Friday, August 17, 2007

Say what?

Following this Sunday’s dedication of Virginia Tech’s “April 16 Memorial” school officials have also planned a September 6 concert with music rapper NAS. The concert ironically, according to this press release, is intended “to help the university community move forward in the aftermath of the April tragedy at Virginia Tech.” You may remember that 23 year old English major Cho Seung-Hui, went on a rampage April 16 that killed 32 people and wounded 26 others.

The problem is that NAS, as do most rappers, sings violent and profane lyrics. So in an effort to move beyond violence and murder, Virginia Tech officials book someone to sing on, well, violence and murder?!?

According to the Washington Post,

Alicia Farrell, whose brother, Jarrett Lane, was one of the students killed by gunman Seung Hui Cho, said she believes there is a time and place for such music -- but not at a concert meant to commemorate the victims and comfort the survivors of the worst shooting in U.S. history. Cho, a senior from Fairfax County, killed 32 students and faculty members and himself.

"My issue is not with Nas or his lyrics in any other place, but this is an opportunity for healing in the community," Farrell, 26, said from her home in Richmond. "It's the most inappropriate thing I could imagine hearing at such an event.”

The university’s press release even described NAS as “hip hop’s conscience.” You click this link to decide…is this hip-hop’s conscience?

[Warning: I said RAP…if you’re culturally illiterate that means cursing, foul, profane language]


Adam said...

Simply because you can quote a limited selection of Nas' songs does not mean he will perform those songs which are seemingly sadistic. What's more Nas' full library comprises over 100, maybe even over 200 songs in total. Condemning his performance as insensitive before it even occurs is nonsensical.
For chrissake, Dave Matthews wrote a song about his own death called Gravedigger. I know the folks deep down there in Missour-a still long for Jim Crow but Nas raps about the ghetto life he had to live in Queens. I wouldn't last a week there which is why I've got respect for somebody who can survive that and talk about it. I doubt Nas will be flashing pictures of Cho on stage or reading transcripts of his video.
Before you go acting like Nas is just another stupid thug (though I doubt you do much more than walk past them with your nose up in the air when on the street anyway), maybe you could've checked his entire body of work. Lord knows Thugz Mansion and If I Ruled The World were incredible songs as was the entirety of the Illmatic CD. I don't form opinions of Toby Keith being an idiot just because he has a twang, Lord knows I haven't listened to him. Repeating that yutzball Bill O'Reilly's missives does not an intelligent argument make. Nas hasn't said anything violently murderous in Blacksburg yet and there's nothing ensuring that he will either.

Rod said...


I am admittedly (and proudly) ignorant of rap music. I will be glad to receive a quick education from you.

Could you post an example of lyrics from the rapper NAS that you think would be edifying and comforting to someone whose relative or friend was murdered in April?

Since his recordings may number over 200, you can even include more than one song's lyrics so I and others who resonate with my ignorance of rap could be better educated on the enobling effects of such lyrics.