Success Often Endangers Rappers
April 12, 2006 2:35 PM   Subscribe

Mercury News D-12's Proof, shot dead at 32. Proof stayed close to give back what he owed - and paid with his life.
posted by archkim (96 comments total)
 
"Proof gave back. He was part of his community. He didn't deserve to die,"

well...unless you fire the first shot....

Generally, guys like this are cheap thugs... I work with kids that put them up on a pedestal.... emulate them...and many of the kids will eventually die just like "Proof" did...

How is that "giving back what he owed"....
posted by HuronBob at 2:41 PM on April 12, 2006


"Proof fired the first shot in a gun battle that left him dead."

So some piece of shit gets himself killed. Are we supposed to care?
posted by 2sheets at 2:46 PM on April 12, 2006


NewsFilter posts don't usually bother me, but come on, this is barely news outside of the man's friends and relatively serious fans of D12.
posted by oxonium at 2:46 PM on April 12, 2006


Generally, guys like this are cheap thugs...

Wow. Except that Proof wasn't. I don't know how can level such a cheap and completely baseless attack in so flippant a manner. I mean, do you even know who D-12 is? Hardly gangstas, that's for sure; Proof was, in fact, quite the opposite. He truly did give back, and shame on you for even implying differently.

And as for putting scare quotes around someone's street name, that's just childish. Do you write "Madonna" every time? Or "Martin Sheen"?

In summation, fuck off.

RIP Proof. A sad day.
posted by ChasFile at 2:50 PM on April 12, 2006


Come on. He was at an illegal club, and fired the first shot. He may have given back, but he died a stupid death, like at lot of folks do in my neighbourhood.

I don't make FPPs about them. No one cares about them. So, fuck off yourself.
posted by QIbHom at 2:55 PM on April 12, 2006


"Proof fired the first shot in a gun battle that left him dead."

He's hardly the victim here. He fired the first shot. Once he pulled that trigger, his death was his own fault. If someone else had started it, then sure, I could understand the comments being made. But he shot first. End of story.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 2:55 PM on April 12, 2006


Proof was, in fact, quite the opposite. He truly did give back,

Yeah guys, you've never 'given back' by getting in a gun-fight?
posted by puke & cry at 2:56 PM on April 12, 2006 [1 favorite]


Please tell us more about this Mercury News you mentioned, it is surely one of the best things on the Web.
posted by nicwolff at 2:56 PM on April 12, 2006


He gave back, and they give back to him. Ergo...
posted by blue_beetle at 2:58 PM on April 12, 2006


Proof was, in fact, quite the opposite. He truly did give back

Yes, Proof gave back.

From "Pimplikeness"

[Proof]
Aiyyo, she a freak and I love the way she move to the beat
Ass and titties bouncin, she ain't movin her feet
Put 20 in her bra, stiff dick had many in her jaw
Probably hit plenty in the raw (nasty bitch)
I wanna see this bitch naked on my livin room flo'
And yo bitch, I ain't givin up no dough, fo'sho'
You can be my best friend but Em might get mad
Don't call me Daddy bitch, I fuck better than your dad
Let me get up in that ass like I'm ridin horseback
Fuck a sponge, I need a tool to clean my ball sack
I pop my collar, don't pop your bra strap
If you hang up the phone then bitch don't call back
18's on ice, you ain't seen that befo'
Actin like you ain't seen my bling through the do' (bling)
I move to a ho, just for one reason
Cause bitches need 9-1-1 for no reason

[Chorus: Proof + (Eminem)]
(I'm somethin like a pimp)
A diamond{?} trick, but you ain't seein no chips, young ho
(I said I'm somethin like a pimp)
Can't go on trips, so you could suck my dick, yes bitch
(I'm somethin like a pimp)
You could swallow or spit, and make me rich, oh girl
(I'm somethin like a pimp)
Get that money witcha switch, I walk with a limp, big P
(Said I'm somethin like a pimp)

[Outro: Proof]
Hah, been gettin this money off these bitches
Heard me? That's what I do, you know me
Check me out anywhere, anybody tell you about Proof
Got that, a.k.a. The Young Legend
The Human Fly, y'knowmsayin?
Aiyyo, I got bitches in Michigan on Michigan
Yo' bitch is on Woodward nigga, next to them faggot ass niggaz
I got bad bitches cause you gon', you think it's a cop
Yeah, that ain't cop that's my bitches
I got the top notch bitches, y'knowmsayin?
I'm more than a pimp, I'm somethin like a pimp
Cause I'm a Thundercat at the same time, Wonder Rat{?} baby
Big pimpin, you heard me? P.I.M.P
Proof Is My Poppa, let's keep it goin
Proof Is My Poppa, P.I.M.P
Y'knowmsayin let's go, c'mon y'all let's go..
posted by billysumday at 2:59 PM on April 12, 2006


Guns don't kill people, rappers do.
posted by jack_mo at 3:00 PM on April 12, 2006


ChasFile...

"Proof" was in fact not his name, that's why it is in quotes...

Are you ignoring the fact that he carried a gun, and took the first shot? Sorry, in my neighborhood that makes him a felon and an attempted murderer...

Answer my question as to just how that "gives back to his community", how that is a role model for young kids.....

Lyrics...Proof was sure a fine gentleman, respected his women...set a great example...

"Party and bullshit the night away
Find a little hole for the hideaway
Livin every second like a holiday
The fun don't stop her nowaday
Especially since I hooked up with Dr. Dre
Now bitches "Lean Back" and they rock away
Hella game plus sex, she got the play
"BRRING BRRING!" (Can I suck your cock today?)"
posted by HuronBob at 3:00 PM on April 12, 2006


The result has been a nearly 20-year series of rap murders that underscores the increasingly perilous state of young black men in America.

Because all young black men are wanna-be-rapper gangster thugs? Are you fucking kidding me?

Also: Yeah, slick fired the first shot. This moment brought to you by Charles Darwin.
posted by Mikey-San at 3:02 PM on April 12, 2006


Yeah, I held back posting, but seriously, why would anyone outside of a very narrow pack of fans see this as anything out of the ordinary? The rap industry is driven by maintaining a certain image, and that often means young black and white men acting like idiots and shooting each other. I would bet there were a dozen kids at that club with more creativity and virtue than this dope whose apparent lack of venality wasn't seen as 'saintly'.

Put me in the 'BFD' category.
posted by docpops at 3:03 PM on April 12, 2006


"I don't know how can level such a cheap and completely baseless attack in so flippant a manner."

I think it's childish to rush to the defense of a very stupid, violent person who brought about their own demise.
Why don't you grow up and accept the fact that Your quasi-celeb hero had feet of clay?
And besides, are we really supposed to take anything attached to Eminem seriously? That's some weak shit to begin with.
posted by 2sheets at 3:05 PM on April 12, 2006


"Success Often Endangers Rappers"??! Sorry, this guy is so not a victim.
posted by LarryC at 3:08 PM on April 12, 2006


This news is all over the front pages of Detroit newspapers today. Proof was a big influence on the Detroit hip-hop scene and on Eminem, according to news accounts. FWIW.

Update from the Detroit Free Press: apparently the shooter turned himself in today.

According to police, Proof was shot and killed after he pistol-whipped and shot Bender following a fight about 4:30 a.m. Tuesday. Proof was shot up to four times in the head and the chest by another man, police said.
posted by blucevalo at 3:08 PM on April 12, 2006


I heard Fiddy got shot nine times.
posted by Mikey-San at 3:13 PM on April 12, 2006


Are Leela and Fry ok?
posted by wakko at 3:13 PM on April 12, 2006


billysumday - thanks for the lyrics. Wow - what a poet. An artist! And to think some people might have dismissed him as just another posturing loser who had karma bite him in the ass.
posted by MaxVonCretin at 3:15 PM on April 12, 2006


yes you guys are all much cooler than proof

anyway can we discuss actual things?
posted by wakko at 3:16 PM on April 12, 2006


If shooting first is 'giving back what you owe', I imagine most rappers' neighborhoods don't want repayment.
posted by Malor at 3:16 PM on April 12, 2006


Let me remind you people that Eminem has an Academy Award. Martin Scorsese doesn't even have his skillz.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:17 PM on April 12, 2006


It's always interesting to me how any rap-related discussion on the circles of the internet in which I travel always devolves into a contest to see who can disparage rap music the most.

Did Proof bring his own death upon himself with his actions? Apparently so.

Did Proof and Eminem write hateful, violent, and misogynistic music? Absolutely.

Does this make all rap music garbage? Certainly not.

There is quite a bit of rap music just beneath the surface of the mainstream that is intellectually stimulating and thoughtful, and is just as likely to critique the decline of hip-hop culture as you are. To decry all rap because your brief brushes with it usually come from news headlines about dead rappers only betrays your own ignorance of the subject.
posted by CRM114 at 3:27 PM on April 12, 2006


Cool. A popup with a little green football you try to send through the goalpost. Oh, I see. Dead gangsta #1,293.12.
posted by buzzman at 3:32 PM on April 12, 2006


There is quite a bit of rap music just beneath the surface of the mainstream that is intellectually stimulating and thoughtful, and is just as likely to critique the decline of hip-hop culture as you are.

On the same topic, Proof had (again according to the Free Press) apparently recently released an album called Searching for Jerry Garcia:

In August, the company released "Searching for Jerry Garcia," Proof's first solo album. With 20 tracks that incorporated bits of psychedelic funk, jazz and hard rock into its lively rap mix, the disc displayed Proof's eclectic mindset and his willingness to color outside the standard hip-hop lines.

Proof, who titled "Garcia" in homage to the late Grateful Dead guitarist, said the record reflected a quest for personal enlightenment, one he'd undertaken in response to "stress, a bad diet and drugs" as D12's star rose in the early '00s."It's about coming back, finding the way," he told the Free Press last summer.

posted by blucevalo at 3:34 PM on April 12, 2006


"Proof, who titled "Garcia" in homage to the late Grateful Dead guitarist"

Oh great, now we can trash hip hop and The Greatful Dead! Did I mention that Curt Cobain was over-rated?
posted by 2sheets at 3:40 PM on April 12, 2006


He was no Joe C.

But it's nice to know what a bunch of white dudes think of rappers. I can go to sleep now.
posted by bardic at 3:43 PM on April 12, 2006


Well, we are the primary audience.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:47 PM on April 12, 2006


What the fuck, CRM114? Did anyone "decry all rap" here? Did anyone say all rap music was "garbage"? If you want to argue docpops assertion that the rap industry promotes the thug lifestyle, feel free, but you'll be laughed right out of the thread. I'm sure it's Proof's stress and bad diet that made him pistol-whip some guy in a bar and then shoot him in the head. I get cranky too when I don't eat right.
posted by nicwolff at 3:56 PM on April 12, 2006


Sounds like Proof's search for Jerry Garcia is over.
posted by emelenjr at 4:01 PM on April 12, 2006


Bummer, I like D12.
posted by fenriq at 4:10 PM on April 12, 2006


"Rap industry?" How quaint--as if the major music companies are somehow divorced from what is one of their biggest moneymakers alongside Celine Dion. And is this "rap industry" led by shady negroes trying to corrupt our precious white youth as well? It don't work that way. With the exception of underground rap (which I think CRM114 is getting at), much gangta rap is exploitative and dumb. But guess what? Seen any emo vidoes lately? A different breed, but a similar level of misogyny IMO--girls should look like X and act like Y and when they don't put out they're whores. How about Britney Spears (for the life of me, I don't know who the "it" teenie diva is right now)? Healthy views about body image and how to conduct yourself? How about Slipknot? Fine bunch of fellows there. Etc.

Whatever dude. Popular music certainly has its moments, but to heap blame on rap and ignore the blatant stupidity being espoused by the rest of it is ignorant. Dare I say, it's borderline racist? OK, I won't say that. I'll just think it.
posted by bardic at 4:11 PM on April 12, 2006


Proof, who titled "Garcia" in homage to the late Grateful Dead guitarist, said the record reflected a quest for personal enlightenment, one he'd undertaken in response to "stress, a bad diet and drugs" as D12's star rose in the early '00s."It's about coming back, finding the way," he told the Free Press last summer.

And then he shot some guy and got killed. Oops.
posted by Mikey-San at 4:11 PM on April 12, 2006


Bardic... I don't see a single post that states any other form of music is any better than rap...don't read things into other people's statements.

and..I hold the major record companies as much to blame as anyone for the crap peddled to kids now....

Don't go off half cocked, nobody here has made a single racist statement...
posted by HuronBob at 4:26 PM on April 12, 2006


I apologize for projecting onto other users the notion that it's only rappers, and not more acceptable white acts that are poisoning the youth. However, this is a pretty popular attitude I run into all the time (anecdotal, I realize). But I've taught kids who actually wear, say, a Slipknot T-shirt ("People=Shit," etc.) and their parents apparently have to problem with it. But OMG if they're listening to the new Juvenile, there'll be hell to pay.

I think the racial element is overwhelmingly obvious, and has been for years going back to the 1950's and the "fear" that Elvis acted too black. Nothing new.
posted by bardic at 4:34 PM on April 12, 2006


So some rapper pistol-whipped some dude and got shot. Big fucking deal. Johnny Cash shot a man in Reno just to watch him die, man. Now that's hard core.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:46 PM on April 12, 2006


My favorite batshitinsane fallen-from-grace rapper is still Mystikal (who put out some great tracks, IMO).
posted by bardic at 4:50 PM on April 12, 2006


Sure, bardic, remember when Christina Aguilera shot that fat girl in that bar? And didn't Chris Carrabba stab a guy once for smiling at a DC show?

No, of course they didn't. Slipknot may strike a nihilist pose, but they don't start gunfights. Do you really think that if they did, people would be any more charitable to them because they're white than we are here? "Whatever dude."

(Wait, are they white?)
posted by nicwolff at 4:54 PM on April 12, 2006


I don't know that anyone in the thread is particularly concerned as to the effects of gangsta culture on white kids, bardic, for the simple reason that white kids aren't killing each other over this shit. To them it's a juvenile pose that is functionally no different than being goth or emo, and they leave it behind along with the rest of their adolescence.


What the whole 'thug life' panoply is poisoning is the positive aspirations of black urban youth, and the strength and stability of relationships between black men and women. A lifestyle of violence, misogyny and bling in these circumstances, while maybe the depressingly natural result of being born in grinding poverty that seems inescapable by conventional means, is an invitation to a short, bloody life. It happens all too often, and it's what happened to Proof here.

And at the risk of being tarred with the generously broad brush of racism, I have to say that this is worse than Britney Spears making white girls fret about their waistlines or snotty suburban boys wearing offensive tee shirts. It's the self-destruction of the urban black community.
posted by Makoto at 5:04 PM on April 12, 2006


For every one of the four dead rappers mentioned in the article, there are many, many more dead white performers due to OD's. Let's place the blame all around, and stop demonizing one type of music that is, let's face it, generally performed by one racial demographic, and completely ignore the rest of the picture.

You're confusing the reprehensible behavior of performers with the reprehensible behavior it instills in kids. I see them do stupid things because of rap music, and I see them do the same if not more stupid, sociopathic things because of nu-metal. With girls, it's a bit more indirect--but there's a reason a lot of them dress and act like pornstars. Yes there are hootchies in the rap videos, but what's the entire career of a Britney or an Xtina based on? It's more subtle, but that doesn't excuse parents from blaming a Proof while more "acceptable" white performers fuck their kids up in even worse ways.
posted by bardic at 5:07 PM on April 12, 2006


white kids aren't killing each other over this shit

Please feel free to link an article to the latest "Black kid kills other black kid because of third verse of Jay-Z song." What a bullshit argument. If it happened, it doesn't happen as often as a white kid gets drunk and kills his parents or his girlfriend. Look, kids commit violence, and that's sad, but only you and Tipper Gore seem to think that violence is a direct, unmediated product of listening to a given song. The Columbine murderers happened to listen to a lot of "white" metal music. It's stupid to say the music made them do it, as much as they were lonely, scared, and for reasons having to do with their upbrining, homicidal.

You're basically saying that white kids can filter rap music into non-violent channels, while black kids are zombies who must have bling and so they shoot people. Period. How is that not racist in and off itself? White kids don't commit murder and other crimes in order to buy the car or the drugs that their music heroes, black or white, seem to have?

We can agree to disagree, but I have a suspicion you don't actually spend much time around teenagers.
posted by bardic at 5:17 PM on April 12, 2006


Gotta admit, the Columbine incident and others like it have been more batshit insane (that seems to be a popular phrase on this board) than any of the rap/homicide incidents. There's plenty of "white" music that promotes what could only be termed evil.
posted by Nicholas West at 5:33 PM on April 12, 2006


I have to run, and I wish I could retroactively tone down the heat from some of my comments. But as a former high school teacher, I used to encounter this sort of double-standard all the time from parents and kids--the idea that the sexism and violence of one type of music (or movie or television show, for that matter) was acceptable as long as it didn't fall into the "gangsta" category. I'm not condoning any performer who makes a living pumping this stuff out (although I'm a hypocrite, since some of my favorite music growing up, rap and rock, had a fair amount of it), I'm just frustrated that "dead black rapper" makes news, while "dead white junkie guitarist" or "bulimic emotionally scarred for life white girl" doesn't, usually. Then again, how could it? It's short-term vs. long-term effects. But both are equally pernicious, and these days it's far too easy to scapegoat "dead black rapper" than it is to confront the shortcomings of so many American parents of all colors.

As a genuine fan of many types music, this whole scapegoating thing is nothing new. Go back to the 1920's and you'll find stories of "Jazzbo Hopheads" coming downtown from Harlem into the "respectable" parts of town to get high and rape white girls. Literally. The rise of blues music carried similar negative and completely made-up connotations. In the early 90's, NWA was the problem for white America (and kudos to Dre and company for making a buck off of white America's irrational fears), even while it was white kids, far more than black kids, who purchased and consumed the stuff. And that's still the case.

And what Nicholas West said--if there's any potential path for racial inquiry here, it would be why is it that white kids act out violently and taken down entire swathes of their peers, while black kids manage to confine it to a single person? I think it was Chris Rock made a fairly poignant joke about this phenomenon.
posted by bardic at 5:53 PM on April 12, 2006


Considering that I only stopped being a teenager several years ago, bardic, your suspicion isn't well-founded.

But I'm not actually saying that 'the music made them kill.' I'm saying that for suburban kids, this music is escapist entertainment, a fantasyland that is appealing because it is far removed from anything they are ever likely to encounter. While it may shock their parents, it is harmless because it is Not Real to them. At least that's how I remember things from my own adolescence, lost in the mists of prehistory though it may be.

For urban black kids--and no less for suitably situated urban white kids--it's a stylized representation of the crap that demonstrably does go on around them. Media saturation of a particular sort is bound to affect anyone, regardless of their age or race or socioeconomic circumstances. And if the media these kids are saturated with tells them that the response to powerlessness, despair and poverty is violence, misogyny and bling, they're going to aspire to lifestyles like the one that resulted in Proof's death.

The real problem isn't rap or gangsta culture. The problem is that you have a bunch of people festering in poverty who are trying to improve their lot with the tools available to them. Unforunately, certain of those tools, seductive though they may be, suck. And people end up dead.
posted by Makoto at 5:53 PM on April 12, 2006


Like Puffy says, 'Mo' money, mo' problems.'

Goddamnit Stic.Man, BIGGIE said that, NOT Puffy! For chrissake, hasn't Puffy gotten enough credit by scraping off peices of Biggie's corpse and selling it at market price without other rappers doing it for him?
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 6:17 PM on April 12, 2006


What the whole 'thug life' panoply is poisoning is the positive aspirations of black urban youth, and the strength and stability of relationships between black men and women.

Which is all the remit of the white-run record companies. It's just like the CIA flooding black neighbourhoods with crack, free availability of hard booze and guns, gross unemployment, the imprisonment of a spectacular percentage of black men, and various other social manipulations all intended to ultimately destroy the black American underclass.

I know people who really believe that, and you can almost see why - it's actually less batshit insane than some conspiracy theories you hear.
posted by jack_mo at 6:18 PM on April 12, 2006


Let's just see here.

A violent thug whips out a gun and frikking murders someone, and some people want to defend and eulogize him ?

Please.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 6:20 PM on April 12, 2006


Makoto, please explain how Jay-Z's video for "Big Pimpin'" is somehow more real for urban kids than it is for suburban or country kids (the one taking place on a yacht in the Caribbean)? Let's take a little less extreme and more general example--the typical rap video is based around really flashy, tricked out cars, lots of ice, and lots of hot babes. Beyond the obvious fact that the rappers and girls are usually black, you are totally mistaken to think that this is somehow "truer" to urban kids than to others, or that it isn't offering exactly the same type of escapism as lots of rock, nu-metal, and country videos. It's a complete fantasy, and again, you have failed to convince me that white and/or suburban kids have better "reality filters" than do black and/or urban kids. You're correct to say there tends to be a glaring economic difference, but I'm not going to go down the road of Social Darwinism and say that poor people are that way because they don't understand how things work. If anything, they understand it better than those who are well-off. It's unwarranted condescension to say otherwise.

My experience teaching and tutoring urban black kids is that they come from families that are far more likely to instill a work ethic based purely on the fact that they can't afford to think the latest Juvenile video is "real life." There probably are black and urban kids who think it's "real life," but they're probably fewer in number than the white kids who think a Big & Rich video, replete with hottie cowgirls and tricked out Ford F-150's and palm trees is real. (Actually, I know very little about New Country, but my sense is that many of the tropes are borrowed from the "bling" of rap videos, just translated into a different idiom, and therefore it becomes both acceptable and accesible to a white audience. It's still about money and sex and having as much of it as possible, and it's complete and utter escapism. And it's hypocritical to blame black musicians when white musicians tend to do the exact same thing. And it's unconscious racism, IMO. There. I said it.)

I disagree with many of them, but I appreciate your comments. Gotta run for now.
posted by bardic at 6:20 PM on April 12, 2006


Please tell us more about this Mercury News you mentioned, it is surely one of the best things on the Web.
posted by nicwolff at 2:56 PM PST on April 12 [!]

The Mercury News certainly isn't the best of the web, but one of its columns is pretty good. I give you Mr. Roadshow! :-D
posted by drstein at 6:32 PM on April 12, 2006


Hey, don't worry. In twenty years George Lucas will fix things so Proof wasn't the antagonist after all. Everybody wins.
posted by Zozo at 7:05 PM on April 12, 2006


For every one of the four dead rappers mentioned in the article, there are many, many more dead white performers due to OD's. Let's place the blame all around

bardic, ODing doesn't kill anyone else. That's the difference.
posted by Dasein at 7:06 PM on April 12, 2006


I view these rap/homicides as kind of base territorial skirmishes that might happen in any kind of ruthless culture, but as a racially based cultural feature, I don't really buy it.

Matter of fact, the historic truth is that European-sourced white folk have killed on such an unimaginable level as to leave all other cultural groups far in the dust.....early American explorers and settlers, Hitler & His Guys, Stalin, Napoleon, Harry Truman & His Bombs......

This is not a political commentary on any rationale these particular guys had for what they did, just a bare statement of fact that white folk have been historically responsible for more murder by far than anybody else. I'm white and I say this unhappily but unflinchingly because I believe it to be true.
posted by Nicholas West at 7:08 PM on April 12, 2006


Also, white performers don't see who can OD each other first. Maybe they should though.

Hey, don't worry. In twenty years George Lucas will fix things so Proof wasn't the antagonist after all. Everybody wins.

I was trying to come up with a way to work that joke in but gave up on it. Congrats.
posted by puke & cry at 7:08 PM on April 12, 2006 [1 favorite]


bardic, I don't mean to chop logic, but I thought we were talking about gangsta rap and the holy trinity of guns, hos and bling. The 'typical rap video' you mention certainly isn't gangsta rap; it really isn't even rap at all: it's mainstream hip-hop. And by the time of "Big Pimpin'," that's the sort of artist Jay-Z had transformed himself into, at least on his singles, with their child choruses and Mariah Carey duets. To take a more contemporary example, it's like the difference between 50 Cent on the "In da Club" single and everything else on Get Rich or Die Tryin', or Juvenile's "Rodeo" and "Get Ya Hustle On." Let's-have-a-good-time singles (and their accompanying videos) may overshadow the rest of a rapper's output to a casual observer, but they're anomalous, not representative. Bling daydreams may be escapist fantasies; crack, prostitution and bloodletting aren't.

And this isn't because urban black kids are any less (or more) able to determine 'reality' than suburban white kids. Do young white divas drive many adolescent girls to a thinness-or-death mentality? Sure. Do male performers in black eyeliner convince adolescent boys that cynical indifference bordering on nihilism is the only justifiable response to their society? Yes. To affluent kids from the 'burbs who don't have to worry about getting shot in the street, that is the vision of reality that many of them are particularly susceptible to. As I said before, though, it is not likely to result in their coming to a violent end--the occasional teenage suicide excepted.
posted by Makoto at 7:27 PM on April 12, 2006


I can't believe this got posted as an FPP here. That is truly amazing. I don't think this even qualifies as newsfilter.
Surely this marks a new low however temporary.
posted by a3matrix at 7:42 PM on April 12, 2006


Let me just add that a dislike for rap music is certainly not just a white thing. I can't thing of a single African-American friend I have who likes rap music -- and that's because for the most part they're instrumentalists who perceive that talentless thugs have driven music off the airwaves. I can't think of a rap music fan that I know who isn't an angry, affluent, young white male.

Just before Public Enemy hit the charts, I discovered rap and was convinced it was going to be the next big thing -- and I told everyone. It was -- but not for the reason I thought -- it just went right to stupid as fast as it damn well could.

The worst is that I keep looking for that "really great piece of rap music" (and I really do like PE and De La Soul, for example -- they're *musical*, and clever, and actually have some *life* to their voices, unlike these pathetic monotone two-syllable rhymers I hear on the radio). And sometimes I run into something I think is rap music that I like! Music that's intelligent and clever and moving... that isn't just "turn on the drum machine". Then I play it to my rap fan friends and they look at me funny: "That's not rap music."
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 8:02 PM on April 12, 2006


Chicken or egg situation. It's in the eye of the beholder whether music just describes the situation or promotes it. A man (who happens to be a rapper) who carries a gun into an area where he may have violent rivals might be inviting danger. Pulling that gun may or may not be self-defense -- the details of the case aren't clear. What is clear is that violence happens in poor, crime-heavy areas. Blaming that on music seems a little shortsighted.
posted by mikeh at 8:05 PM on April 12, 2006


Hey, mikeh: the degree of contempt that a person has for the lives of others by taking a gun into a crowded club borders on the psychopathic.

Anyway, it seems Google news has reports like this which seems to show that Proof knocked another man named Bender to the ground and shot him in the head, before being shot four time by the bouncer, who has turned himself into the police. In an interesting detail, Bender was celebrating recovering from a heart condition -- and is apparently recovering quite well from being shot in the head too. That rather puts a crimp into your "innocent guy who just happens to get shot" theory.

As for the "it's not about the music" -- well, the music talks endlessly and boringly about violence -- I can't count the number of famous rappers who have been shot or have shot others (and even more who have been arrested on weapons charges, showing in my mind at least the thought of shooting others) -- it's really hard to think of even two such musicians in all other musical genres put together. And, for Gosh sakes, this psycho was shot in a famous rap club.

Earth to mikeh: a lot of rappers are crass, violent, badly socialized individuals. They rap about it in their songs; they act that way when you see them in public; they commit the crimes that they rap about and are arrested for it.

Even heard the term "thug life"? Know what it means?

It means a band of young violent males with too much money, too many weapons, too many drugs and no respect for the lives of others and little for their own.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 8:56 PM on April 12, 2006


Goddamn, y'all are fulla some bullshit. Now, first off, who says shooting first makes someone the aggressor? You can shoot first and still have it be self defense. Hell, you can shoot an unarmed person and still have it be self defense. But no, the psychic detectives of Metafilter, the angry white men full of moralizing, you guys know. I assume that you'll all tell the police exactly what you witnessed, seeings as there's a dearth of cooperation right now.
Wait, you weren't there? Then how'd you manage to talk over your mug of shut the fuck up? Ah...

"I can't thing of a single African-American friend I have who likes rap music -- and that's because for the most part they're instrumentalists who perceive that talentless thugs have driven music off the airwaves. I can't think of a rap music fan that I know who isn't an angry, affluent, young white male."

'None of my black friends likes rap'? Well, nigga, you must not have very many black friends. My whole neighborhood likes hip hop, whether conscious or gangsta. We're mostly black and poor 'round these parts. Perhaps Carlton isn't the best demographic sample? No, no, rap's obviously made by talentless thugs that have driven "music" off the air. Kee-rist, did you read that back to yourself? While I'm right there about riding the FCC's deregulation of program minutes, the idea that rap has somehow driven "music" off the air is so blueblood inbred retarded that I'm amazed your yacht club let you off of cucumber sandwich duty to post it. 'Just the other day I was saying to Carlton, "You don't like that rap noise do you?" and he quite wisely replied "Oh, no, sir, it moves the baser parts of the anatomy, and you know we blacks can't rely on that. More sherry?"'

"Earth to mikeh: a lot of rappers are crass, violent, badly socialized individuals. They rap about it in their songs; they act that way when you see them in public; they commit the crimes that they rap about and are arrested for it."

Earth to Lupus Wondermutt— Which rappers? You mean, like, Outkast? You mean like The Coup? You mean like LL Cool J? You mean like Nas? You mean like all that negro shit sounds the same to you so why bother?

I can understand how if you're not following rap, Proof's death wouldn't mean much. The "'Nother Nigger Murdered" response here certainly follows the formula. But while Proof is best known for his work with the novelty group D12, he's had a solid career on his own, and anyone who's ever seen him knows that things are a little more complex. But dealing with complexity takes thinking, and thinking is the soap to the meniscus of snark.

"To affluent kids from the 'burbs who don't have to worry about getting shot in the street, that is the vision of reality that many of them are particularly susceptible to. As I said before, though, it is not likely to result in their coming to a violent end--the occasional teenage suicide excepted."

Actually, chief, kids in the 'burbs are more likely to die than kids in the inner city. But don't let statistics bother your otherwise stunning argument. You were on better ground, and made some good points, dealing with the difference in representation to two different demographics.

"Sure, bardic, remember when Christina Aguilera shot that fat girl in that bar? And didn't Chris Carrabba stab a guy once for smiling at a DC show?"

You don't know your music history. Go ask Burzum. Or, if you like, I can come up with plenty of violent white musicians. Like, say, Phil Spector.
posted by klangklangston at 10:01 PM on April 12, 2006


Black rapper shoots someone, he pays.

White vice president shoots someone, we pay.
posted by dhartung at 10:11 PM on April 12, 2006


fuckin' a, klang. finally somebody with some sense in this thread.

you judgmental white bores upthread should go profess your ignorance elsewhere. it's okay that you just don't fucking get it, but spare the rest of us your callow cluelessness.
posted by Hat Maui at 11:24 PM on April 12, 2006


um, one small thing though -- what did you mean by "Actually, chief, kids in the 'burbs are more likely to die than kids in the inner city"?

'cuz depending on how you meant it, i'm not so sure that's right.

posted by Hat Maui at 11:27 PM on April 12, 2006


It's not even close to being right.

The latest, 2000 figures from the National Center for Health Statistics show that of 10,801 gun homicides in the U.S., 2,900 (a little more than one-fourth) involved whites; seven in 10 involved blacks and Latinos.

25 times more black inner-city teens than white suburban teens are murdered by gunfire.

LA’s scourge of black gun homicide (308 murder victims in a population of 900,000) is 12 times that of whites, and 100 times higher in Southcentral than among LA’s suburban whites.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 12:34 AM on April 13, 2006


I've said it before and I'll say it again. Gangsta rap is the new hair metal. Crazy, over the top music that is completely silly and exaggerative. Except these guys have better business managers, so they are smart and branching out into clothing and other marketing endeavours, thus they won't end up playing gigs at John's Crab Shack in 20 years. Provided that they survive the next 20 years.

When I heard about Proof, I thought it was sad because I did find D-12 amusing, but to find out that he was the one that shot first? Much less sad. Another dumbass trying to prove how "tough" he is and ends up dead.
posted by antifuse at 2:42 AM on April 13, 2006


With all due respect to the memory of the late Proof, Bizarre has all the talent in D12 anyway.
posted by Faint of Butt at 3:35 AM on April 13, 2006


It's a tragedy all round.

Tragic event and a tragic thread.
posted by asok at 3:45 AM on April 13, 2006


I can't thing of a single African-American friend I have who likes rap music -- and that's because for the most part they're instrumentalists who perceive that talentless thugs have driven music off the airwaves. I can't think of a rap music fan that I know who isn't an angry, affluent, young white male.

Get out more. Is there a chance you're, I dunno, older? I think I've met a couple of black guys that still like rap, so we can hold off on asking the Street Cred Popo to close the industry down. "[T]alentless" applied to a whole genre of music isn't even worth addressing.
posted by yerfatma at 5:16 AM on April 13, 2006


Now, first off, who says shooting first makes someone the aggressor?

cops, prosecutors, juries, judges ... you know, uncool people

as far as the rest of it goes, it's all about fronting ... and people who front too much start believing it too much and get burned ... that can happen in dilbertland as well as the street ... or the white house

funny, isn't it, how this kind of rebellion ends up mirroring the violence, narcissism and materialism of the society at large?

it's just consumers and providers, guy ... the same old crap in a different package ... more bread and circuses to keep people docile and entertained ... and directing their rage at each other instead of those who are screwing them

yawn ...
posted by pyramid termite at 6:02 AM on April 13, 2006


"cops, prosecutors, juries, judges ... you know, uncool people"

Wrong. They wait for corroborating evidence. Again, you can shoot first and still have it be self defense. Sorry that your crackerjack legal eagle skills have been found wanting.

"It's not even close to being right."

'Fraid it is, cuz. Check the current reports from the AECF Kidscount survey. Including ALL deaths, not just those from gun violence, the most dangerous place to live is rural America, then the suburbs, then the inner cities. The suburbs have a particularly high suicide and substance-abuse related vehicular death rate. While gun deaths are higher in the inner cities, even factoring out non-violent deaths still leaves suburbs more dangerous.
posted by klangklangston at 7:34 AM on April 13, 2006


Wrong. They wait for corroborating evidence.

funny thing is, they usually find it in cases like these ... and if they can't, certain people will "take care of it themselves" and the bodies pile up ... with a lot less due process and corroborating evidence than the legal system demands

Sorry that your crackerjack legal eagle skills have been found wanting.

sorry that your pal's crackerjack street skillz have been found wanting

you don't want to judge him legally? ... fine ... the street's made its own judgement in this case and unlike the legal system, there's no appeal possible

who are you going to blame that on? ... cops? ... society? ... or the people who choose to participate in this kind of culture?

a lot of people "defend themselves" by not going places where this kind of confrontation is likely to happen

he lost ... period
posted by pyramid termite at 8:00 AM on April 13, 2006


"you don't want to judge him legally? ... fine ... the street's made its own judgement in this case and unlike the legal system, there's no appeal possible"

What the fuck are you even on about? First you say that if there isn't legal evidence, the cops will make some. Then you go off on how the street has judged him...? You need to put your crack pipe down and slowly back away from the computer.
posted by klangklangston at 8:04 AM on April 13, 2006


What the fuck are you even on about?

the truth

First you say that if there isn't legal evidence, the cops will make some.

is that what i said? ... let's say the bouncer gets off on what ever charges that may or may not be pressed against him

do you really think it's going to end there? ... someone who's got a beef with d-12 getting shot is going to get him

Then you go off on how the street has judged him...?

what would you know about it? ... what you hear on rap cds?

You need to put your crack pipe down and slowly back away from the computer.

i tried crack and didn't like it ... true confession time, how close have you ever been to a crack pipe? ... how many gangsters have you personally met? ... how many times have you had a gun pointed at you or been threatened with shooting? ... how many crackheads and crack dealers have you dealt with? ... how many times have you found someone lying on the sidewalk bleeding from a bullet hole?

you've already admitted you don't know what i'm on about ... guess what? ... you don't know what you're on about, either ... because if you did know, you'd have known what i was saying
posted by pyramid termite at 8:31 AM on April 13, 2006


So why bother commenting if you don't want people to understand what you're talking about?
posted by agregoli at 8:35 AM on April 13, 2006


"you've already admitted you don't know what i'm on about ... guess what? ... you don't know what you're on about, either ... because if you did know, you'd have known what i was saying"

Maybe if you stopped cribbing from Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, you'd be a little more coherent.
posted by klangklangston at 8:41 AM on April 13, 2006


you probably don't really want to know anyway, "g" ... live by the gun, die by the gun ... live by the street, die by the street ... and all the pontificating about how kids in the burbs are dying more isn't going to change that

bye, poseur
posted by pyramid termite at 8:47 AM on April 13, 2006


Wow, this thread turned unexpectedly funny.
posted by agregoli at 9:01 AM on April 13, 2006


What the fuck, highon? You're trying to out ghetto me? I know things are bad in Kzoo, but nigga please. You can trot that shit back to Xangaland, but it ain't gonna fly here. Got anything more than movie taglines and bloated clichés?
posted by klangklangston at 9:02 AM on April 13, 2006


So, I don't like or closely follow rap. Must be because I'm a cracker, guess we can deal with that later. I'd never heard of Proof. When I heard about his death on the TV while walking through the room, it was mentioned he was a contemporary or an influence of Eminem's, so without thinking too much about it, I kind of figured he was white.

Then I heard he was carrying a gun, pistol-whipped and shot someone in the head, then was shot himself. I thought, huh, guess he had it coming.

Then I found out he was black and that I'm a racist bitch for thinking that he got what was coming to him. Except that I thought that because he was carrying a gun and shot someone with it, not because he was black.

You want to call me elitist for not "understanding" rap, fine. I'll take it. If you're going to say I just don't like it because I'm white, well, I can't argue with you, because I am white and there's no way to argue against that kind of logic. But if you're going to call me a racist because I think some doofus got what he deserved after being shot for pistol-whipping and shooting someone else, when I had little idea what the color of his skin was and cared even less - well, I'mma have to draw the line.

And just for the record? Kind of hard to call out someone else for racism when you're going around saying things like this:

"so blueblood inbred retarded that I'm amazed your yacht club let you off of cucumber sandwich duty to post it"

posted by jennaratrix at 9:37 AM on April 13, 2006


"you judgmental white bores upthread should go profess your ignorance elsewhere"
You don't really know who you're talking to or where I've been; but I'll wager I was producing local hip hop acts about the same time you were shitting yourself in mom's car seat.

"You're trying to out ghetto me?"
Klang, are you white with an emo beard, or is that someone else's pic? Please, tell us how ghetto you are. Are you still down with the Icy Hot Stuntaz, or were you too hard for them?
posted by 2sheets at 9:42 AM on April 13, 2006


"And just for the record? Kind of hard to call out someone else for racism when you're going around saying things like this:

"so blueblood inbred retarded that I'm amazed your yacht club let you off of cucumber sandwich duty to post it""

Really? There are black "bluebloods." That's all a class-based assumption, not a race one. And it relies on the preceding sentence, the argument that "rap" has driven "music" off of the radio (implying that rap is not music).

"So, I don't like or closely follow rap. Must be because I'm a cracker, guess we can deal with that later."

If we allow that 'cracker' has connotations beyond skin color, yeah, I can go with that.

"Then I found out he was black and that I'm a racist bitch for thinking that he got what was coming to him. Except that I thought that because he was carrying a gun and shot someone with it, not because he was black."

Ok, so what you're doing is offering some sort of backhanded apology for being ignorant, but defending yourself because people thought you were the wrong kind of ignorant?

"You want to call me elitist for not "understanding" rap, fine. I'll take it. If you're going to say I just don't like it because I'm white, well, I can't argue with you, because I am white and there's no way to argue against that kind of logic."

If you're going to put forward straw men in some elaborate "I'm not a racist" dance, well, I can't argue with your poor logic. But if you want to argue that you weren't being retarded, that's where I have to draw the line.
posted by klangklangston at 9:46 AM on April 13, 2006


"You don't really know who you're talking to or where I've been; but I'll wager I was producing local hip hop acts about the same time you were shitting yourself in mom's car seat."

And I'll wager that they sucked.

"Klang, are you white with an emo beard, or is that someone else's pic?"

Emo beard? Where? I'm rockin' the James Garfield. But please, tell us how ghetto you are, 2 Dope. Still with ICP?
posted by klangklangston at 9:53 AM on April 13, 2006


Oh, bite me. There's no rational discussion possible with you, klangklangston. I'm neither retarded, nor racist, nor elaborately dancing. I'll admit I'm ignorant about rap, which actually, I already did, and I'm making no apology for it, but my point which you totally missed is this: just because I think Proof is an idiot for getting his ass shot doesn't make me racist. You used a really broad brush to imply that. All I was trying to get you to do is get off your damn high horse and admit your OWN special brand of ignorance.

I'm not going to argue that racism doesn't exist or that rap isn't a legitimate art form or any of the other straw men you so conveniently presented. All I'm saying is don't call me and everyone else in here racist for thinking Proof is a putz for getting himself shot.

And as far as people thinking I'm the wrong kind of ignorant - bah. Ignorant is ignorant is ignorant. I'm not proud of being less than knowledgeable about rap, but I'm not ashamed of it, either. I don't much care if you think that makes me a lesser person, but fuck you if you think I'm racist.

Sound like I'm a little worked up about it? I am. Because I try to be a good person, and I try to understand when people say their life has sucked because of discrimination, and I try to see things from other people's point of view, and I try to acknowledge when I'm thinking about things from a "privileged" or "white" perspective, and I try to keep an open mind and a closed mouth, but goddamn if I don't get called a motherfucking racist anyway. Or told that I can't possibly understand, either because I'm "ignorant" or because I'm white. Oh, but you didn't say that, exactly, did you? Because if you had - well, Hypocrite, Party of One, right?
posted by jennaratrix at 10:27 AM on April 13, 2006




metafilter: as ghetto as we wannabe
posted by pyramid termite at 10:30 AM on April 13, 2006


I wish this thread had audio -

"I'm the most ghetto!"
"No, I am!"

I picture everyone sounding really, really white. Incidentally - those trying to get one over each other in the "keepin' it real" stakes might want to consider that those exact thoughts were probably running through Proof's mind when he pulled his pistol and shot a man.

If he had no need to prove he was hardcore, he'd never have had to shoot a man. Urban one-upmanship isn't cool and frankly if you're on the internet arguing about it and you can actually spell words correctly I am going to be hard pressed to believe you actually are gangsta.

I had enormous difficulty not using hilarious "street" language in this comment, please forgive me if it sounds too posh for all a y'all
posted by longbaugh at 12:49 PM on April 13, 2006


(Longbaugh— You'll note that I didn't bother with the "I'm more ghetto" card. I was more amazed that 50-year-olds from West Michigan were pulling it out.)
posted by klangklangston at 1:14 PM on April 13, 2006


I hope this doesnt mean i have to hang about the wester hailes shopping centre.
posted by sgt.serenity at 3:07 PM on April 13, 2006


You don't really know who you're talking to or where I've been; but I'll wager I was producing local hip hop acts about the same time you were shitting yourself in mom's car seat.

i'll take that bet. how much you want to put down?

and what does it mean to produce local hip-hop acts? did you write the music? make the beats? or are you some two-bit phony hustla like 90% of the "local hip hop producers" that i deal with on a daily basis at the venue where i work?

also, what does "local" mean for you? where i come from it tends to mean "chumpy and largely ignored."

it's kinda funny that your response to a presumptuous argument is to pose another presumptuous argument. but don't worry, son. your line about my mom's car seat came off all "tuff."
posted by Hat Maui at 3:39 PM on April 13, 2006


"also, what does "local" mean for you? where i come from it tends to mean "chumpy and largely ignored." "

God, while there are great, great exceptions to this, hip hop promos outnumber rock ones by about 2:1, and they're 99% shitty (as opposed to rock, which bats at about 75% shitty).
posted by klangklangston at 4:22 PM on April 13, 2006


(At my job, I mean).
posted by klangklangston at 4:22 PM on April 13, 2006


Proof, you played yo'self.
posted by Jimbob at 5:32 PM on April 13, 2006


and they're 99% shitty

i gotta send you some tracks off this demo by this dude named phil aka "Out of Sight"-- it sounds like a person with slight mental retardation reading crossword puzzle clues, and trying to rhyme them.

i've also got this great voicemail message from him about how he's "...going to sell out my venue... < beat> one day."

fuck it, i'ma just send that to you right now.
posted by Hat Maui at 5:49 PM on April 13, 2006


That place is a known drug den. I smell a deal gone bad...

Also there is a ambulance house right down the street. Why did they drive him to the hospital which was 15-25 mins. away.

Sure does sound fishy...
posted by Dreamghost at 7:08 PM on April 13, 2006


HuronBob wrote "Especially since I hooked up with Dr. Dre
"Now bitches 'Lean Back' and they rock away
"Hella game plus sex, she got the play
"'BRRING BRRING!' (Can I suck your cock today?)'"


Fair's fair and all, but these are certainly not exceptionally telling lyrics by any extent if you're trying to give insight into his life. Even the Backstreet Boys had their share of groupie fun, and surely if they could rap and didn't have other people that wrote their songs, this is what we could have expected from them.

And I find it sad that Blackalicious have so much hype today, when their recent work (and performances) can't even touch Nia and the touring for that album.

That is all.
posted by VulcanMike at 7:28 PM on April 13, 2006


Longbaugh— You'll note that I didn't bother with the "I'm more ghetto" card.

actually, you did, with both people you disagreed with ... it's a further sign of your ignorance and dishonesty that you would say this

I was more amazed that 50-year-olds from West Michigan were pulling it out.

i wasn't ... and your prejudices are showing
posted by pyramid termite at 6:57 AM on April 14, 2006


Personally, I feel the elimination of people who write obsessively misogynistic lyrics and participate in gang violence in order to build up "street cred" is, in fact, a good and healthy thing for our society.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:43 AM on April 14, 2006


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