10 Best Kanye West Lines

(Just a little list to celebrate the fact that a new Kanye song is dropping, “very soon.”)

10. Crack raised the murder rate in DC and Maryland/ We invested in that, it’s like we got Merrill Lynched (“Crack Music”). The idea that black suffering is designed to be highly profitable is a common Kanye refrain (see also: “Drug dealer buy Jordans, crackhead by crack/ And the white man get paid off of all of that” from “All Falls Down”) but there’s something about his succinctness here that elevates this couplet from “Crack Music” into the pantheon of all-time great lines.

9. She got a light skinned friend, look like Michael Jackson/ Got a dark skinned friend, look like Michael Jackson (“Slow Jamz”). I couldn’t leave this off the list, but also couldn’t justify placing it higher than lines about black nationalism, internalized misogyny, or classism. Mostly just here to remind y’all that Kanye has always, always, had a sense of humor, in addition to being enormously self-critical, two facts that many media outlets and individual listeners seem to ignore.

8. The plan was to drink until the pain over/ But what’s worse, the pain or the hangover? (“Dark Fantasy”). Kind of obvious in its phrasing, but here because it works as the thesis statement for My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, setting up in no uncertain terms the unsustainable nature of traditional American excess.

7. I feel the pain in my city wherever I go/ 314 soldiers died in Iraq, 509 died in Chicago (“Murder to Excellence”). While Jay-Z has been upsettingly quiet about racism and urban violence since joining the ranks of the literati, Kanye has stayed refreshingly honest, continuing to shed light on the violence happening in his hometown, as well as cosigning drill artists like Young Chop, Chief Keef, and King L.

6. I’m like the fly Malcolm X, buy any jeans necessary (“Good Morning”). The idea that Kanye’s involvement in fashion is an inherently political statement stretches from before (“Diamonds from Sierra Leone”) and after (“New Slaves”) this moment, but here Kanye articulates the sentiment without any anger or self-aggrandizement.

5. The system’s broken, the schools close, the prisons open (“Power”). Again, not the only time Kanye has spoken out against either the plight of urban schools or the prison industrial complex, and arguably his DEA/CCA line from “New Slaves” is better suited for this list in terms of its specificity, but there’s something frighteningly catchy about the way this bar is worded; it’s nearly impossible to extract from your head, and that’s important.

4. Doing clothes you would have thought I had help/ But they wasn’t satisfied unless I picked the cotton myself (“New Slaves”). It’s unfortunate but unsurprising that among the media coverage of Kanye’s “rants,” the actual systemic problem he was ranting about, notably the lack of black designers in high fashion, and the appropriation and exploitation of urban fashion, has been largely ignored. Ye’s lyrical re-purposing of slavery and civil rights imagery, in “New Slaves” and “Blood on the Leaves” in particular, is incredibly powerful and can help clarify what tabloids are choosing to ignore.

3. But is it cool to rap about gold/ If I told the world I copped it from Ghana and Mali? (“Breathe In Breathe Out”). One of the interesting things about Kanye’s choice of imagery is his re-contextualization of themes traditionally written off as “ignorant” — as such, the beginning of his career is also the end of the label “conscious rapper” meaning much of anything.

2. And they gonna keep calling and trying, but you stay right girl/ And when you get on he leave your ass for a white girl (“Gold Digger”). Perhaps the best example of Kanye being smarter than his audience — this song is still used as a strawman critique of gold diggers, but that reading shouldn’t be held against Ye, given that the whole song leads to this last couplet. Here, Kanye shows that although hip hop has enormous standards of fidelity for women, the same doesn’t apply at all to men, elevating a potentially sexist song into a feminist one.

1. Said her price go down, she ever fuck a black guy/ Or do anal, or do a gangbang/ It’s kinda crazy that’s all considered the same thing/ Well I guess a lot of niggas do gang bang/ And if we run trains, we’re all in the same gang/ Runaway slaves all on a chain gang/ Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang (“Hell of a Life”). Although this choice is quite a bit longer than any other selection on the list, it captures perfectly why Kanye West is the premier lyricist of our generation. He notes the demonization of black masculinity first in the porn industry, then in the context of America’s sexual imagination, then in the context of gang activity, and finally links it back to the source of it all — slavery. More than that, he shows that just being black and male is seen as enough of an identity to be grouped together, a mentality that begins when black male bodies are be commodified as slaves and is a trend which continues into porn today.

"Often": A Crazy Theory About the Weeknd’s 2014 Output

2014 has been a relatively quiet year for the Weeknd. After his incredible 2011 run of mixtapes, his 2012 major label vindication, and the release of his official debut last year, a dearth of new material from Abel Tesfaye might be a little troubling. However, the two singles that we do have (not including his remixes of “Drunk in Love” and “Or Nah”) present a new direction for his music, one that expands the relatively narrow milieu the artist has been wallowing in for the last three years.

Let’s start with the first single we got, “Often,” released back in June. Its title is our first clue towards a change in Tesfaye’s attitude towards his surroundings. The chorus begins, “Ask me if I do this everyday, I said often,” and concludes, “Baby I can make that pussy rain, often.” That one word, “often,” casts a pallor of indifference on the proceedings — he simply doesn’t care if he has sex, doesn’t care if she comes or not. Where before sex was a necessary escape from life (as on “The Zone” or “Adaptation, where hedonism was an atonement for past relationship failures), here it is done without context, only for its own sake. That sort of relationship bleeds out into the verses, where he says both, “I come around, she leave that nigga like he ain’t matter” and then, “If I had her, you can have her, man it don’t matter” — implying that no one in these relationships matters to him.

"King of the Fall," which we got barely one week ago, ups the ante even further. Its central refrain — "She gonna give it up cause she know I might like it" — is some Caligula-level shit. Again, with only one word, Abel changes everything; women are performing for him even though his satisfaction isn’t guaranteed. They could give him everything and he still wouldn’t be satisfied. This sentiment is matched up with his most unhinged lyrics yet, even for an artist whose nickname references MDMA and oxycodone: "That liquid G diet got a nigga so quiet, cause the shit so strong, got me feeling like I’m dying, the shit so raw, nothing else can get me higher." The wheels are coming off, lending a second meaning to the phrase, "King of the Fall" — no one will crash quite as hard as the Weeknd.

These two songs make me incredibly happy as a fan of the artist, because, while his material has been consistently brilliant, one got the sense that he might have backed himself into a corner aesthetically. On these tracks, however, he proves himself once again to be a first-rate lyricist, presenting a new direction that will undoubtedly lead to a fascinating sophomore release.

peakcapitolism
Since capital is always doing well somewhere, the illusion arises that all will be well everywhere if we only readjust the form of capital to that predominant in Japan and West Germany (the 1980s), the United States (the 1990s) or China (after 2000). Capital never has to address its systemic failings because it moves them around geographically.

David Harvey, Seventeen contradictions and the End of Capitalism: Uneven Geographical Developments and the Production of Space. p154

Emphasis mine.

(via peakcapitolism)
cultureofresistance

Anonymous asked:

Can you explain what a "liberal" is? And what is the difference between being a Liberal and being liberal? I always hear them referred to differently, like "big L Liberal/little l liberal"? I'm just confused because I thought they were leftists? I know this is really stupid, but I'm a n00b, please bear with me haha

america-wakiewakie answered:

Well there is a lot of muddling with where it is you are using the term liberal. The United States, as usual, has adopted the word and thoroughly bastardized it into representing the opposite of what it means. Noam Chomsky breaks down the inability to communicate when the meanings of words are constantly debased and re-appropriated to mean very different things from what they meant in the context of their histories.

Liberal today is capitalist in nature. Wikipedia provides this:

Liberalism is a political philosophy or worldview founded on ideas of liberty and equality. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally they support ideas such as free and fair electionscivil rightsfreedom of the pressfreedom of religionfree trade, and private property.

Well look at the contradictions there, namely the “ideals of liberty and equality” while advocating so-called “free trade” and “private property,” the bedrocks of capitalism which have given rise to massive inequality and debilitating poverty. So, and I am being brief here — and somewhat too reductionist so I apologize — liberalism, in the economic sense, is merely the cousin of its further rightwing family. 

The reason it is perceived as “the Left” is because of the framing of our political system to represent only a tiny spectrum of political discourse. 

In Democrats & Republicans: A Political Cartel I wrote:

Liberals and conservatives are two factions of the same team (read capitalists); we just perceive them as markedly different because of the degree to which the spectrum of political possibilities has been narrowed. A complex system of normalized indoctrination exists in our lives which ensure radical (read communist and anarchist) solutions are weeded out, or marginalized in one way or another.

The end result is a set of normalized choices manifested in a political cartel, or an association of political parties with the purpose of maintaining concentrated political power and restricting or repressing competition. What is valued as acceptable within this cartel comprising the modern political sphere then is a tiny spectrum which reflects only the range of needs of private corporate power and nothing more.

…Liberals and conservatives wholeheartedly participate in the concentration of power when they take a set of political positions which express the basic ideas of capitalism and then present a range of indoctrination within that framework — so any “solution” only enhances the strength of capitalist institutionalization, ingraining it in our minds as the entire possible spectrum of choice that there is.

This is the purpose of electoral politics, to present from our capitalist masters individuals whose ideas keep the flow of power moving upward; to normalize indoctrination; to, in effect, control the market by maintaining the perceived pedigree of capitalist ideas and restricting competition through the marginalization and repression of ideas new or contradictory.

The central point I am making is this: Liberals are not leftists, they are only perceived to be because we have ruthlessly destroyed real leftist movements in this country. 

In another piece — How could a Keynesian capitalist liberal like Obama be called a ‘socialist’? — I go on to explore why Liberals/Democrats would want to be called leftists at all. 

Democrats embrace the populism and sentimentality of proletarian emancipation while simultaneously advocating their enslavement to a wage economy (read capitalism), albeit a more equitable — word used loosely — distribution of wealth than the far right alternatives. They legislate from the Keynesian model, accommodated by welfare safety nets. This is why Democrats gladly accept “the Left” epithet.

Conservatives on the other hand use the same label (“the Left”) to disenfranchise would-be Keynesians through associating the failed USSR with real leftist ideology, contradictingly calling liberals “socialist.” The effect, therefore, is that both major American political parties benefit from falsely portraying one capitalist faction as “the Left”, granting it widespread however fallacious legitimacy in the eyes of the American public. 

All this is to say that a Liberal/liberal is a capitalist, oftentimes imperialist, rightwinger who happens to be just slightly “left” of their further right cousins, the free market capitalist. Liberals, essentially, are “left” because they advocate trying to humanize an inherently exploitative system. 

I suspect the difference between the capital and lowercase iterations has more to do with identifying as a Liberal, synonymous with Democrat, and generally being more liberal (as in open-minded, accepting) of new ideas, change, different people’s and cultures. Still, even with the fore-mentioned attributes, lowercase “liberal” people often fail to address systemic issues like institutional racism, heteropatriarchy. and imperialist foreign policies while claiming to love and care for oppressed peoples. 

thepoliticalfreakshow

thepoliticalfreakshow:

t’s been 50 years to the month since Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was introduced, making employment discrimination on the basis of “race, color, religion, sex and national origin” illegal and paving the way for equal-employment opportunity for everyone, right? Wrong.

For women of color, especially black women, inequality in pay, compared with white men and women hired to do the same job at the workplace, is still a significant problem.

The National Women’s Law Center released a study (pdf) that highlights that black women still make significantly less than their white male peers in the same jobs and positions.

According to the study, black women can expect to make only 64 cents for every dollar white men earn. Compare that with the 77 cents American women overall who work full time make for every dollar white men earn.

This economic disparity touches every industry, from medicine to customer service. For example, the study’s fact sheet reveals that black women who are physicians and surgeons make slightly more than 50 cents for every dollar their white male colleagues earn. In the customer-service industry—a midwage, female-dominated field—black women can expect to earn 79 cents for every dollar white men earn.

Such a gap in pay adds up to a loss of $18,650 a year, meaning that a black woman has to work an additional seven months to match the salary her white male counterpart earns in a work year.

The study’s researchers noted that black women were overrepresented in low-wage jobs, and this particularly held true for those without a college degree.

For black women who hold a bachelor’s degree, they can still expect to earn only two-thirds of what their white male peers in the same fields were paid. In fact, black women with a bachelor’s degree usually make $46,000—that’s about $3,500 more than white men with only a high school diploma. This wage gap persists at every level of educational attainment, according to the study.

Furthermore, the study found that the pay gap was more pronounced for black women as they age. Black women ages 15 to 24 could expect to make 82 cents for every dollar white men earn, but that amount drops to 59 cents for black women ages 45 to 64.

The wage gap was especially stark in Louisiana and Wyoming, with black women in those states earning slightly less than 50 cents on the dollar compared with white men.

In addition, the nation’s capital came in fourth for the largest pay gap, with a shocking 44 cents on the dollar.

The reality of this inconsistency in pay comes shortly after the release earlier this year of the Truths You Won’t Believe video, which asserts that black women are the most educated group in the United States. Noting that, the wage gap of black women makes the burden of repaying student loans all the more real.

The NWLC survey’s data was sourced from the U.S. Census and the American Community Survey and focuses on full-time, year-round employees.

Read more at Equal Pay for African American Women (pdf).

amodernmanifesto
rtamerica
rtamerica:

Nobel Prize winning economist praises $100 bn BRICS bank created to counter Western dominance
Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz has praised the new development bank founded this week by the BRICS countries for creating a financial institution that could counter the Western-dominated IMF and World Bank.
Stiglitz, a professor at Columbia University and former chief economist for the World Bank, said the New Development Bank marks a “fundamental change in global economic and political power.” He added that the effort by Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (BRICS) could revitalize the way funds are distributed to developing nations in a changing global economy that the “old institutions”like the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have not adequately recognized.

rtamerica:

Nobel Prize winning economist praises $100 bn BRICS bank created to counter Western dominance

Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz has praised the new development bank founded this week by the BRICS countries for creating a financial institution that could counter the Western-dominated IMF and World Bank.

Stiglitz, a professor at Columbia University and former chief economist for the World Bank, said the New Development Bank marks a “fundamental change in global economic and political power.” He added that the effort by Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (BRICS) could revitalize the way funds are distributed to developing nations in a changing global economy that the “old institutions”like the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have not adequately recognized.

hellfireandfeminism
america-wakiewakie:

Legal weed’s race problem: White men get rich, black men stay in prison | Salon
Ever since Colorado and Washington made the unprecedented move to legalize recreational pot last year, excitement and stories of unfettered success have billowed into the air. Colorado’s marijuana tax revenue far exceeded expectations, bringing a whopping $185 million to the state and tourists are lining up to taste the budding culture (pun intended). Several other states are now looking to follow suit and legalize.
But the ramifications of this momentous shift are left unaddressed. When you flick on the TV to a segment about the flowering pot market in Colorado, you’ll find that the faces of the movement are primarily white and male. Meanwhile, many of the more than  210,000 people who were arrested for marijuana possession in Colorado between 1986 and 2010 according to a report from the Marijuana Arrest Research Project, remain behind bars. Thousands of black men and boys still sit in prisons for possession of the very plant that’s making those white guys on TV rich.
“In many ways the imagery doesn’t sit right,” said Michelle Alexander, associate professor of law at Ohio State University and author of  The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness in a  public conversation on March 6 with Asha Bandele of the  Drug Policy Alliance.  “Here are white men poised to run big marijuana businesses, dreaming of cashing in big—big money, big businesses selling weed—after 40 years of impoverished black kids getting prison time for selling weed, and their families and futures destroyed. Now, white men are planning to get rich doing precisely the same thing?”
Alexander said she is “thrilled” that Colorado and Washington have legalized pot and that Washington D.C. decriminalized possession of small amounts earlier this month. But she said she’s noticed “warning signs” of a troubling trend emerging in the pot legalization movement: Whites—men in particular—are the face of the movement, and the emerging pot industry. (A recent In These Times article titled “ The Unbearable Whiteness of Marijuana Legalization,” summarize this trend.)
Alexander said for 40 years poor communities of color have experienced the wrath of the war on drugs.
“Black men and boys” have been the target of the war on drugs’ racist policies—stopped, frisked and disturbed—“often before they’re old enough to vote,” she said. Those youths are arrested most often for nonviolent first offenses that would go ignored in middle-class white neighborhoods.
“We arrest these kids at young ages, saddle them with criminal records, throw them in cages, and then release them into a parallel social universe in which the very civil and human rights supposedly won in the Civil Rights movement no longer apply to them for the rest of their lives,” she said. “They can be discriminated against [when it comes to] employment, housing, access to education, public benefits. They’re locked into a permanent second-class status for life. And we’ve done this in precisely the communities that were most in need of our support.”
As Asha Bandele of DPA pointed out during the conversation, the U.S. has 5% of the world’s population and 25% of the world’s prisoners. Today, 2.2 million people are in prison or jail and 7.7 million are under the control of the criminal justice system, with African American boys and men—and now women—making up a disproportionate number of those imprisoned.
(Read Full Text)

america-wakiewakie:

Legal weed’s race problem: White men get rich, black men stay in prison | Salon

Ever since Colorado and Washington made the unprecedented move to legalize recreational pot last year, excitement and stories of unfettered success have billowed into the air. Colorado’s marijuana tax revenue far exceeded expectations, bringing a whopping $185 million to the state and tourists are lining up to taste the budding culture (pun intended). Several other states are now looking to follow suit and legalize.

But the ramifications of this momentous shift are left unaddressed. When you flick on the TV to a segment about the flowering pot market in Colorado, you’ll find that the faces of the movement are primarily white and male. Meanwhile, many of the more than  210,000 people who were arrested for marijuana possession in Colorado between 1986 and 2010 according to a report from the Marijuana Arrest Research Project, remain behind bars. Thousands of black men and boys still sit in prisons for possession of the very plant that’s making those white guys on TV rich.

“In many ways the imagery doesn’t sit right,” said Michelle Alexander, associate professor of law at Ohio State University and author of  The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness in a  public conversation on March 6 with Asha Bandele of the  Drug Policy Alliance.  “Here are white men poised to run big marijuana businesses, dreaming of cashing in big—big money, big businesses selling weed—after 40 years of impoverished black kids getting prison time for selling weed, and their families and futures destroyed. Now, white men are planning to get rich doing precisely the same thing?”

Alexander said she is “thrilled” that Colorado and Washington have legalized pot and that Washington D.C. decriminalized possession of small amounts earlier this month. But she said she’s noticed “warning signs” of a troubling trend emerging in the pot legalization movement: Whites—men in particular—are the face of the movement, and the emerging pot industry. (A recent In These Times article titled “ The Unbearable Whiteness of Marijuana Legalization,” summarize this trend.)

Alexander said for 40 years poor communities of color have experienced the wrath of the war on drugs.

“Black men and boys” have been the target of the war on drugs’ racist policies—stopped, frisked and disturbed—“often before they’re old enough to vote,” she said. Those youths are arrested most often for nonviolent first offenses that would go ignored in middle-class white neighborhoods.

“We arrest these kids at young ages, saddle them with criminal records, throw them in cages, and then release them into a parallel social universe in which the very civil and human rights supposedly won in the Civil Rights movement no longer apply to them for the rest of their lives,” she said. “They can be discriminated against [when it comes to] employment, housing, access to education, public benefits. They’re locked into a permanent second-class status for life. And we’ve done this in precisely the communities that were most in need of our support.”

As Asha Bandele of DPA pointed out during the conversation, the U.S. has 5% of the world’s population and 25% of the world’s prisoners. Today, 2.2 million people are in prison or jail and 7.7 million are under the control of the criminal justice system, with African American boys and men—and now women—making up a disproportionate number of those imprisoned.

(Read Full Text)