woensdag, augustus 25, 2004

Yo! Bumrush the show

For some reason, my favourite radio station, BBC 6 Music, has put Kanye West's 'Jesus Walks' on high rotation.

Now, I theoretically have no problem with the lyrical representation of a musician's faith, so long as I don't feel I'm actually listening to evangelical-orchestrated attempts to reach out to the 'yoof'. Lauryn Hill, for example, despite, or perhaps because of, her spiritual meanderings, is an artist of more than considerable merit. However, a parsing of both the lyrics and the video of Mr. West's single reveals a decided leaning toward the aforementioned evangelism and a more-or-less explicit directive to listeners to accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Saviour as the path away from alcoholism, prostitution and poverty...and so much more. From the New York Daily News gossip page - the Daily Dish:

"Rapper Kanye West is taking his 'Jesus Walks' all the way to the bank.

"We hear West charged the Ebenezer AME Church in Fort Washington, Md., a whopping $30,000 to perform his pseudo-gospel single at a gathering there Friday. But, almost three hours late, the rapper showed up without a deejay, backup singers or dancers. Accompanied by the church band, West performed an abbreviated version of 'All Falls Down' before doing 'Jesus Walks' and exiting."

In reaction, I am forced to remind the happy-clappy Mr. West of Matthew 19:23-24 - '"Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."'

Furthermore, in a somewhat lesser known aphorism, Our Lord remarked: "And what, by the way, is fucking happening to rap? First it was all bling, bling and Lexuses and bootylicious - which was bad enough - and now it's all about Me? Whatever happened to taking down The Man, man? Where the fuck is Public Enemy? And why the fuck is Chuck D doing a lame-assed liberal radio show on Air America kissing John Kerry's ass?" - which may or may or not be found in a passage in the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Reading on in the Daily News article we find, while waiting for Mr. West:

"Hip-hop veteran Cheryl (Salt) James of Salt-N-Pepa - who recently launched a career in Christian rap - had to stall more than 3,000 teenagers while they waited for West to arrive."

Well, shiiiiiit. Dress me up and call me Sally. Salt, of "Push it" fame, has joined the God Squad? Let's just remind ourselves of the very Christian lyrics of that song popular in our youth:

"Now push it. Ah, push it - push it good. Ah, push it - push it real good. Ah, push it - push it good. Ah, push it - p-push it real good. Hey! Ow! Push it good! Oooh, baby, baby. Baby, baby. Oooh, baby, baby. Baby, baby. Push it good. Push it real good. Ah, push it. Ah, push it."

Which, of course, was about learning to ride a bicycle.


Apropos of nothing, I live in a very old building and my toilet has recently taken to making rattling, burping noises. While I, probably quite presumptiously, believe I can keenly reflect on the deeper currents of international politics, I have all the plumbing skills one would expect of a technology journalist and am at a loss as to what is happening here. The inhabitants of the Elvis museum below me keep complaining about the shower leaking into their electrics as well. Oh, yes, I don't think I mentioned - I live above an Elvis museum. No, it's not an exaggeration for the sake of a good sentence: I really do live above an Elvis museum.