Saturday, October 23, 2004

KRS-One: Coming Clean

Hip-hop's non-stop agitpropper KRS-One tries to set things proper in his site "Temple of Hiphop" by declaring:

Like everyone I was shocked to read that I and other African-Americans actually “cheered when 911 happened” and that I have “declared my solidarity with Al Qaeda”. When I read my words taken out of context I was shocked and disappointed that the Daily News would go this far to assassinate my character and distort my views.
About the statement about America commiting "suicide":

My full statement was “America has to commit suicide if the world is to be a better place. If you want to go beyond voting American interests must put a gun to its head and commit suicide because as long as long as we are only interested in American interests we go out and invade the rest of the world. The real question is are you a citizen of the United States or are you a citizen of the world? And so for me, I would say voting in a corrupt society adds more corruption.”
And as for 9/11:

I was asked by the New Yorker magazine to discuss “different and personal beliefs musicians hold and the contribution artists like myself can make to the nation’s political dialog”. My views were indeed different and most were personal. However, when I was asked about why Hiphop has not engaged the current situation more (meaning 911) my responds was “because it does not affect us, or at least we don’t perceive that it effects us, 911 happened to them”. I went on to say that “I am speaking for the culture now; I am not speaking my personal opinion”. I continued to say; “911 effected them down the block; the rich, the powerful those that are oppressing us as a culture. Sony, RCA or BMG, Universal, the radio stations, Clear Channel, Viacom with BET and MTV, those are our oppressors those are the people that we’re trying to overcome in Hiphop everyday, this is a daily thing. We cheered when 911 happened in New York and say that proudly here. Because when we were down at the trade center we were getting hit over the head by cops, told that we can’t come in this building, hustled down to the train station because of the way we dressed and talked, and so on, we were racially profiled. So, when the planes hit the building we were like; mmmm justice.” And just as I began to say “now of course a lot of our friends and family were lost there as well” but I was interrupted.

(...) These are not my views only; these views represent a popular truth that few people are really ready to hear. No one wished death on anyone or just sat and “cheered when 911 happened”. But some of us can see through the bullshit! America must change its approach to the world and its citizens. This, I believe is what all Americans should be thinking about. How do we make our country better?
It's very obvious here that KRS-One is making one valiant effort to extricate his foot from his mouth. While it's very noble to speak from the heart, sometimes you wind up talking out of your arse. And the comments that One made at the New Yorker GT were fine examples of speaking from the heart out of your ass.

For years my career has been one of promoting peace, love, unity and having fun; such has always been Hiphop’s cultural principles. So how all of a sudden now can I be aligned with Al Qaeda? What happened to honest debate and freedom of speech!
I suspect that they all went out the window when al-Qaeda decided to pay NYC a visit.

It used to be - from my standpoint - that Americans were starting to see the world the say the Euroes and Canadians saw it: not in stark black and white, but in many shades of grey. Now, it's either this or that. Any combinations of the 2 or none of the above are no longer considered options.

We are an imperfect, flawed species. We still maintain this animalistic sense of territorialism that translates into nationaloism, tribalism and sectarianism, and you have to admit that all these isms lead to more isms and pain.

The words would make sense, but within the context of what the United States, never mind NYC, had gone through over the past 3-4 years they should have been laid out in a better sequence. For certain views, freestyling in front of millions of conflicting, emotionally charged viewpoints may not be an intelligent option. And thus, KRS-One is getting hanged for trying to make sense without using his brain first.

For the record, I am an American philosopher. I speak and seek truth. If the slander that the Daily News has printed regarding my political views has disrespectfully offended anyone in any way I truly apologize. Again, it was never my or Hiphop’s intent to disregard, disrespect or demean the tragedy of September 11th 2001 and those that died that day. However, we do have a voice and a point of view and if you are not prepared to hear what Hiphop has to say about its view of world events then don’t ask!
As I said before, use your brain first.

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