11.25.2013

Rippling Effect

I recently told a friend 
I'd never like a song with that word in it ever again
But I quickly accepted defeat
Kept nodding my head to the repeating beats...
There was once a time when we were simply seeking peace
We were seemingly making progress in the process of deleting it
But now we're writing it in permanent ink
So we can see the words
Again & aggin
Now we're just going sdrawkcab
How did we let this happen?

Over the years tears & blood have been spent
Now it's a term of endearment
"Only WE can say it"
Despite all the pain
The double standards still remain
What a shame...

I did a little experiment to back up this vent
I heard it 75 times in Magna Carta*
Hidden, intertwined in Jay Z's rhymes
That got me thinking...
What about Biggie?
& Jeezy?
& Weezy?
& you can't forget Yeezus
Their choice of words has an impact on us
In all their fan's minds that word is just fine
I realized I was one of them
Rehearsing their verses
Again & aggin
Why is it so intriguing?

Maybe it's just me
But it seems like the same people who're angry it's still here
Are the ones who're actually keeping it relevant
It's pathetic how accustomed we are to these racial epithets
America, we've been conned
The entertainment industry has altered history
"Nigga" is now an accepted part of our lexicon


* Magna Carta is Jay Z's 12th studio album. To this date, 1,060,000 copies have been sold in the United States.  

52 comments:

  1. Alex, you have made a valid point in this poem. Sadly so, in fact. I had never looked at the use of this word in quite this way...so true about the reason that it keeps being 'relevant.' It is drummed into people's minds over and over and OVER again.

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    1. It's a sad fact about our modern culture. Thanks for stopping by, Mary.

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  2. Very true... some words banned are being brought back again.. the tension is still there, and sometimes it's provocation for it's own purpose I think.. but at the end we are just desensitized...

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  3. I guess its proven with banned books. Put banned in front of the title and people can't grab a copy fast enough. Mark a word taboo and then it's cool to say it.

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  4. ah yes... it is true... pack something into a song and give it a good rhythm and it will find its way into our heart and mind... lots of messages are sent on their way in this way... think we have to check what we're listening to..discuss it with the kids... question things... re-think..

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    1. I agree, but I hope it's not already too late... Thanks for the comment. Take care, Claudia.

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  5. I guess you're right Alex words that are hammered in in songs or other parts of culture manage to make their way into everyday language, however we may dislike it.

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  6. yep i own a copy...but you are right in the contradictory nature of how it is used...and when it is appropriate...over time we get desensitized as well to the meaning behind words...

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    1. I own a copy as well. I like Jay Z; I think he's a talented writer & performer. I just wish he would think about how his choice of words affects his listeners, especially his younger listeners. Sometimes he sacrifices morality for popularity, & in turn, profit.

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  7. Words only have power ifthey are hidden away. Orwell wrote a great essay on curse words and the power they have. If a word is used enough it looses the power to inflict pain. Some a more resiliant than the others though. >KB

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    1. Orwell was quite the guy. Yes, use a word enough & you become numb to it's meaning. Thank you for the comment.

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  8. the power of words can never be underestimated
    great write

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  9. I definitely think that you have a valid point. It permeates popular culture in such a way that it is certainly difficult to explain to child that it isn't a nice (friendly greeting) word.

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    1. Yes, it's use is very contradictory. Thanks for reading, MZ.

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  10. In my mind words are the most powerful tools we have to make this world good and we should use them with all the care we can muster...important message in your poem.

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    1. I agree entirely! Thanks for the comment, Ronald.

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  11. Great point and a great poem !

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  12. Wow. I love how you've used the word backwards. Very subtle. And a wonderful point that the people who should 'own' it, & delete it from the vernacular are the ones bringing it back. A sad statement, full of resigned futility. Wonderful poem, Alex.

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    1. This is a topic I'm still not quite sure I'm ready to talk about, so I guess I couldn't help but be subtle. So cool you caught that. Thanks for the comment!

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  13. Yes, the entertainment industry probably wields a lot more power over us than most of us would like. This poem serves as a great reminder of how we are constantly being molded. Love the closing and that excellent title.

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    1. I'm glad you liked the title! I had a hard time coming up with the right one. Thanks for the kind comment, Linda.

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  14. Marvelous Verse with Poignant and powerful meaning. Bravo!

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  15. Yep, they beat it into heads over and over completely contradicting themselves

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  16. This is wonderful. :-) I absolutely love the rhythm in this piece! :-)

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  17. The entertainment industry...don't even get me started...ha. Great piece Alex. I love it.

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    1. I know, I know... lol. Thanks for the comment.

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  18. A rightly indignant poem, well done: it does feel like a giant con.

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  19. Nice..things we defy have a way of coming into our lives, accurately penned down Alex!

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    1. Interesting way of saying it! Thanks for the comment.

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  20. Some words cast a long long shadow we can't quite find a way around. Maybe not until they have been openly and a length addressed. They're like conflict diamonds, very hip to stud songs with yet always crossed by history. Fine write. - Brendan

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    1. That conflict diamond analogy is spot-on. Check out "Diamonds From Sierra Leone." I think it addresses both of the issues we are talking about, one intentionally, the other seemingly unknowingly.

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  21. An interesting poem and point, Alex...and yet I still don't accept that word...hip or not. x ~jackie~

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    1. Nope, it's not a cool word at all. Thanks for the comment, Jackie.

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  22. I don't listen to the music you reference, I don't find the term acceptable either. I think were I exposed to said music, I would boycott it. A small gesture, but what if we all make it?

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    1. Believe me, I've tried. But deep down I like the majority of what these rappers have to say. I just wish they would say some things in a different way, that's all.

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  23. Unfortunately, people do get desensitized when an unacceptable word is frequently used by those who own it, but in our PC world, when an outsider drops his/her guard and lets slip the offending word, he/she is irrevocably punished. The same rules should apply to all and the words will no longer be part of our vocabulary. Good poem, good point.

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    1. I agree. Thanks for reading my poem, VB.

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  24. I can def hear your message but, I don't support this artist or his work..

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  25. I think the best lesson culture teaches us here..is words are only vessels and vehicles of the essence that is..so we don't have to kill each other over allah or god..or whatever is....

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    1. Not sure what you're trying to say. But thanks for the comment!

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  26. I liked the playfulness of this despite the heaviness

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    1. Well, we can't always be serious. That would just be boring.

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