I get down for my grandfather who took my mama
Made her sit in that seat where white folks ain’t want us to eat
At the tender age of 6 she was arrested for the sit-ins
And with that in my blood I was born to be different
Now niggas can’t make it to the ballots to choose leadership
But we can make it to Jacob’s and to the dealership
Swear I hear new music and I just don’t be feelin’ it
Racism’s still alive, they just be concealin’ it
From “Never Let Me Down” of “The College Dropout” 2004
My momma was raised in the era when
Clean water was only served to the fairer skin
Doin’ clothes you would have thought I had help
But they wasn’t satisfied unless I picked the cotton myself
You see it’s broke nigga racism
That’s that “Don’t touch anything in the store”
And it’s rich nigga racism
That’s that “Come in, please buy more”
"What you want, a Bentley? Fur coat? A diamond chain?
All you blacks want all the same things”
From “New Slaves” off “Yeezus” 2013
This is a very random rant.
Some people have ‘decried’ the absence of J Cole’s “Born Sinner” from the Grammy nomination list as well as wondered at the inclusion of Kanye West’s “Yeezus”. These people are illiterates and should not be allowed near an internet connection except for the purpose of receiving an education. It is not just that Born Sinner, while accessible, is thoroughly mediocre; it’s also that it says nothing new.
Born Sinner does not advance the cause of rap as a genre. It does not teach us anything new. It has no lyrical content for us to ponder on. It’s just there - another decent rap album.
Enter Yeezus. After Kanye West introduced the world to ‘designer rap’ with “Watch the Throne”, he retreated to Paris to recreate how we experienced the genre. No one can claim that Yeezus is accessible; instead, it feels like watching the runway from a John Galliano show. You see exaggerated lines and stark contrasts and you immediately know two things:
This isn’t the first time Kanye has done this. When he released 808s & Heartbreaks, people complained too. Weird. Inaccessible. Not classic rap.
Today, we listen to Kid Cudi, Drake & Lil’ Wayne singing and very few realise how much they owe to 808. My suspicion is that Yeezus will start off a few trends that will trickle down to mainstream rap in a few years, and who knows, maybe to a J Cole album in 2017.
There’s really not enough space to tweet all of this so I just thought that a post would make a little more sense. Besides, it won’t be lost in the tweet stream 20 minutes from now.
Earlier today, I tweeted this:
How can ASUU be destroyed please?— ST (@seyitaylor) August 3, 2013
Mostly tongue-in-cheek but my big quarrel with ASUU is that I think it’s an organisation stuck in the past. I may be wrong, but here are the things I think a lot of people don’t realise about [tertiary] education… Henry Okelue included.
We don’t know the terms Jason offered for his $25,000 and I won’t speculate. What I do know is that for some reason (arrogance, optimism, stupidity, fear, all of the above), Cele & the team were convinced that not taking $25,000 from Jason was a good idea. Before we rush out and say, “you SHOULD have taken that money because you could have died!”, remember that life is littered with people who were about to take one deal when a better one was around the corner.