Sunday Services with MultiCultClassics Minutes…
• “I’m not glorifying violence. I’m just trying to capture what goes on in the environment. If your environment is violent as a child, you will write about these things in your songs and talk about them in your first movie. I hear this criticism that many rappers have too many songs about someone being shot. For me, it’s not about just putting violence in the music. It’s about striving to capture in the perfect song what goes on in the street. You don’t think this is going on in the streets? I’d like to get the records of the hospitals in my area of the Bronx for just one week. There will be far more victims of violent crimes — stab wounds, gun shot wounds, or whatever it is — than many people even think happens. If anything this music and my movie is just saying that this is happening in America,” said 50 Cent in a recent interview.
• “To me, 50 Cent is a Black gangsta Jesus with the wounds to prove it,” said Jim Sheridan, director of the rapper’s latest movie. Not sure which Bible Sheridan has been reading — the New American Rapper Standard Version?
• 50 Cent movie billboards have also been taken down in Philadelphia after community protests. “The message could be ‘rob to get rich.’…It’s a very offensive message that is part of a mind-set that says you can solve problems with violence,” said Bilal Qayyum of the anti-violence group Men United for a Better Philadelphia. Maybe the group should have asked, “What Would Black gangsta Jesus Do?”
• Another movie billboard has led to protests, and it also depicts a controversial figure with a cult following and history of violence — Harry Potter. The billboard is in Queens, New York, and officials argued its size and position violate city ordinances. Activist groups might also insist the message stereotypes the Wizard and Quidditch-loving community.
• A discrimination case has surfaced involving irate Amish folks. It started when a woman who abandoned the Amish community was denied service by an Amish store owner. The woman argued her civil rights were violated, while the store owner argued serving someone excommunicated from the church goes against the laws of the Amish community. The Amish tradition requires rejection of higher education and modern technology. But it apparently doesn’t prohibit engaging our complex legal system.
• Just in time for the holidays: another controversy involving t-shirts and rappers. A design made popular by Young Jeezy depicts a snowman with a menacing expression. Critics argue the character symbolizes a different type of snow — specifically, cocaine. Schools across the country have already banned the t-shirt. Which will probably make it the must-have item this holiday season.