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noel emits
13-02-2008, 01:03 PM
For the sake of taking this out of the Dubstep thread.

Does anyone have a problem with the 'n' word? yes the repeated, drilled-in-the-head-till-it-loses-all-meaning-even-though-it-really-f******-does 'n' word? plus murder, death, kill, more or less self genocide lyricism?

yeah I thought so

see ya

if as you all seem to think it's all about context where does that leave your argument? likewise ufo over easy if we assume hypothetically you're white and tactics is black that changes the nature of his argument according to your line of thinking. maybe you'd feel differently if you'd been on the end of that word as an insult. the fact that it's considered permissible for minority groups to chuck around these epithetical terms internally muddies the waters but that doesn't mean all consider it acceptable.
From my point of view it's about context in the sense that while I hypothetically might have no problem using any given word I have to be aware that my use of it might cause offense and a reaction from someone else. It'd be disingenuous or naive to pretend otherwise. So as a white person I can 'why can't I use the n-word, it's just a word, how silly of you to be offended! Let's all get down and strip it of it's meaning!', but you know... And likewise in this case. Although contextually I suppose the sexuality of the MC in question would be relevant.

But then I'm not claiming to really enjoy any of these violent lyrical scenarios, I actually don't have much tolerance for any of it so I'm not drawing such a sharp distinction in that sense anyway.

Rereading Tactics' statement I get the vibe that he isn't too happy about all the n-words and violence being tossed about but accepts it as part of the culture. I guess repression is aways worse than expression but that doesn't mean you have to unquestioningly accept all expressions. The reaction is an expression too.

martin
13-02-2008, 05:20 PM
One example's the Spurs / Yid Army thing - hilarious how two arsenal fans now want to try and get the chant banned from Spurs games because they deem it anti-semitic - and strange how it obviously never bothered them when their own minus-IQ brigade used to grunt it every Saturday

STN
13-02-2008, 05:26 PM
One example's the Spurs / Yid Army thing - hilarious how two arsenal fans now want to try and get the chant banned from Spurs games because they deem it anti-semitic - and strange how it obviously never bothered them when their own minus-IQ brigade used to grunt it every Saturday

There was an article on this a while back from the normally excellent Seth Freedman. He'd seen an Arsenal fan sieg-heiling and somehow concluded this was the fault of Spurs fans, which seemed a bit of a strange way to look at things.

noel emits
16-02-2008, 08:43 AM
With apologies to the above posters. Also not specifically a response to you UFO, more a further attempt to move this over here. Maybe not the best thread title but I was trying to keep it general.

maybe it would've helped if Tactics was slightly clearer in his original post.
Yes it was very ambiguous which is why I asked for some clarification in first place. It seems that sensibly Tac is staying out of it so others have chimed in with their interpretations and I guess it's those we are variously discussing now.

So if the question was not drawing direct equivalence between homophobic language, depictions of violence and the use of reclaimed racial epithets, what was it doing exactly? There seem to be some strange implications in this reading.

Is it saying that by not voicing an opinion on one thing you abdicate the right to have an opinion on another? Is it saying that by listening to grime you must accept everything any mc ever says without question because, you know, it's their thing? Is it saying that slackness is the very essence of grime and that by dismissing any one aspect of it you are misunderstanding the entire endeavor? Is it saying that while the artists may say whatever they like because they are from the hood and that is how they think, the listener (by dint of not belonging to the culture, whatever that means) is not permitted a personal response to specific aspects of that speech? Is it saying that it's weird that people should have a problem with homophobic language and not depictions of violence and the use of reclaimed racial epithets?

By the way I'm not saying the question was intended to mean any of these things necessarily.

Let's not forget that the only (minor) questions raised about the record initially were from people who presumably are not regular grime listeners, who were in the room while someone else was listening to the show, and blackdown himself, who I understand does have close connections to people making the music.

I find this idea of 'cultural connection' questionable but even on those terms might not a gay person feel more entitled to have an opinion about homophobia than about depictions of violence or on how an MC might address his friends? Or just for a person to have a stronger understanding of one ill and not another, perhaps because of that very difference in outlook. That doesn't make it any less valid. This is all aside from the fact that there is as UFO says a completely different intent behind these uses of language.

fokse vektaire xeven
17-02-2008, 01:14 PM
So if the question was not drawing direct equivalence between homophobic language, depictions of violence and the use of reclaimed racial epithets, what was it doing exactly?


All it's doing is questioning where people become are offended. the issue of homophobia in music has been present in the media recently and has become a kind of default point for censure. it's arguable that there's absolutely nothing else likely to be on a grime record that would have shocked the people in that room. no lurid depiction of violence, revelling in misogyny or just plain old profanity would have been cause for comment. and that is a hard situation argue through i think. no one's trying to say what exactly is or isn't acceptable other than blackdown and mistersloane who were both pretty tentative. censure is a point at which cultures define themselves. the arguments that have been advanced to distinguish between uses of different epithetical language have been completely rote- that the important thing is intent. but in the case of the SPECIFIC piece of music on blackdown's show, this isn't particularly valid in any case. it's not "boom bye bye". i didn't think far beyond it being a good tune when i heard it i must admit. it's another mc led track aimed at some notional faceless army of potential adversaries or competitors, which as somebody said in the previous thread is easy to find a point of identification with in the post capitalist society we're all living in. it uses homophobic language as an implied slight on someone's masculinity, and arguably has nothing to do with gay people at all in the actual sense. it's just a loose deployment of a loaded word.

the reason i've kind of siezed on this is the "goalposts of prurience" have moved MASSIVELY within my own lifetime, slowly enough for it to have been quite insidious. i can remember porn mags being sold for 50p a page at school, and dodgy 9th generation dubs of cannibal holocaust bought out the back of The Darkside ;). virtually nothing is now considered "obscene" outside of persecution of minorities, particularly if it carries the exculpatory tag of "art". the current age of unprecedented choice, availability and exposure has seen public taste go further down the toilet and sooner or later those involved in the arts are going to have to take some responsibility for that. i was just reading an interview with John Gardner yesterday:

"i think that the difference right now between good art and bad art is that the good artists are, in one way or another, creating out of a deep and honest concern, a vision of life in the twentieth century that is worth pursuing. And the bad artists, of whom there are many, are whining or moaning and staring, because it's fashionable, into the dark abyss. if you believe that life is fundamentally a volcano full of baby skulls, you've got two main choices as an artist: you can either stare into the volcano and count the skulls for the thousandth time...or you can try to build walls so that fewer baby skulls go in."

and while i concur with that...i'm still drawn towards the stuff that stares into the abyss, perhaps because it tallies better with how i feel most of the time. :slanted:

noel emits
17-02-2008, 02:26 PM
it's arguable that there's absolutely nothing else likely to be on a grime record that would have shocked the people in that room. no lurid depiction of violence, revelling in misogyny or just plain old profanity would have been cause for comment. and that is a hard situation argue through i think.
It's not so hard to argue if the people raising the objection were gay and/or not particularly grime fans. That's conjecture on my part but it's relevant to the distinction being made. But yes there is a cutoff point for most people when it comes to dishing out abuse to groups or individuals on the basis of characteristics such as sexuality and ethnicity. Most people who understand where that kind of thinking and behaviour leads too agree with this I would say.

the arguments that have been advanced to distinguish between uses of different epithetical language have been completely rote- that the important thing is intent. but in the case of the SPECIFIC piece of music on blackdown's show, this isn't particularly valid in any case. it's not "boom bye bye". i didn't think far beyond it being a good tune when i heard it i must admit. it's another mc led track aimed at some notional faceless army of potential adversaries or competitors, which as somebody said in the previous thread is easy to find a point of identification with in the post capitalist society we're all living in. it uses homophobic language as an implied slight on someone's masculinity, and arguably has nothing to do with gay people at all in the actual sense. it's just a loose deployment of a loaded word.
Well again there's a bit more to the context because the particular MC has a bit of a penchant for that sort of thing and for directly (verbally) attacking individuals with that kind of language and intent. His lyrics have been the subject of controversy before and people are aware of that.

the current age of unprecedented choice, availability and exposure has seen public taste go further down the toilet and sooner or later those involved in the arts are going to have to take some responsibility for that. i was just reading an interview with John Gardner yesterday:

"i think that the difference right now between good art and bad art is that the good artists are, in one way or another, creating out of a deep and honest concern, a vision of life in the twentieth century that is worth pursuing. And the bad artists, of whom there are many, are whining or moaning and staring, because it's fashionable, into the dark abyss. if you believe that life is fundamentally a volcano full of baby skulls, you've got two main choices as an artist: you can either stare into the volcano and count the skulls for the thousandth time...or you can try to build walls so that fewer baby skulls go in."
Heh. Well that's great, of course I can get behind that, and really that is kind of my position with regards to this whole thing. But then there's more than one type of artist and maybe you can't have the righteous without the unrighteous. And like you say, people do 'enjoy' some abysmal shit. ;)

But yeah, I think we've hashed over the specifics of this case enough and it is certainly interesting where cultures draw their lines.

mistersloane
19-02-2008, 05:50 AM
Actually, I was sending for Badness and Blackdown in that original post, and saw Dissensus as a way of doing it. I saw it as a way of being able to just lightly push, and in alot of ways I'm sorry I brought it up, and that it lead to a thread derailment. I also think this should have been kept within the place it was started, due to context. In effect moving it, renaming it, completely killed it.

Blackdown and Dusk obviously know D Double and that lot - and no, I don't take the 'I should have done an edit' thing as much of an excuse, really. If you didn't like it, don't play it. IF YOU SHOULDN'T, DON'T. It was good of you to respond, thanks, but really this issue is bigger than individuals, and it's really about time individuals take stands. You could have wheeled it and said something, but you chose not to, which I see as being weak.

I was sitting in a room with people who do listen to grime regularly, who listen to rinse regularly, who go to grime and dubstep nights regularly - we are among you - and who were saying that...that track is such a blatant, weak freedom of speech response to criticism - wicked beat though - I was sitting in a room with people who were basically saying that if we just went down to Rinse whenever Badness was down there, and fucking shot him or stabbed him in the fucking neck with a stiletto then I'm sure all that crap would stop pretty fast. What I was saying was an indirect threat, and I think Tactics correctly reacted to that.

I'm not saying that that will or should happen - i.e. anyone at Rinse getting shot by battyboys, obviously any violence is if not bad then at best a last resort of the weak - but what I was saying was that judging by the response I had in the room where I was playing it, that there were threats coming from people, and, y'know, I personally hate that sort of vibe, as much as I hate the previous attempts at dialogue between the gay community and disrespect via music - i.e. all that Peter Tatchell stuff - and I think what I was attempting was to say that basically, we are among you, that we listen to you, make music like you and know where you make music as well.

I don't want to have to be in a room where that sort of stuff is happening, where that bad vibe is taking place

in the same way as I didn't want to have been in intensive care with three of my friends over the past three years because they were gay-bashed to the point of extinction.

And what I think the people in my company were saying was just cos we're batty boys, doesn't mean that we don't have the ability to defend ourselves, or the right to answer back, which may in theory extend beyond rational thought., or better beats than yours. Which is where Tactics, and perhaps all of you, missed the point.

What I was saying was hostile, but hey. I got a right to be hostile, alot of us are being persecuted out here,

Tactics, you ever been illegal in
Algeria; Angola; Benin; Botswana; Cameroon; Cape Verde; Cameroon; Cape Verde; Guinea; Kenya; Liberia; Libya; Malawi; Mauritania; Mauritius; Morocco; Mozambique; Namibia; Nigeria; Senegal; Seychelles; Sierra Leone; Somalia; Sudan; Swaziland; Tanzania; Togo; Tunisia; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe; Barbados; Jamaica; Saint Kitts and Nevis; Saint Lucia; Trinidad and Tobago; Afghanistan; Bangladesh; Bhutan; Brunei; Burma/Myanmar; Cook Islands; Fiji Islands; India; Kiribati; Malaysia; Maldives; Marshall Islands; Nepal; Niue; Pakistan; Papua New Guinea; Singapore; Solomon Islands; Sri Lanka; Tokelau; Tonga; Turkmenistan; Tuvalu; Uzbekistan; Western Samoa; Bahrain; Iran; Kuwait; Lebanon; Oman; Palestine; Qatar; Saudi Arabia; Syria; United Arab Emirates or Yemen?

You should try it sometime, see how you feel to be hated by the world.

CHAOTROPIC
19-02-2008, 03:58 PM
Oh Mistersloane, stop being such a touchy nigger*

* I mean 'nigger' in the sense of 'dirty ignorant subhuman ape', it's just something my friends call people when we want something stronger than 'motherfucker', not racist or anything, no biggie.

PS: you missed out Guyana, as this scary article points out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexuality_laws_of_the_world

fokse vektaire xeven
19-02-2008, 07:06 PM
mistersloane- i'm glad you put yr 2p in- and i can also see this doesn't have much potency as a point of your potential protest tucked away in the thought section.

respectfully...how do you feel about the general negative context these lyrics were/are in? all the gun chat etc...i can see this particular issue is personal to you, but it's difficult to draw a broad moral standard- ie a specific point of censure- from the personal. because all else aside a fair amount of potentially objectionable stuff- which may well also draw a personal response from others- is already being condoned before we arrive at this "tipping point", and we're condoning it by consuming it. would you now avoid anything with those particular artists involved for instance? i'm interested- personally- in how or where such lines might be drawn and defended...intellectually and otherwise ;)

CHAOTROPIC i'm not entirely sure what you're getting at, but sarcasm seems a bit out of place at this point if anything at all useful is to come out of this discussion...(?)

noel emits
19-02-2008, 08:04 PM
I started the new thread because I felt partly responsible for perpetuating the derailment and most people didn't seem interested, plus it had more to with grime than dubstep in the first place. I could rename it.

sarcasm seems a bit out of place at this point if anything at all useful is to come out of this discussion...(?)
Not to mention ambiguity!

CHAOTROPIC
20-02-2008, 03:09 PM
Yeah, soz, I wasn't trying to be sarcastic & I know it's totally obvious to make an equivalence between homophobic language & racist language, but I did notice on the other thread some opinions of the "'battyman' or 'gay' has ceased to mean 'homosexual' & now just means 'worthless subhuman', so don't be offended" ilk, &, as always, it just amazes me that there can even be an argument about how offensively homophobic that is.

But then, we're having this discussion because straight male culture has an ingrained gut-level homophobia that's pretty much impossible to work around. Denial of homosexuality is one of the building blocks of male bonding & awareness of homophobia, or the presence of 'real' homosexuality, that is, the presence of actual living non-abstract homosexuals, is a really ticklish awkward intrusive business for everyone concerned. So what can you do??

Pestario
20-02-2008, 03:29 PM
would a similar discussion have occured if the word used was a racist slur against asians or something?

noel emits
20-02-2008, 04:23 PM
would a similar discussion have occured if the word used was a racist slur against asians or something?
There would have been a different discussion most likely. It would be very surprising to hear that for one thing.

mistersloane
19-04-2008, 02:47 PM
mistersloane- i'm glad you put yr 2p in- and i can also see this doesn't have much potency as a point of your potential protest tucked away in the thought section.

respectfully...how do you feel about the general negative context these lyrics were/are in? all the gun chat etc...i can see this particular issue is personal to you, but it's difficult to draw a broad moral standard- ie a specific point of censure- from the personal. because all else aside a fair amount of potentially objectionable stuff- which may well also draw a personal response from others- is already being condoned before we arrive at this "tipping point", and we're condoning it by consuming it. would you now avoid anything with those particular artists involved for instance? i'm interested- personally- in how or where such lines might be drawn and defended...intellectually and otherwise ;)


I'm a pretty negative person, so I actively seek out and enjoy dark and violent music and media in general, and that often crosses over into my real life as well. Thus I'd say that I personally actively enjoy music about killing and the like* - I see it as being within a context of both MCing tradition and also the 'gully' factor - y'know, just being as rude as it gets - but I get angry if the targets are specific and particularly if it's someone/thing who is being attacked - verbally - because they're seen as being weaker than the other, which I think it is in the case of the 'battymen' thing, homosexuals generally being perceived as peaceful hedonists. I just think you're lost if you don't defend the weak. I think there's a difference between braggadacio and bullying.

I'd really like to say that it doesn't affect my perception of artists when they come out with stuff like this, but it does, and it takes me a while to get back to their stuff, which in the Newhams case is a shame because I love, love what they do. It's a hard one, just cos Buju did that stuff don't mean that Til Shiloh isn't a near-masterpiece. I think it takes a near masterpiece to get me to forget, I'd say. I'm not sure that line can be intellectually defended though, I certainly wouldn't NEVER listen to an artist again just cos they came out with one stupid track, y'know? But it would taint how I then listened to them. It changes the context in which you listen.

Sorry it took a while to respond - I avoided this thread cos it was making me angry.

*I also feed off it in my artistic practise, I don't think staring into the abyss is prurient if one has just climbed out of it.