A few things in life bother me. These things may be trivial, but the others may mean something. I despise injustice and any form of judgement cruel and utterly vile. From name-calling to violence, it is all disgusting and just cannot be tolerated. Which has sort of led me to something that’s been irking me for some time. This minor rant may be incoherent, but I’ve never stated anything I write to make sense.
You can try to disguise it all you want but all forms of sexism, racism and homophobia is in music. It’s bad enough it being on our doorsteps, but when it is in something so many of us use as a form of escapism, then something MUST be done. But how? Because you see, we are all entitled to “free speech” but to what extent? Free speech is a basic human right. As is the right to live in peace, free of any judgement from small-minded fools. This would happen in a perfect world, but the world (as its inhabitants) is full of flaws.
The thing that has sparked my rage is Azealia Banks’ use of the word “faggot.” Obviously as a gay woman, I find this word bloody offensive. I also hate anyone (regardless of colour) using the N word. I cannot even type it. It’s a totally vile word to use. I don’t care who uses it; it’s a horrible word. Great people such as Rosa Parks to Malcom X were subjected to racial hatred for most of their lives. So why is the N word seen as “acceptable”?
I’ve been in clubs (not a fan of them, I’d rather read a book) and I have seen flocks of white people sing along to that awful Jay-Z and Kanye West song, N**** In Paris. Aside from the song being utterly awful, seeing a bunch of white people recite the words including the N word is just heartbreaking. I know I could possibly be stupid for writing any of this down and having such feelings towards it; but that’s just how I am.
Thing is, I love Hip Hop. I was massively obsessed with it from the ages of 12-18. It was a huge part of my life, and dragged me through my teenage years. Eric B & Rakim’s records got me through a lot. Do I recall them ever using the N word? No. Never. It was a word that I never heard from them. Rakim rarely cursed on their songs; making way for intellect. I’ve always had a soft spot for conscientious rappers such as Mos Def, Common, Talib Kweli and Jurassic 5 (yes I know they use the N word, but it isn’t as frequent as most.) Thing is, I didn’t listen (and still don’t) listen to Hip Hop to rap along. I listen to it because it is like poetry. Just like Gil Scott-Heron and The Lost Poets. They paved the way for intellect to just shine. Lyrical content, in any genre, is important. Well for me it is anyway. Others just want a good beat. I don’t. I want something that makes me think and makes me write my own thoughts down in a similar way. My love for Hip Hop will ALWAYS be firmly in my heart, and on my mind. Especially when I think of the songs that made being a teenager less of a challenge. I remember someone grabbing hold of my Sony Walkman and saying “What are you listening to?” And I told them it was Gangstarr (Guru, bless his soul, was one of the greats) and they said “Why are you listening to that Black music?!” in such a disgusted tone. I walked away. I had no response because I feel if I unleashed how mad they made me, I would never have shut up. How can music have a colour? Maybe it can. I’m not sure. The thing is, as a rule, I really don’t like White rappers. Mainly because their lyrical content and voices just annoy me. I really don’t get the appeal of Eminem nor do I get the hype surrounding that Mackelmore. Don’t get me started on certain English ones. Am I being racist towards “my own kind’? I don’t think I am. I’m just saying I don’t like the style of some White rappers. I don’t like 50 Cent. Not because he’s Black, but because of his songs. Simple as.
I’m slowly reaching my point.
Recently there’s been an exchange of insults between Azealia Banks and whoever she feels like attacking. One that’s stood out is her row with Perez Hilton. I heard 212 by Azealia and genuinely loved it. I loved Jumangi, I really did and I loved Vogue. But recently, her online spats have caused her to appear like a petulant child. Using the F word (I’m not typing it, I’ve done it once and cannot do it again) towards Perez Hilton was not just offensive to him; but the vast majority of the LGBT community. Whether or not she knows it, Azealia has a lot of homosexual fans and may have lost a lot by acting in such a vile way. When she said she used the word to say that she used it as a way to describe “a male that acts like a female’ instead of using it as a homophobic slur, it is still offensive. To men and women; regardless of sexuality. She claims that society has accepted the N word, but has it? Am I in the minority where I find the word disgusting and offensive? No one, regardless of colour, should claim that word. I’m gay but no part of me wants to claim the F word at all. It sounds horrible and the word cannot leave my tongue; let alone type it.
Music is a form of expression. A form of expression in its purest form. We will never stop people using hurtful language in their music. People use it as an escape and as a way of feeling at ease. Maybe because Azealia is so young she doesn’t understand the consequences of using such words, or maybe she does. Only she knows. If it’s some shitty publicity stunt, then she doesn’t need to do it. Her music is decent, but I don’t know if I want to be a fan of someone who uses the F word and thinks its alright. I also think stupid people use the word “gay” to describe something that’s shit. People are becoming less and less familiar with proper words, so they resort to using words like that. If something is rubbish, then say it is rubbish. Do not use a word used to describe someone’s sexuality to belittle it. I don’t care what your sexuality is, when you use the word “gay” to describe something rubbish, then maybe you need to go back to school and re-learn English Language.
If I’ve offended, then I’m sorry. That wasn’t my intention. It never is. Writing is my outlet because I’m awfully shy and vocally, rubbish with words. Maybe I’m useless with writing them down. I have no idea, but who does. I hate injustice and use of hateful words. From anyone using the N word to some idiot calling someone a “slut” because of what they are wearing. Words hold more power than we sometimes realise. It’s easy to say we should think before we speak, but most find it hard to practice. It’s easy to use the tongue and unleash words without thinking, it happens. I understand that, but when you get to a point where you offend a group or whatever, then one must think entirely about what they are saying and why. If it’s just to get a rise out of others, then please PLEASE grow up. If it is because you are full of hate, then please go cuddle someone. Chances are you need to be exposed to love and a gentle touch.
Words can do more harm than good at times, but tied in with positive actions; words can heal and be of comfort. Enough with the hate, enough with offensive words. Open your eyes and educate yourself.
Equality is something we will all struggle to gain. In religion, race, sexuality, gender etc. Maybe one day views will change. An uphill struggle, but don’t back down.