CA$H MON£Y…

In the UK, without money – you DIE. Literally.

If money is not spent on your existence, you will cease to exist.

Not so sure? Let me paint you a picture devoid of expenditure…

Imagine yourself being made homeless one day. Nowhere to live. Let’s be nice and make it summertime so it’s not too cold at night. Where do you sleep? Not at a friend’s or family member’s because they spend money on a mortgage or rent for their home. You can’t stay in a homeless shelter because money is used to maintain it – the overheads, bills, staffing, provisions, food and amenities all cost money…

So you either sleep rough, in shop doorways or in a field somewhere making use of the trees, bushes, natural shelters etc… You see where I’m going with this? You
can’t even eat right. You beg for food but again – the food you receive has been purchased with money. This is the UK  – the streets aren’t lined with mango trees, coconut trees or banana mangroves.

If you cannot eat – you die.

HERE ENDS OUR NIGHTMARE SCENARIO.

 

So, let’s talk about money and how this system has been set up to our detriment. I want to focus on this with specific regard to the uprising violence in the “Black Community”…

I remember in the late 80’s – early 90’s when there was public outcry. The growing opinion was that the music that young people listened to at the time had a direct influence on their behaviour. This spanned the entire cosmopolitan demographic of American culture, though when it came to violence – a direct relation between genres of music such as “gangster rap” and gang-related violence was noted in local Black communities. White America was silent for a while regarding this but as soon as little Scott, Harry and Sally started taking class ‘A’ drugs and acting out; – it became an all-inclusive, national problem.

MTV was the main protagonist and was blamed almost wholly for the rise in dysfunctional youth. Not only was music with violent, anti-social themes played on radio; the television played videos of these songs; acting out and visualising the lyrical content. Acts of violence, sexually graphic images as well as a glorification of opulence and lavishness flooded the airwaves and the young minds of the nation, and the world.

Fast forward 30 years to 2017 and this has not changed.

Most videos from rap, hip-hop, and R’n’B embellish a lifestyle that embodies satisfaction, and happiness. From wild parties in expensive mansions to fast cars and yachts; the underlying message is that the lifestyle exemplified is the epitome of success. This is supposedly the end product of hard work and grinding by whatever means.

One of the codes that run under this musical subculture is ‘keeping it real’. Keeping it real meant that you could tell your genuinely gritty story. Artists could speak about their rise to notoriety freely, without being legally accountable for their tall tales of criminal involvement which may stem from extortion to violence and murder, or from drug sales and pimping. Artistic licence is now stretched to its limits. This ‘art’ is now not only part of the track lyrically, – it’s also glamourised in the accompanying music videos.

QUESTIONS – Who owns these record labels? Who pays artists advances on their unit sales for their music? Who ultimately decides what music is heard by the public and the impressionable youth?

The UK rap scene is represented by a sub-genre called ‘Grime’. This type of storytelling is centred around the urban lives of impoverished but talented young people. The stars of this genre speak directly to the hearts of the youth that in turn, aspire to be them one day. By hook or crook they spend every waking moment writing/reciting lyrics and developing their craft of producing and beat-making behind a computer screen, hoping that this hard work will one day collide with good luck and destiny.

For those media studies buffs out there, remember the Hypodermic Needle Theory? It would seem that this is a very true phenomena. The media is a very powerful thing. Go look up the 1938 radio broadcast of Orson Wells – ‘War Of The Worlds’ and see a perfect example of the power that the media truly wields.

If this HNT is true, why is the public being injected with things that seem to be sending society into a state of devolution? Why is music filled with violence when it has been shown that minds as impressionable as the young ones that are committing violent crimes; can be directly affected by the words and images therein? Is there an agenda at play here? If so, who’s agenda is it? Do you believe that trends in society, fashion, musical tastes or language etc have a pure and natural/organic pattern of growth?

I can’t wear clothes that haven’t been designed… I can’t drive a car that hasn’t been invented… I can’t eat a meal that hasn’t been cooked… I can’t listen to music that hasn’t been written. None of these things happen without human effort or interaction. Demand cannot control supply. If supply does not exist, demand will shift its attention elsewhere.

 

Most of us have heard the saying, ‘sex sells’ right? Well what if there was no seller? What if there was no one greedy, desperate or willing to sell their body for a price? Who is in control here? The seller or the buyer? One thing’s for sure – if there was no product for sale – that would be the end of that; before it even began!

 

I’m trying hard to not name names here ok?

Ever wondered why ‘Black’ artists that promote love, good vibes or a real life story that doesn’t glorify drugs/violence don’t get big record deals or much of a platform to be heard?

I can personally think of a bunch that have either gone in another direction or sadly, have given up entirely.

Don’t take my word for it… Within the UK rap scene, think of the biggest artists you’ve heard of and go and study their lyrics. Check their videos. What are they promoting? What messages are these artists sending to young people? These are artists that have ‘made it’ and this is what they choose to say. The subliminal message and automatic assumption is this – to make it you say what they say – after all, they’ve made it!

Just over a week ago (early Feb’ 2017) there was a video going around of a Black man in his late 20’s standing outside of a house party he had sent his 14yr old daughter to. He had just been inside the party and confiscated 3 knives from the youths inside. One of these knives was a fully blown Crocodile Dundee assault knife with a 12″ blade!!!

 

NOW ASK YOURSELF A FEW QUESTIONS…

  • Where did they get the idea to walk around with a knife like that from?
  • What would they do with a knife like that in an argument or scrap (as boys often get into)?
  • What kind of music do they listen to?
  • Are these artists FORCED to make music that pushes such high levels of negativity?
  • Would they get record deals if they didn’t?
  • Which of these artists would risk not doing so well commercially by not putting out or promoting the kind of music that is literally infecting, poisoning and killing their own people?

HMMMM…

 

ONLY. ONE. MIIKZ.

10 Replies to “CA$H MON£Y…”

  1. Excellent account of a sad and bizarre state of affairs. Negative portrayals of certain groups should have gotten old by now but sadly where there’s an agenda, there’s always new life breathed into such ends. I feel the blame lies with everyone who participates from labels and execs, mindless consumers and those that call themselves artists. There’s room for all genres and sub genres no doubt, but the fact that everyone is carbon copying the stereotype is telling. Can’t wait til your next one brotherman.

    1. Thanks for the comment… You know, it’s funny because I also thought this… I am in a position to work with/for some of these artists. Is there a line to be drawn or does there already exist one? If I was to take a job as tour manager or bodyguard or technician for example – would it make me part of the problem because I have now become part of this poison-producing machine?

      ONLY.ONE.MIIKZ.

      1. You can only repair the car from under the bonet…in response to your last question Miikz.

        I believe that this is (possibly natural and unwilling) social conditioning that has happened in the structure of hip hop business since its birth in the 70’s. The military industrial complex has needed funding and the guys who own the big labels have always had a stake in privatised prisons in the states. This became a trend….monkey see – monkey do. I believe this pattern was observed and as all successful empires have been, it was emulated to use as a control method. I mean the Romans were excellent at controlling the thought patterns and inevitably actions of civilians by reforming culture, art and even faith.

        The responsibility to bring this carnal control system to and end, ends with the individual. It is the knowledge of slavery that can free the people…anyone, however big and bad, once informed would know what to do. Just stop. Stop writing rhymes that they don’t believe in and wouldn’t die to protect. Stop playing songs on the airwaves that give a lost boy a violent cause or a lost girl a false impression of self-worth.

        We the people…must stop!

        And start to support those who choose to do better. Buy 100’s of cds off good people if we can afford to. Make sure we sell out the gigs that push positivity. March on the label doors and demand change…demand that they stand up to the words of their artists and defend them if they can. Demand that radio stations must do the same. We own these huge organisations as the keeper of the wealth upon which they survive. Us. Little old us…we are the system. So we must change our habits to influence the world.

        We the people!

        1. Whoa dude!

          Delo – that sounds nigh on revolutionary! I wish it to be this simple. The fact is this – it’s never been accomplished so how do we know that it’s NOT possible?? WE DON’T!!!

          But it reminds me of voting. For those that have no real belief in the system, or do believe but don’t think their 1-vote will make a difference; – they end up voting where they believe their vote will actually count. I believe it’s akin to a kind of diffusion-of-responsibilty.
          Instead of voting in a place that’s close to their heart, they end up voting ‘strategically’ (in their mind), thinking that they are doing something to stop their worst-case-candidate getting voted in.

          The owners of these labels are greedy. They have long pockets so I believe they have no problem waiting out the buying public, flooding the airwaves with whatever they choose for a while. That being said – how do we know that’s not what’s happening now? When was the last time you actually bought a CD or paid for a download Delo? What was the track/album? It was none of this Pretty Poison, I’m sure!

          What if it’s actually a mirage? What if it’s all smoke & mirrors and no REAL sales are being made but the ‘powers’ are cool with not making sales as long as the intended effect on their targeted society is still felt???

          Either way – I’m with you… We The People need to make a stand.

          We’ve been sitting down for too long.

          ONLY.ONE.MIIKZ.

  2. An effective way to ruin a people is to give their most dysfunctional juveniles status & the spot light. People are very much myopic in their youth & can easily be corrupted & misled. A young human being has seen & experienced so very little in their life that they’re mostly influenced by a wayward desire for independence fueled by adrenalin angst & rapidly developing emotions. The dark forces of this world are experts at tapping into that raw wayward energy of the youth in order to twist their hearts & minds early. The society is set up in away where the young are given many chances to run rampant & act up or act out their most deranged fantasies. The most talented youngsters are easily seduced into promoting a lifestyle of dysfunctional & deranged behaviour because many of them were born into a dysfunctional & deranged environment.

    1. YUP!

      It’s sad and frustrating because there are fewer and fewer role models for these youth. I’m not talking about public figures or musicians or celebs either (ironic that this post is about them). I mean regular men and women walking around doing the right thing in local communities; unafraid to tell the youth off when they go wrong and praise them when they do right in a truly communal, old school, “village” way.

      Can we each make the effort to try to bring this back or are we tired and fed up?

      Are we going to just let it all fall down???

      ONLY.ONE.MIIKZ.

  3. Love this! & Love reading all the complexities that surround your weird & wonderful mind!

    I believe that the change has to start with us and we need to be the change we want to see in the world. It starts with us, in our homes, communities, schools etc we have to be brave enough to stand against the ‘norm’ or what we’re used to and that I believe is where the difficulty begins. Most of us are not brave enough, going against the crowd is hard, most do not realise that being like everyone else, doing what everyone else is doing is exactly what’s poisoning and killing us but whilst it’s cool or allows us to fit in then we’ll just go along with it.

    Each and every one of us need to push Love & Positivity only & always in all things that we do, both can & will push out hate & darkness, it just takes more work

    1. @ Heart of a Lioness

      1,000,000% agree!!!

      We can’t wait for a public figure or a celeb or a role model of some kind to do this for us. We need to take it back to it’s grass roots and MAKE A STAND!

      I don’t know what the artists that currently are “in there” make of all this TBH. I can imagine that it would be challenging and daunting to turn to their labels and tell them that they don’t want to make any music that embellishes violence or drugs or any negativity anymore. Would they risk a personal, individual financial loss for this cause? In fact – I wonder if they are even aware of the impact their music is having on their community…? Do they even think that it could be true that their ideals have an effect on these young minds?

      I know that most of the artists we can identify as being part of this will say that they are just telling the story of their life. While this might be true; it is difficult to listen to the tracks, watch the videos and not see how the story and/or the journey has been GLORIFIED somewhat. Even if they say they are not involved in that anymore – “look at me now”; – the journey taken to get there (‘the means’) is justified by the end result i.e. their current success. That’s quite a powerful underlying message.

      Sons are watching… Daughters are watching… The people with the loudest voices need to say something that will inject LIFE into the community and not death!

      Thank You For Your Comment!

      ONLY.ONE.MIIKZ.

  4. Great article, Miikz!

    I agree that an insatiable desire/lust for monetary gain and power lies somewhere at the heart of this issue. The subsequent monetisation of “gangsta-rap” , “uk grime” and the like is one of the many by-products of it.

    Also, couldn’t agree more that we, the people, can affect the change we want to see (as said in an earlier comment). However, we’ll have to scrape through years of conditioning to really understand how much power we really do hold.

    With digital proliferation on the rise we have seen traditional media institutions (gatekeepers) falling to pieces trying to figure out how to hold on to the power they once had over mass consumers. Pockets of Millenials/digital natives (who many traditionalists often criticize for not appreciating and valuing ‘real art’) are beginning to understand how level the playing field is. I guess the hard part is trying to figure out how to convince the masses before the traditional media institutions assume total control of the digital landscape (which they haven’t done as yet!).

    Sometimes it’s easy to blame “The Media”. But the media isn’t one singular giant. It’s a complex relationship between the producer and the consumer. When we change, it often forces the producer to shift their thinking and listen to the recipient. They say the customer is always right, but hey!

    Look forward to your future posts brother!

    One love.

  5. Very insightful read, Miikz!
    The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. It’s definitely time for a change.
    Bless.

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