role of the greedy businessman given in the form of a Jew, or Jews. However, he has a small point in that Hip Hop today is a big market hence the big companies, who began consolidating their wealth due to de-regulation laws, can dictate to the buying masses their image of pure Hip Hop. This conveys stereotypes which is very harmful when trying to eradicate them from the public conscious. There are a few major label heads and corporate CEO’s who are Jews who are just as culpable as their Goyish counterparts. Still, his statement is very troublesome because it shows how disconnected African Americans and Jewish Americans have become over the past century.

This is very interesting to me personally as I’m writing my dissertation on Jews and Hip Hop and this is both sad but very valuable to my work.

Thank you and keep up the great work, and if you have any other leads for me I would be very appreciative.

“Nasty outbursts such as the one delivered by Scarface this week are very frequently a sign that a community, an industry, an art form, are moving into a more mature stage.”

So Nazi Germany moved into a “more mature stage” in 1933 and pre-ceding? And, no, I’m not saying the rap musician Scarface is a Nazi but I’m saying the author of this article is a complete idiot.

your’e an idiot or jew?

InternatonalVelvel says:

How did we get from Robert (and Lonnie) johnson to Duke Ellington
and Count Basie to Billie Holiday and Dinah Washington to John Coltrane and Sun Ra to Ray Charles and Marvin Gaye to the Temptations and the Miracles to the predominantly lewd, crude and barely literate violent and misogynistic mouth sounds that permeate
so much that is rap music? Anyone?

I stopped reading this article when you said Jay-Z is the greatest rapper alive. He’s never been the greatest anything at any point in his career.

I’m not sure what Scarface said that is being identified here as anti-semitic …. is saying “Jewish” anti-Semitic ?

Obviously Scarface was making an argument about ‘black culture’ versus ‘white corporatism’ in relation to hip hop music industry, and he identified ‘white’ AND ‘Jewish’ – clearly referring to corporate music executives.
He’s concerned about the dominant non-black (ie. whites, incl. Jews) business groups diluting the hip hop culture they don’t understand.
He might be wrong. Maybe he credits record executives with too much power, and underestimates the power of the hip-hop-buying fans (BLACK AND WHITE)and the artists themselves. Good hardcore hip-hop just isn’t fashionable as it once was, and many of the new rappers are less interested in the craft and history of it than they ought to be. Anyway, who knows.

Point is, nothing he said there was “hate speech”. Nothing anti-Semitic there, unless of course saying “Jewish” is hateful in itself.

JayWalker says:

Why are the Jews so concerned about getting into the hip-hop business? why? I’ll tell you why – money.

tee greed says:

It’s clear your are offended because your people were mentioned.But to expand on what you failed to focus on is that rap music is shit nowadays. Rappers are allowed to destroy women and other black men in their music, but cannot say anything negative about anyone else in music. I should correct myself and say musical artist are allowed to destroy other black people in the music but not mention any other races. Example, Michael Jackson was forced to change lyrics he wrote involving Jewish people and I do not remember his words being derogatory (correct me if I’m wrong).[here’s an article about it http://sylmortilla.com/2014/07/10/jew-me/.

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