First up, for all who haven’t seen this: Google Maps Drug Deal! Right here in beautiful Chicago, Illinois. There’s a license plate number and everything. Here’s a screen shot, for when Google eventually gets this removed.
There are all sorts of webbernets nerds buzzing about this pic and how it relates to our PRIVACY and PERSONAL FREEDOM and OMGZ GOOGLE IS TAKING OVER OUR LIVES and BIG BROTHER and all that, but really I think all that can be avoided by operating on a simple principle that has served me well throughout the years: “don’t sell drugs in the street when a car covered in cameras rolls by”.
In related news, Dizzee Rascal has a new video, with Bun B from UGK. It’s called “Where Da G’s”, and it’s filmed in Houston, and it’s all about what an accomplished crack dealer Dizzee Rascal & Bun B are, and how you (and all those other “fake” rappers) claim to be accomplished crack dealers when you really aren’t. It’s full of shots of a specifically American vision of ghetto life: windowless bungalows with spacious, grassless lawns; giant American hoopties; craps games; etc. Take a look:
I find this pretty revolting for a few reasons:
1) Could Dizzee possibly be trying any harder to blow up in America? This really looks painfully forced..it reminds me of when The Prodigy came out with Firestarter.
2) Maybe this makes me a bigot (or maybe I’m just rooting for the home team), but I just absolutely refuse to believe that any Englishman is as hard as your worst (or even average) American thug. I’m not saying that the British are weaklings or anything, and I certainly don’t think American gangsters are the toughest on earth, but the very fact that Dizzee talks about KNIFING somebody in his track is telling–KNIFING somebody? really? Stabbing is a crime for hoboes, prison inmates, and Europeans–here in the western hemisphere we SHOOT people, thank you kindly.
3) COKE RAPS ARE SO PLAYED OUT. Can we pleeeease PLEEEEEEEEASE move on to an era where hip hop is either a) dead or b) interesting again or at the very least c) not ethically reprehensible? Don’t get me wrong, I have always been one of those bleeding heart free speech ultra-liberals who thinks crack should be legal and people should be able to say just about anything in any format they want (including on radio, FCC guys) and I’ve always laughed at the crusty right-wing culture terrorists who think that rap and video games are the downfall of society, but at a certain point I have to admit that songs like this fall into the same category as torture in films and television–certainly these artforms are reflections of endemic problems with our society, but at the same time they are helping to glorify and lionize a lot of harmful, dangerous, and unethical behaviors, and I can’t help but believe that an absence of such treatments of this subject matter in hip hop would be a positive thing.
Ok, enough of me and my soapbox.