50 Cent is right


by Sunny
24th November, 2006 at 2:41 am    

BondI don’t usually find I’m on the same side as ol’ Fiddy but I think he has a point.

50 Cent is accusing Hollywood of double standards after seeing the new James Bond holding a gun in posters for Casino Royale – a year after billboards of him sporting a weapon caused a furore. The rapper – real name Curtis Jackson – is appalled by the fact no one has raised a fuss about Daniel Craig’s gun-toting posters when he was castigated for posing with a weapon in billboards for movie Get Rich Or Die Tryin’.

He says, “Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ comes out and they want to protest because they see a gun in my hand but James Bond comes out or Mr + Mrs Smith will come out with guns and it’s acceptable. “You can see any kind of gun there is to see on the covers of films. You can go in Blockbuster and see every gun that was ever made.” The rap star calls for one universal ruling about weapons in movie posters – and he’ll accept whatever the Hollywood film police decide.

He adds, “Let’s not start with 50 Cent and stop with 50 Cent. Let’s do it everywhere else and make it unacceptable period. I would gladly join the rest of entertainment if we get there.” [Contact Music]

Yeah, funny that. No one has yet accused James Bond of glamourising violence.


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  1. The Real Man Fraternity

    Picklers debate 50 Cent…

    Pickled Politics has an interesting debate discussing 50 Cent’s comments on the blatant double standards in the entertainment industry….


  2. Top Searched For Celebs » Blog Archive » 50 Cent is right

    [...] Original post by Sunny [...]




  1. miraxx — on 24th November, 2006 at 3:25 am  

    It’s all to do with context, isn’t it? The legal use of guns – soldiers and spies having some sort of sanction – versus that of gangsters? But the furore over 50 cent was a bit hypocritical and he is right that there is too much gun fetish on display in hollywood movies.

  2. anti-knee-jerk — on 24th November, 2006 at 7:01 am  

    black people can believe that gangsta stuff but no white man is going to think himself james bond. There is no hypocrisy here, 50c is a fool.

  3. El Cid — on 24th November, 2006 at 9:29 am  

    I hear what he is saying, but there is a slight difference.
    James Bond is fantasy (in the same way that Wesley Snipes’ Blade is), while black on black gun crime is a reality that some hip-hop glamourises. Ol’ Fiddy himself, was shot a few times himself, as he likes to remind everyone.
    A more accurate parallel would be to draw comparisons with films which glamorise white violence, e.g Green Street (but then that’s a few divisions down from gun crime)

  4. Nindy — on 24th November, 2006 at 9:49 am  

    You’ve completely missed the point Sunny.

    James Bond is a fictional character – highly flawed and violent. Violence isn’t glamourised in Bond, it’s part of the make-up of the character. The glamour comes from fucking women, drinking freak ass drinks, driving powerful cars, and being seen in exclusive places.

    Like El Cid rightly observes, “Fiddy” cent is simply pissed that he didn’t get a gun on his poster – like it would have had a tangible effect. He wears his bullet scars as a badge of honour, “i’m so ghetto, so real”, and it’s nothing to be proud of. If anything, it highlights a socio-economic problem of a cowboy culture where young men get their kicks out of packing a pistol and shooting each other as a means of discourse.

  5. Courtney Hamilton — on 24th November, 2006 at 9:51 am  

    The phrase making mountains out of mole-hills springs to mind when it comes to Hollywood and guns. After all, it’s only entertainment, it’s not real violence.

    Besides, James Bond and the 50 Cents film are both crap – with or without guns. As for Green Street… I’ve never seen so much bollocks in all my days.

  6. Leon — on 24th November, 2006 at 10:13 am  

    El Cid has it down as far as I’m concerned.

  7. Chris — on 24th November, 2006 at 11:07 am  

    Yeah – there’s a real problem with white guys in evening dress running around shooting each other in Mayfair casinos.

    What a twerp.

  8. Jagdeep — on 24th November, 2006 at 11:11 am  

    I’ve said all I have to say about the state of hip hop today on another thread. El Cid speaketh the
    truth.

    In the spirit of a music open thread when you have 7 minutes free, watch this performance from Prince’s ‘Sign of the Times’ concert movie —- I judt needed reminding he is a genius. This might be the greatest clip in the history of the universe. Words cannot describe this mans greatness when he was at his peak:

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=UFqoLm4bW_I

  9. Sid — on 24th November, 2006 at 11:12 am  

    The next new James Bond should be of mixed West Indian/White parentage. He should of course have a gorgeous Indian boyfriend. And Miss Moneypenny should be Uncle Manipani.

  10. Unity — on 24th November, 2006 at 11:25 am  

    >>> The next new James Bond should be of mixed West Indian/White parentage. He should of course have a gorgeous Indian boyfriend. And Miss Moneypenny should be Uncle Manipani.

    For some strange reason, I cannot read that last bit – “And Miss Moneypenny should be Uncle Manipani” – without the thought of a small aubergine coming to mind.

    I blame Meera Syal et al.

  11. Sahil — on 24th November, 2006 at 11:33 am  

    Talking about guns, I just saw this clip it’s pretty sick stuff about a student on the UCLA campus:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyvrqcxNIFs

  12. soru — on 24th November, 2006 at 12:11 pm  

    I’d be willing to bet that somewhere in the world, there is the grave of a MI6 agent who took the Bond films a little too seriously.

    But not half as many as there are of people who took Mr 27p seriously.

  13. Jagdeep — on 24th November, 2006 at 12:19 pm  

    soru you too funny man :-)

  14. Justin — on 24th November, 2006 at 1:22 pm  

    This is the only 50 Cent film you need to see:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bajFQzCH5Y

  15. Sunny — on 24th November, 2006 at 2:54 pm  

    I don’t know, I still think he has a point. We are assuming how people will perceive James Bond. He is a fictional character but some people want to be like him. No? why not ask for the same standards? Black man carries a gun and he’s a liability, but a white man carries a gun and he’s ok because there isn’t enough white on white gun crime? C’mon….

  16. Leon — on 24th November, 2006 at 2:59 pm  

    Look at the target audiences: can you honestly say they bond ones are affected adversely compared the 50 Cents ones?

  17. salem — on 24th November, 2006 at 3:04 pm  

    sunny , i wanted to be james bond when i was 10…

    but , seriuosly you have missed the point !

  18. Sunny — on 24th November, 2006 at 3:18 pm  

    Most 50 cent fans are white suburban kids, not black gangsters.

  19. Leon — on 24th November, 2006 at 3:21 pm  

    Maybe in the US but (going by my experiences of teaching in ‘urban’ schools) is his fanbase is predominantly black.

  20. Ravi Naik — on 24th November, 2006 at 3:32 pm  

    “Black man carries a gun and he’s a liability, but a white man carries a gun and he’s ok because there isn’t enough white on white gun crime? C’mon…. “

    He is not just a white guy. He has a license to kill, and has risked his life, saving the world against evil doers. Surely that must count for something, uh? ;)

  21. Jagdeep — on 24th November, 2006 at 3:35 pm  

    yeah that’s the difference, Bond has a license to kill. Does 50 pence have one? I doubt it. And one from Dr Dre doesnt count.

  22. Leon — on 24th November, 2006 at 3:37 pm  

    Erm, you guys do know that Bond is a fictional character in a film and 50 Cent is a real person (well sort of) right?!

  23. El Cid — on 24th November, 2006 at 3:46 pm  

    I mean c’mon Fiddy, look what happens when you give a black man a gun:
    http://www.afp.com/english/news/stories/061124144956.qmh7b1tc.html

  24. miraxx — on 24th November, 2006 at 3:57 pm  

    >>look what happens when you give a black man a gun..

    He did real good in this instance! More black policemen!

  25. Eric — on 24th November, 2006 at 4:02 pm  

    Felix Lighter is black and in James Bond. I assume he packs heat.

  26. Jai — on 24th November, 2006 at 4:15 pm  

    Bond is an MI6 agent, so him carrying a gun is crucial to his job ! There is a slight difference between being a drug-dealing gangster and being an international government/military agent…..

    (Actually the film also reveals a bit about what he did for a living before he became a spy…..)

  27. ZinZin — on 24th November, 2006 at 7:36 pm  

    “We are assuming how people will perceive James Bond. He is a fictional character but some people want to be like him”

    Not just because he has a licence to kill, he travels first class everywhere, stays in the best hotels, has the most beautiful women in the world on his arms and in his bed. He always wins in the casino for gods sake he’s an alpha male fantasy figure. The violence is just an optional extra.

  28. Riz — on 24th November, 2006 at 8:48 pm  

    I didn’t realise piddy had raised this issue but I think he has a good point. I’ve read the comments, and appreciate the subtle and not so subtle differences between Fiddy and Bond that have been noted, but I’m still in full agreement with Sunny and Piddy. From the perspective of the segment of the audience who are likely to influenced by images of guns, I just can’t see them differentiating that much between Piddy and Bond.

    Personally, I think Bond fully glamourises violence, and it’s enjoyable so I watch it. Without the violence and action scenes that are full of destruction, Bond wouldn’t be Bond.

    I’m veering off the point here a little, but isn’t the type of violence in a Bond movie worse than a gangster flick such as Boys N the Hood, where you see that violence has real consequences.

    PS – A quick scan on google reveals a film poster with a real gun. Scarface!

    http://www.firstposter.com/catalog/images/scarface99.jpg

  29. Eric — on 24th November, 2006 at 8:50 pm  

    From the perspective of the segment of the audience who are likely to influenced by images of guns, I just can’t see them differentiating that much between Piddy and Bond.

    Are you suggesting they are stupid?

  30. jEFF — on 25th November, 2006 at 12:53 am  

    I’ve heard everything now, Sunny talking about double standards after all the lies he’s told about 7/7 and the abuse he’s given to those who question the government line.
    What a JOKE.

  31. Zak — on 25th November, 2006 at 1:09 am  

    yes but bond is cool

  32. Riz — on 25th November, 2006 at 1:49 am  

    ‘Are you suggesting they are stupid?’

    Yes, for the most part.

  33. miraxx — on 25th November, 2006 at 4:39 am  

    >>I’m veering off the point here a little, but isn’t the type of violence in a Bond movie worse than a gangster flick such as Boys N the Hood, where you see that violence has real consequences.

    Good point Riz! That may be why people want to avert their eyes from the latter while lapping up the former. Squeamishmess + hypocrisy.

  34. ZinZin — on 25th November, 2006 at 1:17 pm  

    Get rich or die trying
    Should be
    Get rich But get shot dead trying.

  35. Ravi Naik — on 25th November, 2006 at 5:58 pm  

    “I’m veering off the point here a little, but isn’t the type of violence in a Bond movie worse than a gangster flick such as Boys N the Hood, where you see that violence has real consequences.”

    Please. Is there anyone in their right mind who thinks that they could perform James Bond’s stunts, or believes that his universe, which by the way include evil characters named Dr. No, to be any real? To put it bluntly, James Bond is in the same league as spiderman or batman, not your average joe.

    On the other hand, 50 cent’s movie is based on his life, depicting a lot that is wrong with black america.

    There is no double-standard in my opinion.

  36. Riz — on 25th November, 2006 at 6:22 pm  

    I’m still with Miraxx on this. For those people who are likely to be influenced by gratuitous violence on the screen, I don’t think it matters whether the material is realistic or not. I suppose this view is partly predicated on my opinion that these people are stupid (in the village idiot sense…perhaps I could find a better word). Indeed, I continue to believe that if anything, the James Bonds, Rambo’s, Street Fighters, Scarfaces, etc of this world are slightly more dangerous than films that try to make violence real. I love both sets of films, but that’s not the point.

    This debate seems subjective to a point, but it isn’t. There is an absolute truth behind it, lurking somewhere, and it may be discovered one day. For now, I don’t think the statistics and studies on violence and films are robust enough to be trusted. I may look in to this in more detail later and report back.

  37. Anon+1 — on 25th November, 2006 at 6:34 pm  

    Bit fucking different isnt it, bond has been running around for years with a gun for HMSS, good v bad. Its a film that we all know to be a work of fiction and you dont see people trying to copy bond in dress and attitude. 50 Cent however (amongst others) shows all thats wrong with society today, and is allowed to be a negative role model for individuals because simply, he makes people money. Real people giving a positive image of guns, drugs, violence, greed and the use of women as objects should be banned.

  38. Ravi Naik — on 25th November, 2006 at 7:17 pm  

    “For those people who are likely to be influenced by gratuitous violence on the screen, I don’t think it matters whether the material is realistic or not.”

    Ah, but my friend consider this: if people are influenced by movies, what is worst: gratuitous violence commited for the selfish reason of becoming rich, or for saving the world against evil? That is what the gun stands for in each case.

    And you know no one would object a poster with Halle Berry holding a gun… ;)

  39. Desi Italiana — on 25th November, 2006 at 7:49 pm  

    “James Bond is fantasy (in the same way that Wesley Snipes’ Blade is), while black on black gun crime is a reality that some hip-hop glamourises.”

    Hmmm…. James Bond types a fantasy?

    Depends.

    Here in the US there is such an immense amount of glorification of the military and secret types performing acrobatic feats of shooting up evildoers and whatnot, that I hesitate to make an observation as the one above.

    Furthermore, I don’t know about blacks listening and watching this music and films as wanting to emulate it. Sunny is right that many white suburban kids (including rich Indian Americans) listen to Tupac, Puff, and Notorious B.I.G. If anything, I’ve seen these rich kids glamourize ghetto life and thug culture.

    I want to write more, but I’m off to the gurdwara. Will be back!

  40. Riz — on 25th November, 2006 at 8:06 pm  

    I just responded to a good chap called Leon (not the French, gun toting, milk-loving assassin) on my blog on this issue and when I was writing I realised this debate is getting way too broad.

    We are talking about guns in film poster, and not about the content of the films themselves. For that reason, I am clinging even tighter to my original view.

  41. El Cid — on 25th November, 2006 at 8:11 pm  

    Miraxx, I was joking man!

  42. El Cid — on 25th November, 2006 at 8:12 pm  

    Except you’re female, right? It’s just the way I talk.. sometimes

  43. Riz — on 25th November, 2006 at 8:14 pm  

    following from my above note

    …and surely that renders arguments of the likes of Anon+1 and Zin Zin as defunct or not relevant (please don’t see this as a slanging of any sort…I don’t mean ill, really!).

    It’s interesting how we all (including me…or was it just me) originally dived in to the debate without really thinking what it is exactly about: the influence of film posters on the poster viewing audience. It’s nothing to do with the film…that’s a seperate debate.

    For that reason Ravi, I’m not going to veer of course by answering your question, but I do think it’s a very interesting debate and I see where you are coming from…but yes, allowances for hot chicks with guns! : )

  44. El Cid — on 25th November, 2006 at 8:26 pm  

    Desi
    We KNOW here in Britain that James Bond is pure fantasy! Our “inteligence” services haven’t exactly got a great recent record (coughDOSSIER)

  45. ZinZin — on 25th November, 2006 at 8:27 pm  

    Riz
    This thread is about the issue of glamourising violence and the posts of many on this thread is focusing on the contexts in which the violence takes place. Although Fiddy cent was banging on about posters Sunny raised the issue of glamourising violence.

    The most important aspect is how the audience reacts millions have watched bond films but that did not mean they filled in application forms for MI5. Likewise many will have seen Fiddy cents film and not bought a gun and shot anyone. It like blaming ten-pin bowling for the columbine school shooting.

  46. Riz — on 25th November, 2006 at 8:33 pm  

    I hear you, but the original post is surely about the film posters only, although Sunny could have clarified it a bit more in the final sentence (I think that’s a much more interesting debate than that the standard debate about violence in films).

    Alas, I’m off to watch the Pink Pather film that was on earlier today.

  47. Riz — on 25th November, 2006 at 9:00 pm  

    Okay, so there are two debates: 1) violence in movies and 2) based on the original post, the issue of guns in film posters.

    On issue 2, I still think 50 is right, 100 per Cent.

    Here is an image of the Get Rich poster that was banned:

    http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/40953000/jpg/_40953464_poster.jpg

    It shows 50, back turned, holding a mike in one hand and a gun in the other. Personally, I think this is a brilliant and poignant poster, highlighting the transition or redemption that a gangster finds through music. I don’t see any glamourisation (if that is a word!).

    Now to some Bond posters (for your eyes only):

    - from the old school: http://www.jamesbondmm.co.uk/images/bond-posters/tmwtgg/tmwtgg003.jpg

    - http://www.jamesbondmm.co.uk/images/bond-posters/tnd/tnd003.jpg

    - http://www.jamesbondmm.co.uk/images/bond-posters/tld/tld003.jpg

    - to the new school: http://www.jamesbondmm.co.uk/images/bond-posters/twine/twine003.jpg

    Which posters glamourise guns, hedonism, and recklessness and aggression more? And which posters depict women as objects? Don’t get me wrong, I love Bond, but in terms of influencing the influential minds (usually the very young) surely the Bond posters are much worse? In this context, guns are being glamourised by the whole Bond lifestyle…fast cars, fast women etc.

    I think we need to drop guns full stop or allow them all the time. Otherwise, you need a committee to judge context and the like, and it all becomes very subjective. Plus, I hate this kind of interventionism.

    Right, now to more important things…like the Pink Panther!

  48. Riz — on 25th November, 2006 at 9:07 pm  

    that James Bond site doesn’t like me linking like that. Perhaps these direct links will work. They really are good posters….umm, if you like that sort of thing:

    Roger Moore
    http://www.jamesbondmm.co.uk/bond-posters/tmwtgg-posters.php?id=003

    Dalton (who?)
    http://www.jamesbondmm.co.uk/bond-posters/tld-posters.php?id=003

    Brosnan
    http://www.jamesbondmm.co.uk/bond-posters/twine-posters.php?id=003

    http://www.jamesbondmm.co.uk/bond-posters/tnd-posters.php?id=003

    Blond
    http://www.jamesbondmm.co.uk/bond-posters/casinoroyale-posters.php?id=003

    I hope this works!

  49. Anon+1 — on 26th November, 2006 at 1:09 am  

    I actually dont like bond either for similar reasons, but thats not the point. What you are saying about which of the two is worse is in my opinion doesnt matter as there is a major difference between them, one is a fantasy film that any educated adult will watch and be uneffected by, as we all know reality from fantasy. The other is a film that unfortunatly in some peoples minds is a real way of life. People like 50 cent are idols to the youth of today and I dont know about you, but that seriously disturbs me.

    Gun crime is fast becoming a serious problem in todays cities, and doesnt need things making worse by idiots like pence trying to make some money off the back of lust, crime + violence.
    At my college I overheard a group of kids talking about rap artists, they actually give more “respect” to the violent artists that have done real time inside prison. Im all for freedom of speech but this is going too far, people like pence dont need media attention, they need ridiculing.

  50. Riz — on 26th November, 2006 at 2:10 am  

    there is a major difference between them, one is a fantasy film that any educated adult will watch and be unaffected by, as we all know reality from fantasy.

    I don’t know Anon+1. I’ve just watched Peter Sellers in the Pink Panther straight away followed by Underworld (you know, your typical vampire werewolf conflict movie starring Kate Beckinsale), and right now I feel like donning a set of fake fangs, wearing a skin-hugging black rubber suit and fumbling and bumbling running around the city streets in the dark of the night wreaking havoc, maybe even foiling a grand criminal plot or two by virtue of my sheer clumsiness, and of course all the while I will be saying things in an incomprehensible French accent. Its just how I feel and I have a degree!

    On the prison respect thing, I suppose it can make sense to a degree because many lap lyrics are about the rough lives of these unfortunates and their time in prison, so perhaps it is right to give them more respect (or credibility), as they have really lived the life they are rapping about. One interesting thing noted on the latest episode of QI is that the life expectancy for black men in the ghetto areas in the US is so low , that they can extend their life span by killing some one else and getting sent to death row, where convicts often have to wait a great many years before execution. Okay, it doesn’t say anything of the quality of life, but it’s enough to make you think twice.

  51. miraxx — on 26th November, 2006 at 5:29 am  

    >Miraxx, I was joking man!

    I suspected that but still, we get some cretins here and the obvious has to be signboarded in letters 30 feet high and neon lighted.

  52. Jai — on 26th November, 2006 at 1:42 pm  

    If you really want to focus on the issue of glorification of guns & violence (and alleged double-standards), perhaps a better example to compare to 50 Cent would be The Sopranos. Think about the lyrics of the song during the opening titles. Hell, even the on-screen title of the show has a gun in the place of the “r”.

  53. ZinZin — on 26th November, 2006 at 1:52 pm  

    Jai
    You can not have a mob drama without guns. I suppose its all about context. James Bond needs a gun for his job, although Fiddy cent can justify guns in his film and poster as it is autobiographical and he was shot nine times!

    The reason that Fiddy gets a lot of criticism is because he is a gangster rapper and that particular genre has been criticised by a lot of people and not just by the usual suspects.

  54. Don — on 26th November, 2006 at 1:57 pm  

    Jai,

    The song was originally written about a wife who shot her husband after years of spousal abuse.

    http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=1428

  55. Riz — on 26th November, 2006 at 1:58 pm  

    The Usual Suspects also had guns

    …I’m sorry

  56. Desi Italiana — on 26th November, 2006 at 6:28 pm  

    There seems to be a double standard here.

    There are PLENTY of films that glorify and glamorize gang culture. Last week I watched Tales from the Bronx, with our Bobby D showing Italians shoot-up unsavory characters in the Bronx. My friend’s brother-who just got out of prison- said he could identify with Sunny, the godfather-esque figure in the film. My friend’s brother is not black. Or take the Godfather. I’ve NEVER heard anybody say anything about that. These have all white characters, though, but I suppose this is ok, as opposed to Fiddy. I remember when Menace to Society and Boyz in the the Hood came out, and whites went hysterical about how these films supposedly provide really awful role models. On the other hand, many of my black friends– several who grew up in Compton– told me that for the first time, they could relate to movies in Hollywood: the ghetto, life in the hood, and whatnot. White suburban kids tend to glorify and glamorize thug culture (and have gangs) though they are light years away from the actual hood (much of their perception of thug life seemed to be based on the racist assumptions that ALL black are thugs, ALL inner city youth are gangbangers, etc).

    Also, I don’t know how the music industry works in the UK, but you all seem to be under the impression that black thug rappers have all the liberty in the world to produce whatever kind of commercial music they want. It is not true. Corporate rap and hip hop is built on a certain formula: violence, sex, thug culture and the ghetto. Why? Because this sells. Even old school rappers such as Dre have noted how the corporate industry is built on the representation of blacks on this (though he still largely raps about these very variables). There are numerous artists that do not sing and rap about these things, but they do not get to break through into corporate owned radio stations. Even with mainstream artists such as Tupac and Snoop, several of their more political songs- and even the espousal to put guns down, epecially during the Latino vs. Black gang warfare that was taking place in LA–rarely make it to the radio stations, ie mass dissemination.

    Riz: I agree with your points :)

  57. Sunny — on 26th November, 2006 at 7:31 pm  

    Thank you Desi, completely agree and well said.

  58. Riz — on 26th November, 2006 at 8:03 pm  

    Desi, I like your point about the rap formula…some of my favourite rap songs are not about violence, but quite the opposite, yet that material just doesn’t sell quite as well.

    anyway, I shout ‘woo hah!’ that some one agrees, and I fire my gun randomly in the air to celebrate. oops.

  59. Ravi Naik — on 27th November, 2006 at 12:35 am  

    “I’ve just watched Peter Sellers in the Pink Panther straight away followed by Underworld… and right now I feel like donning a set of fake fangs, wearing a skin-hugging black rubber suit and fumbling and bumbling running around the city streets in the dark of the night wreaking havoc, maybe even foiling a grand criminal plot or two by virtue of my sheer clumsiness, and of course all the while I will be saying things in an incomprehensible French accent. Its just how I feel and I have a degree!”

    Riz, you are joking, right? Because if you aren’t, you probably shouldn’t watch movies. :(

    “Corporate rap and hip hop is built on a certain formula: violence, sex, thug culture and the ghetto. Why? Because this sells”

    Yes, but that is the point, isn’t it? 50 cent seems to be angry because a lot of people made a fuss about his movie, whereas no one cared about James Bond and the amount of special effects used. The insinuation is that there is a subtle racism and a double-standard. Oh yes, there are two standards because they apply to two very distinct situations.

    For the case of rappers (the thug kind), they are feeding a serious social problem for the sake of becoming rich. Think about that for a moment: if it sells big, then it means that their anti-social message has a huge following. But I know, rappers have feelings despite having no social conscience. There was that cristal champagne incident, the Oprah treatment incident, and now the James Bond gun incident. It’s tough being a rapper these days… no respect. :(

    PS> By the way, I am sure that if the mafia was a huge problem now like in the Al Capone years… and if Al Capone himself had a huge poster promoting a movie about his life showing a gun on one side, and his family on the other, I am sure a lot of people would complain. But then we would be discussing about how anti-catholic and anti-italian people are, and that double standard… because there is this Irish cop movie poster showing a gun.

    Surely, this is much more than just a poster.

  60. Desi Italiana — on 27th November, 2006 at 7:33 am  

    “For the case of rappers (the thug kind), they are feeding a serious social problem for the sake of becoming rich. Think about that for a moment: if it sells big, then it means that their anti-social message has a huge following.”

    What? This is ridiculous. So if I am a James Bond fan, I must be a huge follower of the messages that it sends out, and not only that, but I’m going to try and emulate Bond. If I buy a bunch of South Central Cartel tapes from back in the days, I’m now going to go do drive bys right this minute.

    Feeding WHAT social problem? You’re jumping from corporate rap and all that it represents to feeding a social problem? Where is the substantive evidence to back up this claim? This is your opinion, not a fact.

    Let me tell you something– this rap that you are bemoaning is blared through the car speakers of white suburban kids who drive a Benz, full of angst at the misery and boredom that they live with in the suburbia. They like to “identify” with Tupac and his coterie not because they can relate to poverty and inner city life, but because it’s the opposite of what they go through. THAT is where thug life is glamourous. If you would like to argue that gangster rap is feeding social problems, and much of that takes place with disaffected middle class white youth in the suburbs, be my guest.

    Listen, social problems in America are not fed by gangster rap. For my money, I’ve heard some kick ass diagnoses on social problems sung by rappers, even the well known thug ones (their songs that do not make it on the radio).

    “By the way, I am sure that if the mafia was a huge problem now like in the Al Capone years”

    WAS??????? The mafia is still a huge problem. Just because you hear more about “terrorists” and “fundamentalists” in the media doesn’t mean that the mafia problem doesn’t exist. It’s alive and kicking well (just check the Italian media and the constant reports on warfare between the Mafia, Camorra, and N’dranghetta.

    BTW, another racist perception that I see: black and Latino gangs are dangerous, but white gangs– as well as “criminal organizations”– are never treated on the same terms, such as the “messages” they send out, the level of “danger” they present to society, and whatnot.

  61. Desi Italiana — on 27th November, 2006 at 7:37 am  

    Furthermore, it takes a lot more than corporate rap to “feed social problems.” This is like someone arguing that Bollywood is singlehandedly feeding marital and familial problems in India or something similar.

  62. Desi Italiana — on 27th November, 2006 at 7:51 am  

    “Oh yes, there are two standards because they apply to two very distinct situations.”

    What are the two different situations whereby two different standards are merited?

    This is the way I see it: in much of our commercial American pop culture, this is the masala recipe: sex and violence. This is true in both mainstream Hollywood and mainstream radio, and whether we are talking about songs and films about whites or blacks. What is true is that sex and violence are much more HIGHLIGHTED when it involves black artists. This is the problem. Furthermore, mainstream pop culture has depicted and perpetuated the myth that sex and violence are much more pervasive with blacks. What is being pointed out is that why is the association of sex and violence with blacks somehow considered more dangerous or distasteful than when it involves songs and movies with whites? I have yet to come across angry white Senators and Congressmen who launch diatribes against movies like Scarface and its subsequent video game spawn (Scarface is one of the most violent films I have seen, full of senseless carnage. But that’s ok, right? The mafia is cool, anyway; especially since they have gone more underground in the last few decades, and so we think that it’s not a problem anymore).

  63. Desi Italiana — on 27th November, 2006 at 7:59 am  

    “On the other hand, 50 cent’s movie is based on his life, depicting a lot that is wrong with black america.”

    “Black America?”

    Oh man, Ravi Naik….

    Tell us: what is “wrong” with “Black America.”

    If I may suggest, you could start off by outlining the parameters that define “Black America” and what exactly Black America is. This way we know what kind of image you have of the average black American.

    Then, you could tell us what is wrong with Black America.

  64. Anon+1 — on 27th November, 2006 at 11:33 am  

    Can you tell me Desi, whats right with black gang America?

  65. Ravi Naik — on 27th November, 2006 at 3:40 pm  

    “Tell us: what is “wrong” with “Black America.””

    1 out of 4 black males are in jail. In some figures, 70% of black children are born out of wedlock. This is the black america I am talking about.

    And there are a number of public black figures who have acknowledged this problem, and have accused rap music (the thug kind) to be a bad influence on the youth.

    There has been a lot of protests against violent video games, the first one I recall is Carmageddon, where you win points by running over pedestrians, including old people. I believe that any movie or game that glorifies gratitious violence just for the sake of it without any moral consequences is dangerous. To be fair, 50 cent’s movie doesn’t quite fit that category and his poster should not have been censored, but I strongly believe that both the title and the poster to be unfortunate and meant to provoke controversy for the reasons I’ve mentioned. But that’s marketing, isn’t it?

  66. Ravi Naik — on 27th November, 2006 at 3:50 pm  

    From the C. Delores Tucker wikipedia entry:

    “Dr. Tucker dedicated much of the last few years of her life to removing sexually explicit lyrics from rap and hip-hop tracks, citing a concern that the lyrics were misogynistic and threatened the moral foundation of the African American community.

    Called “narrow-minded” by some rappers who often called her out in their lyrics, Dr. Tucker picketed stores that sold rap music and bought stock in labels like Sony, Time Warner, and others in order to protest hip-hop at their shareholders’ meetings. She also fought against the NAACP’s decision to nominate late rapper Tupac Shakur for one of its Image Awards and filed a suit against his estate for comments that the rapper made in one of his albums: in the track How Do U Want It? Tupac rapped “Delores Tucker you’s a motherfucker / Instead of trying to help a nigga you destroy your brother”

  67. Kismet Hardy — on 27th November, 2006 at 4:24 pm  

    P Diddy wanted to play James Bond. See, if that had happenned, the poster would definitely get banned, if not burnt in outright protest. So would the film come to think of it. Because P Diddy would be in it

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