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Meridians: feminism, race, transnationalism 8.1 (2008) 15-18

Hip-Hop Hegemony
Janell Hobson

I said hip hop
hippety hip hop
and you don't stop
      don't stop
        don't stop
the onward march of new millennium protesters
fighting WTO   NATO
and UN incompetence
in the face of femicide, genocides
    and the military industrial complex
Are we still perplexed
by this new hip-hop generation
rising, shouting, resisting
the degeneration of an entire nation
    and Generation X
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz [End Page 15]

Wake up, sisters (and brothers)
    Take back the mike
      and take back the night
and take back the right
    to rhyme
unmolested and uncoopted
by corporate controlled media
fueling machines of politics, war, and music
ipod tunes booming out soundtracks
in the ears of American soldiers
    stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq
stultifying and horrifying
    woman-hating lyrics
laced to dull bases and beats
that take off the heat

as they ready
on innocent civilians that look like terrorists

I said hip hop
hippety hip hop
and you don't stop
      don't stop
        don't stop
gun shots keeping rhythm
to the bang bang boogie
up jumped the boogie
to the boogie of the rhythm of the beat
sounds of a cold and villainous heart
targeting a sand nigger
        who's not quite the real nigger
but close enough to trigger [End Page 16]
a familiar rage and fear in a wigger
placed overseas by the bigger
      powers that be
spreading hatred, intolerance
      and a new age empire
of torture
can somebody say Abu Ghraib
          Guantanamo Bay
even Durham, N.C.

somebody   anybody
        Everybody Scream!
loud enough to drown out
      that mechanical noise
emanating from homes, cars, bars
      and BET
impersonating the people
while denigrating the people
    and building murderous legacies
      and gluttonous palaces
on the blood
      of dead thugs

Rest in peace   Tupac and Biggie
for I once delighted in your rappers' delight
      Keep ya heads up (even in the afterlife)
but how can there be peace for you
    when there's no justice for you
even while your voices crank out from
    commercial radio
is this the new spiritual medium
      owned by the same powers that be
spilling blood all over this planet
    that they sell out to the highest bidder
as if Mother Earth was ever for sale
    like the video ho they manufactured
marketing desire [End Page 17]
      over love

Profits before prophecy
but I fear for us more than for Terra Madre
who will rise up like her sister Katrina
    displacing her disobedient
          and disenfranchised

who forgot to vote
        except for the next American Idol
so convinced were we by corporate rhymes
that our present system was righteous and fine
    And now we bide our time

I said hip hop
hippety hip hop
and you don't stop
      don't stop
        don't stop
these wars are ceaseless


Dedicated to the woman1 who reported being raped on March 13, 2006 by Duke Lacrosse team players, who hired her for $400 to dance at their private party, probably because she resembled the hip-hop music video dancer that they had seen on Viacom-owned TV.


1. This woman has since been identified as Crystal Gail Mangum.



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pp. 15-18
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