If, as poet Percy Shelley wrote, “poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world,” America is in a lot of trouble. To understand where our country is headed, look no further than the artists that contemporary culture celebrates, such as N.W.A., the rap group featured in the new film Straight Outta Compton.
The movie was released in theaters last night with increased security outside theaters [LA Police Beef Up Patrols Around Theaters Ahead of ‘Straight Outta Compton’ Debut, by Matt Donnelly and Anita Bennett,The Wrap, August 13, 2015].
Of course, this is being denounced as you-know-what [Racism Is As Racism Does: Increased Security At Theaters Showing ‘Straight Outta Compton,’ by Kovie Biakola, Atlanta Daily World, August 15 2015]. And of course it’s not without good reason: in 1991, when the movie Boyz N the Hood opened in more than 800 theaters nationwide, there were more than 25 violent incidents [‘Boyz’ film opens to violence, by Scott Harris and Jim Herron Zamora, Los Angeles Times, July 14, 1991]. This lead to a famous article in Ebony bemoaning the constant shootings and fights at black-oriented films [What’s Behind the Black-on-Black Violence at Movie Theaters? by Aldore Collier, Ebony, October 1991].
At its height, N.W.A. (Niggas Wit Attitudes) were considered social lepers peddling a dangerous form of protest music that skirted the lines of legality [Compton Rappers Versus the Letter of the Law : FBI Claims Song by N.W.A. Advocates Violence on Police, by Steve Hochman, Los Angeles Times, October 5, 1989].
Even the New York Times noted:
The members of the Los Angeles rap group N.W.A. are despicable, misogynistic swine. What’s worse, they are proud of it. On their second album, “Niggaz4Life,” they advocate gang rape, forced oral sex and killing prostitutes who don’t do what they’re told. “The joke’s on you, jack!” they shout gleefully at the end of the album. “We did it again!”…
[RECORDINGS VIEW; For Adults Only: Love and Sorrow . . . Lust and Hate, by David Browne, June 22, 1991]
The New York Times’ Browne called N.W.A.’s debut album powerful but noted the group dismissed women as opportunistic “bitches” and referred to a policeman as “a sucker in a uniform waitin’ to get shot.” He noted that in N.W.A.’s second album, they “brag about the size of their sales figures, bank accounts and private parts and talk dirty, just like any other mediocre rap act.”
So basically, anti-white attitudes mixed with vulgarity and various proofs of high time preference among blacks [Race and psychopathic personality, by Richard Lynn, American Renaissance, July 2007]. The more things change…
Yet now cuckservative flagship National Review has proudly published review calling this look-back at N.W.A. an “extraordinarily positive sign of the times” [The Sentimentalizing of N.W.A., by Kevin Williamson , August 14, 2015].
It’s true that the formerly subversive members of N.W.A. are now pillars of the corporate establishment. Ice Cube was lampooned in The Boondocks as “the dude who makes family movies” and Dr. Dre is a celebrated entrepreneur who sold a glorified headphones company to that most white of companies, Apple, for the sum of $3billion [Dr. Dre sells Beat Electronics to Apple for $3billion, by Elizabeth Lazarowitz and Corky Siemaszko, Daily News, May 28, 2014].
Yet all this means is that the anti-white and anti-police premises of the band are now part of the governing system.
Even police in Alabama are afraid to defend themselves against blacks, lest they suffer the fate of Officer Darren Wilson. Recently, a Birmingham detective was pistol-whipped and mocked by a hostile black crowd because he hesitated to take action against a black suspect. Evidently, this was preferable to having his life destroyed by the Main Stream Media and the federal government [‘If the tables were turned, there would be rioting, by Dave Urbanski, The Blaze, August 9, 2015].
N.W.A.’s hit “F*ck the Police” isn’t edgy; it’s practically the policy of Obama’s Department of Justice.
It wasn’t always so. Twenty-three years ago, when Time Warner released Ice T’s (not to be confused with Ice Cube) “Body Count” album, it contained the notorious song “Cop Killer.” Actor and NRA president Charlton Heston confronted the corporate officials responsible at a shareholders’ meeting. He described the incident in his autobiography In the Arena.
By this time President Bush, police across the country, members of Congress, and major religious and media figures had condemned the Body Count album. Ice T had weighed in with the comment, “I ain’t never killed no cop… I felt like it a lot.”
I had the floor for perhaps only eight or ten minutes, but it was enough. I spoke briefly and quietly to the meeting, then simply read, in full, the lyrics of “Cop Killer,” which almost no one in the room had heard or seen, they being too offensive for the media to quote.
“Mr. Levin [Gerald M. Levin, then chairman-CEO of Time Warner],” I said, “Jews and homosexuals are also sometimes attacked, though of course not as often as police officers. Let me ask you: If this piece were titled, ‘F*g Killer,’ or if the lyrics went, ‘Die, die, die, k*ke, die!’ would you still peddle it? It’s often been said that if Adolf Hitler came back with a dynamite treatment for a film, every studio in town would be after it. Would Warner be among them?”
The room was death-still. I gave them one more dose, a few lines from another cut on the CD, less notorious but even more disgusting. In this “song,” Ice-T fantasizes about sodomizing two 12-year-old nieces of the next Vice President of the United States.
I left the room in an echoing silence, then repeated much of what I’d said inside to the media. One or two journalists said, “You know, we can’t run that.”
“Yeah, I know,” I said. “But Warner is selling it.” A week or so later, the company pulled the album, pretending that Ice-T had asked them to. A month after that, they terminated his contract.
I asked the women’s organization NOW to join me in condemning the album, in view of the vicious lyrics about sodomizing little girls. It never did. I’ve never understood why. Perhaps NOW didn’t want to attack a black man.
Still, I’m proud of what I did, though now I’ll surely never be offered another film by Warner, or get a good review from Time. On the other hand, I doubt I’ll get a traffic ticket very soon.
[In the Arena: An Autobiography, by Charlton Heston, p. 567-568]
Heston was even more candid about his feelings for Ice T in his book T he Courage to Be Free (2000):
An entertainer of sorts, he is a minor young Hollywood character actor, a rapper who makes money by encouraging violence, pervasion, racist hatred, and bloodshed… His medium is raw, driving form of music known as rap. As a prominent musician I know defines it, “rap” is sung by people who can’t sing, can’t play an instrument, and can’t write lyrics. It’s vocal graffiti—just a temper tantrum with a beat. (p. 80 – 81)
Ice T, real name Tracy Marrow, admits that, now that he is wealthy, he needs police to protect his property [Ice-t: “I’m a hypocrite regarding police, by Wenn,ContactMusic, January 18, 2007]. He even plays a police officer on Law & Order.
Yet the celebration of N.W.A. and the apotheosis of people like Ice T reflects a deeper shift in American culture beyond gangster rappers making it big.
Today, no Hollywood actor, not even of Heston’s clout, would dare go into a shareholders’ meeting of a major corporations and condemn “verbal graffiti” against police and whites. The onetime defenders of traditional morality are now cultural outsiders.
What was counter-cultural even as late as 1992 is now mainstream and beyond criticism. Straight Outta Compton is a celebration of the new Establishment culture—a Minority Occupation Culture to match our Minority Occupation Government.
Paul Kersey[Email him] is the author of the blog SBPDL, and has published the books SBPDL Year One, Hollywood in Blackface and Escape From Detroit, Opiate of America: College Football in Black and White and Second City Confidential: The Black Experience in Chicagoland. His latest book is The Tragic City: Birmingham 1963-2013.