Sunday, June 23, 2013

Anti-consumerism pioneer Macklemore sells out, edits lyrics for NBA Promo (re-post)


Macklemore rose to fame in 2012 on the strength of his frugal anthem “Thrift Shop,” a catchy hip-hop tune with an anti-consumerist bent that managed to get serious radio play. After its release in August, it topped the Billboard Hot 100 in January, and still remains there today. Those who associate hip-hop with commercialism hailed the rapper as a radical new voice in the genre—while others pointed out that plenty of rap artists have challenged consumerism before, even if they didn’t have number-one singles.

Success is rarely simple, and Macklemore’s anti-consumerist fans may want to watch his three-minute promo for the NBA’s All-Star week, featuring “Wing$,” the second single from the rapper’s debut album, The Heist. In its original form, “Wing$” is a critique of Nike and the obsessive sneaker culture that triggered $200 shoe prices. You may be confused why the NBA, a key player in the rise of the big-time sneaker industry, would choose the song to hail its product. But that’s because it’s not the same song anymore: In the promo, Macklemore drops all the lyrics that criticize Nike and consumerism.

Adapting a formerly anti-consumerist song in order to promote that endeavor is what some would call selling out. The song is still catchy (is it though?), and if that’s what matters most to you, then the spot serves its purpose. But those who loved Macklemore for his smart, socially conscious lyrics may want to revise the tune they’re singing about what the rapper supposedly represents.

(Italicized lyrics do not appear in the promo)

I was seven years old, when I got my first pair
And I stepped outside
And I was like, Momma, this air bubble right here, it’s gonna make me fly
I hit that court, and when I jumped, I jumped, I swear I got so high
I touched the net, Mom I touched the net, this is the best day of my life
Air Maxes were next
That air bubble, that mesh
The box, the smell, the stuffin, the tread, in school
I was so cool
I knew that I couldn’t crease ‘em
My friends couldn’t afford ‘em
Four stripes on their Adidas

On the court I wasn’t the best, but my kicks were like the pros
Yo, I stick out my tongue so everyone could see that logo
Nike Air Flight, but bad was so dope
And then my friend Carlos’ brother got murdered for his fours, whoa

See he just wanted a jump shot, but they wanted to start a cult though
Didn’t wanna get caught, from Genesee Park to Othello
You'd get clowned for those Pro Wings, with the velcro
Those were not tight
I was trying to fly without leaving the ground, cause I wanted to be like Mike, right
Wanted to be him
I wanted to be that guy, I wanted to touch the rim
I wanted to be cool, and I wanted to fit in
I wanted what he had, America, it begins

I want to fly
Can you take me far away
Give me a star to reach for
Tell me what it takes
And I’ll go so high
I’ll go so high
My feet won’t touch the ground
Stitch my wings
And pull the strings
I bought these dreams
That all fall down

We want what we can’t have, commodity makes us want it
So expensive, damn, I just got to flaunt it
Got to show ‘em, so exclusive, this that new shit
A hundred dollars for a pair of shoes I would never hoop in

Look at me, look at me, I’m a cool kid
I’m an individual, yea, but I’m part of a movement
My movement told me be a consumer and I consumed it
They told me to just do it, I listened to what that swoosh said
Look at what that swoosh did
See it consumed my thoughts

Are you stupid, don’t crease ‘em, just leave ‘em in that box
Strangled by these laces, laces I can barely talk
That’s my air bubble and I’m lost, if it pops
We are what we wear, we wear what we are
But see I look inside the mirror and think Phil Knight tricked us all
Will I stand for change, or stay in my box
These Nikes help me define me, and I’m trying to take mine, off


They started out, with what I wear to school
That first day, like these are what make you cool
And this pair, this would be my parachute

So much more than just a pair of shoes
Nah, this is what I am
What I wore, this is the source of my youth
This dream that they sold to you
For a hundred dollars and some change
Consumption is in the veins
And now I see it’s just another pair of shoes
Gonna make me fly

[enter upsetting the set up...]

original, non-bastardized, before selling out version...

some examples to further challenge the absurd idea that macklemore is an "anti consumerism pioneer.":

afterthoughts:  makes you think about how saul williams sold out to nike a few years ago or how mystic did to bud light before that...

Friday, June 14, 2013

A Message To Women From A Man: You Are Not “Crazy” | The Current Conscience

A Message To Women From A Man: You Are Not “Crazy” | The Current Conscience

"Because women bare the brunt of our neurosis. It is much easier for us to place our emotional burdens on the shoulders of our wives, our female friends, our girlfriends, our female employees, our female colleagues, than for us to impose them on the shoulders of men.

It’s a whole lot easier to emotionally manipulate someone who has been conditioned by our society to accept it. We continue to burden women because they don’t refuse our burdens as easily. It’s the ultimate cowardice."

i can most definitely connect with this article. i know that as a man i have been socialized to perpetuate this dynamic and i'm not afraid to admit that this oppressive paradigm shows up in every facet of society. words like hysteria (or its relative hysterectomy) and lunatic (derived from luna, the latin word for "moon" and related to menstrual cycles) are gendered so its no surprise that labeling someone "crazy" is only one of the many ways to dismiss and dehumanize women and has been throughout history. anyhow, as i was saying earlier, males are socialized in this culture in such a way that what we think, say, and do is normalized. patriarchy not only grants men unearned privileges but because our behavior, our way of thinking is seen as the standard we are often oblivious to the experience of women, just as whiteness or able-bodiedness is taken for granted by white folks or able-bodied people respectively, whereas folks of color are marginalized and cannot, do not relate to the dominant culture and are also often coincidentally labeled "crazy" and likewise, differently-abled folks most definitely know what it's like to be labeled "crazy" in a culture that perpetuates their oppression when folks misuse words like "retarded" or "lame" at a constant. lastly, as a man in recovery from patriarchy, unearned male privilege, and misogyny because afterall they are the norm, the status quo, i completely relate to this SOLID statement by gloria steinem: “The first problem for all of us, men and women, is not to learn, but to unlearn.”

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Oddisee-Set You Free | Mello Music Group

"But who reads the labels of what they eat"

Monday, June 3, 2013

What in the World Are They Spraying? (Full Length)

Dhoruba Bin Wahad Interview Re: Assata Shakur

Former Black Panther and BLA Co-founder Dhoruba Bin-Wahad Interviewed by Kalonji Jama Changa (Founder of the FTP Movement) live at a "Hands off Assata" Teach-In that took place in Atlanta, GA

Sponsored by Red Bike & Green and The FTP Movement. In the Interview, Dhoruba Bin Wahad breaks down the history of Assata, Cointelpro, Angela Davis, the Jay Z trip to Cuba, Alice Walker and a whole lot more! At the end the floor was opened up for questions by the audience....Check it out and pass it on!

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