Call me insane, but these must be the last days. When folks start dying because of a rap song, you already know it's end time... for hip-hop of course. A well-known (albeit infamous) Lil Jon song has rekindled an all-too familiar debate over the correlation between hip-hop and violence.
I didn't know what to make of this story at first. Sez The Eagle:
DALLAS - A rap song sparked a nightclub shooting between rival gangs that had declared a truce to celebrate a birthday, leaving two men dead and four others injured, police said.
The song -- "Put Yo Hood Up" by Lil Jon & The Eastside Boyz -- urges listeners to flash hand signs for their neighborhood and confront rivals. It was played before Sunday's shooting.
"Witnesses said this was the flash point," said Deputy Chief Alfredo Saldana.
Now, it would be absolutely ludicrous for anyone to blame the deaths of those two men on a rap song, which -- to paraphrase Eminem -- lacks the capacity to cock and shoot a gun. There are so many things to consider here. Here's one:
The problem, as the police see it, are clubs catering to mostly underage hip-hop crowds that have too little security and overzealous promoters trying to pack as many youths in as they can. Some of the clubs become havens for gang members from various parts of town whose rivalries frequently escalate from fists to pistol rounds.
Such was the case, according to police, early Sunday morning at El Angel on North Harwood Street. For an hour leading up to the violence, police said, two gangs â€" one from Pleasant Grove and the other from East Dallas â€" honored an agreement inside the club to put rivalries aside for the evening.
Lendl Carey, 22, and Kenneth Haggerty, 20, were shot and killed. (Source: Dallas Morning News)
Bad move. Club promoters have no business harboring gang members in the club AT ALL. The DJ (who was probably cognizant of the gang members' presence) could have opted for a wise selection from his playlist. "Put Yo Hood Up" is not the only song on earth that can get hips gyrating automatically. And no matter what you say, "Put Yo Hood Up" is a lazy concept. Whatever happened to songs with substance? And, by that I don't mean you should get all Talib Kweli on me while I'm trying to get my mojo on. Yes, it's possible to drop some heat and still fill up the dance floor.
"Lean Back," "Drop It Like It's Hot," "Pump It Up" and "One More Chance (Remix)" are just a few examples of decent, deejay favorites that don't necessarily implore you to slap the kufi out the next person's head.
It's easy to say, "Oh these things happen everyday," but guess what, they'll keep happening everyday until someone close to you is directly involved. We really need to stop defending decadence within the hip-hop community. Gun possession needs to be checked, overzealous club promoters need to be held responsible for incidents like these, parents need to do a better job of raising their kids, and Lil Jon needs to hire a ghostwriter.