"I Declare War" was not an exceptionally violent rap song. It was a very typical violent rap song, with profanity and N-words, boasting about shooting and killing.
This was how NPR defined the concept behind the album, "the creation myth of a black superhero set in 1960s Italy." Ghostface "leaves to start a black syndicate, falls in love with a boss's daughter and makes a ton of money importing cocaine. For these crimes, the criminal organization he came up in murders him and dumps his body in a vat of acetate. His former friends press 12 records from his remains, but when those records play, his vengeful spirit arises. Though he was rebuffed and disrespected in life, in legend the Ghostface Killah becomes immortal."
It should be seen as "totally ignorant institutionalized racism" for record executives to make millions of dollars selling an assembly line of poisonous music that glamorizes a violent criminal lifestyle. After many decades in which tens of thousands of young black men were gunned down by other young black men, how can it be said that country music is the genre that's terribly insensitive to what's happening on this war front? This rolling slaughter is now the "rough edges of our history," and the popular culture glorifies it, romanticizes it and commodifies it.
Brad Paisley-shredding NPR is streaming this whole album on its website, applauding how it features "jangly, tumbleweed guitar that warms the cold-hearted comic book-style violence," and hailing one song for how our alleged hero Ghostface Killah "bobs and weaves with the track, but he maintains a forthright and basically conversational sentence structure, which, when he's describing the ways he might murder your children, really twists the knife."
NPR's reviewer is probably referring to the song "Murder Spree," which is a grotesque listing of vicious murder styles -- from dismemberment to pushing brains out the back of a human head. Spin magazine praises its "mix of brute violence and graceful eloquence."
This country is sick and getting sicker. Don't blame Brad Paisley and LL Cool J.
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