German rapper Bushido has a new song out with lyrics that put death threats to some german politicians and also include homophobic slurs. He wants to get publicity from upsetting people and people get upset. Woohoo, scandalous. I’m glad that not everyone cries for the song to be indexed and him being prosecuted but that there are quality reactions like the one from Nouripour (Green Party) who tries to play down the whole thing by explaining the pathetic mechanisms of such ‘scandals’ for Bushido’s career.
Less press and he would quickly fade out of the mainstream audience’ memory. I remember when Anita Sarkeesian, back in 2011, wrote about the violent sexism in Kanye’s Monster (don’t get me started on all the people who are happily ignoring the lyrics of Kanye’s new album cause the music is ‘relevant’):
“So whose to blame? Kanye clearly, but also Roc-A-Fella Records, Universal Music Group, the entire music industry, and how the market functions in general. Record labels have a goal of trying to get their artists to stick out of the crowd in an oversaturated media landscape. For decades they have been making sexualized, shocking, violent media products. More and more we see the industry cynically relying on sensationalism and glamorization of violence against women in order to boost sales.”
Wether it’s violent threats, homophobia or sexism – provocation via hate culture works. There are people who want to make money with this and there is an audience who buys it. The public gets what the public wants. Guess we’d be better off challenging this than just getting upset about single artists.
For me as a queer feminist diy promoter who likes some hiphop (but does not want to support the carelessness with which big parts of the hiphop scene ignore crap lyrics) trying to at least sometimes actively booking hiphop artists who are a bit of a counterpoint to that scene is my way of actively dealing with it. That’s why we had Mykki Blanco playing a damn cool show at the K4 and that’s why we bring Cakes Da Killa to the Radio Z Fest at Desi next week. Tiny steps but … my… rather a small contribution than just complaining.