Recently, the Little Big Planet PS3 release was delayed. This peeved many, including my husband, who had pre-ordered it and eagerly anticipated its arrival. The next day, it came out that the delay was due to the presence of Qur’an verses within one of the songs in the game. The song was written by an Emmy winning Muslim musician who explains that it’s normal in his home country (Mali) to include Qur’an or words of the Prophet (pbuh) in music in order to show the inspiration of Islam. Sony decided to strip the song from the game instead of risking offense. They’ve been through this before with the Catholic church. No need to reenter the arena.
What surprised many was the response by the American Islamic Forum for Democracy. On their behalf, M. Zuhdi Jaffer, M.D. released the following in a statement:
“Muslims cannot benefit from freedom of expression and religion and then turn around and ask that anytime their sensibilities are offended that the freedom of others be restricted. The free market allows for expression of disfavor by simply not purchasing a game that may be offensive. But to demand that it be withdrawn is predicated on a society which gives theocrats who wish to control speech far more value than the central principle of freedom of expression upon which the very practice and freedom of religion is based.
“…We [the AIFD] do not endorse any restriction whatsoever on the release of this videogame but would only ask those with concerns to simply choose not to buy it. We would hope that the producer?s decision not be made in any way out of fear but rather simply based upon freedom of expression and the free market.”
While I was researching a piece for Feministe, I stumbled across an old video.
The video is of a TV appearance for John Lennon and Yoko Ono, performing their song “Woman is the Nigger of the World” on the Dick Cavett show.
John Lennon goes into great detail as to how the record was made. He mentions that most of the people who have an issue with the title are white and male. Also in his explanation, he notes “All my black friends feel I have quite a right to say it.”
He also reads a statement from the then-chairman of the Black Caucus:
“If you define nigger as someone whose lifestyle is defined by others, whose opportunities are defined by others, whose role in society is defined by others, then good news! – you don’t have to be black to be a nigger in this society. Most of the people in America are niggers.”
Lennon goes on to say “I think the word nigger has changed, and it does not have the same meaning that it used to.”
Reggaetonero SieteNueve has released a tiraera pa Daddy Yankee due to his endorsement of John McCain. The song called “Quedate Callao” asks how much money Daddy Yankee got to sell his people out and lead them into war over “gasolina.” The chorus says “Mejor quedate callao si vas a hablar por los otros” (roughly:”it’s better that you stay quiet if you’re going to speak for us“).
The hook uses a line from a voting campaign that Daddy Yankee was part of in January 2008 called “Voto o Quedate Callao” which translates to vote or shut up, or vote or be quiet.
Raquel Rivera, has written about the campaign and what it says to try and get the youth vote, so I urge people to look at her take over at Reggaetonica.
I think that SieteNueve’s track is great and points to alot of the political reasons why people are bugging out over Daddy Yankee’s endorsement of McCain. What I think is interesting is the use of the slogan “Voto o Quedate Callao” that Daddy helped popularize now being used to silence his (non) vote. The whole voto or quedate callao campaign basically said if you’re not going to vote, or in this case you can’t vote because of neocolonial law, then you have no right to voice your opinion. I think it is interesting and telling that SieteNueve’s video ends with him saying “I endorse Don Pedro Albizu Campos,” alluding to the fact the Daddy Yankee has no business voting for Obama or McCain, because the issue is still Puerto Rican independence and neither candidate is going to provide that.
by Guest Contributor Joanna Eng, originally published at DJ Jojo
I heard from Sepia Mutiny’s post about M.I.A. getting “dissed” by DeLon, a new rapper of Sri Lankan descent. DeLon took M.I.A.’s most popular song, “Paper Planes,” called out her politics and support of the Tamil Tigers, and shows the “terrorist” side of that group. (You can see the disturbing video here.) [Ed. Note - Not safe for work. Or lunch. - LDP]
I don’t know enough about the situation in Sri Lanka to really make judgments. But DeLon’s video bothered me because he is employing exactly the same strategy that the Bush administration does: creating a dichotomy of good and evil, and using the word “terrorist” like it’s not subjective.
That said, I have always been a bit skeptical of M.I.A’s politics. Is she just projecting an irresistible (lucrative) image, or is she actually doing anything? When I went to her show at McCarren Pool in June, it made me a bit uncomfortable to be dancing around with a bunch of hipsters in Brooklyn while she has images of children from developing countries flashing across the back of the stage as her visual aids. Continue reading →
Does anyone know who the other crew is that the Jabawockeez battle in the video? Are they alums from the same show or someone else?
Yes, before you ask, we are going to critically parse the images presented in music videos in the near future, as well as provide some info on feminist deconstructions of hip-hop and reggaeton. But until then…