27 February 2004

Praising things

Okay, after yesterday’s entry, I need to re-claim a little decency. I sounded like a Conservative.(I will, however take one more swipe about gay marriage: The Johns keep saying that Bush is trying to shift the election debate away from what people are really interested in — ie. jobs or the economy or something boring like that — to gay marriage. Sorry, Johns: People do care, it IS in the public discourse. I wonder why you don’t want to talk about it…Oh wait, wait, I know why you don’t want to talk about it: you think Bush is right. So while Bush energizes his base with his position, you alienate your base of left-over sixties liberals. Another dirty little secret. But to set the record straight: I am mostly a liberal. I would have voted for Howard Dean.

Now, back to Jay-Z: so I’m really digging this “Grey Album” and wonder how I relate to this record given my background, my race, whatever. I think the answer is that I can’t relate to it. And though I may enjoy it aesthetically, there will always be a disconnect between me and the content of the music. I always thought that white people who listen to hip-hop are just lying to themselves, but I think that lying only happens when white people think they can relate to the music as a black person relates to it. Word to your mother: you will always be white. And that's okay. I can’t relate to Jay-Z. He is a talented musician. His music makes me bob my head and it engages me. But I will never know what it means to be a young black man who is being mistreated because I am black. For whatever that’s worth.