Doubt the ecstasy? Then behold tweets such as this one, from the New York Times’s A. O. Scott, speaking of Coates:
“Must read” doesn’t even come close. This from @tanehisicoates is essential, like water or air. http://t.co/wJySUg7nMw — a. o. scott (@aoscott) July 5, 2015
Doubt the foolishness? Then read this from Slate deputy editor John Swansburg’s review of Straight Outta Compton:
The hard truths of NWA’s reportage (“police think they have the authority / to kill a minority,” Ice Cube rapped on “F**k tha Police”) and the unbridled anger that fueled the group’s work sadly feel no less pertinent in the era of Michael Brown as in that of Rodney King.
NWA mixed a brew of hedonism, nihilism, and misogyny (“life ain’t nothing but bitches and money,” in the group’s pithy summation) that could have been toxic, but it worked, in part, due to the charisma of the rappers, who breathed an infectious, anarchic spirit into the music.
Yes, he actually used the word “reportage” to describe a song that says, among other things:
Ice Cube will swarm / on ANY motherf**ker in a blue uniform / Just cause I’m from the CPT / Punk police are afraid of me! / HUH, a young nigga on the warpath / And when I’m finished, it’s gonna be a bloodbath / of cops, dyin in L.A. / Yo Dre, I got somethin to say.
As for “pithy,” how about some of the rest of “Gangsta, Gangsta,” the song Swansburg believes is so infectiously anarchic:
I could see no difference between the officer who killed [my friend] and the police who died, or the firefighters who died. They were not human to me. Black, white, or whatever, they were the menaces of nature; they were the fire, the comet, the storm, which could — with no justification — shatter my body.
Or this, written in response to Freddie Gray’s death in Baltimore — words that mock calls for nonviolence as a “con” or a “ruse,” excusing riots as a matter of necessary disrespect:
When nonviolence is preached as an attempt to evade the repercussions of political brutality, it betrays itself. When nonviolence begins halfway through the war with the aggressor calling time out, it exposes itself as a ruse. When nonviolence is preached by the representatives of the state, while the state doles out heaps of violence to its citizens, it reveals itself to be a con. And none of this can mean that rioting or violence is “correct” or “wise,” any more than a forest fire can be “correct” or “wise.” Wisdom isn’t the point tonight. Disrespect is. In this case, disrespect for the hollow law and failed order that so regularly disrespects the community.
But this is the era of #BlackLivesMatter and the “Rebirth of Black Rage.” Woe to the white liberal (I’m talking to you, Bernie Sanders) who doesn’t pay homage. Never mind that the actual numbers show that — when one controls for violent crime rates — encounters with the police may be more dangerous for whites than blacks. One still can’t say “all lives matter,” or he’ll be read out of the progressive movement as a (to quote white liberal Lena Dunham) “meatball” and a “dingus.”
That huge Panther there, the one Felicia is smiling her tango smile at, is Robert Bay, who just 41 hours ago was arrested in an altercation with the police, supposedly over a .38-caliber revolver that someone had, in a parked car in Queens at Northern Boulevard and 104th Street or some such unbelievable place, and taken to jail on a most unusual charge called “criminal facilitation.” And now he is out on bail and walking into Leonard and Felicia Bernstein’s 13-room penthouse duplex on Park Avenue.
It’s all so ridiculous that one is tempted to point and laugh.
2) Mass murder event caused by an act of pure evil versus Democrats who blame guns and want to take them away.
3) Honoring first responders versus elevating thugs and viewing our protectors in blue with disdain.
4) Quoting scripture versus Democrats ridiculing those who do.
5) Stressing American unity versus Democrats dividing American society into victims and oppressors.
6) Trump saying “We love our country” versus Obama going on an international “apology tour.”
7) Protecting the unborn versus Democrats turning a blind eye to the horrors of abortion.
8) Focus on strengthening the family unit versus Democrats’ policies that pull families apart.
9) Pride in American history versus Democrats tearing down monuments.
10) Great respect for the American flag versus Democrats who take a knee.