So… Rapper Lil’ Wayne apparently thinks racism doesn’t exist. The rapper was asked by Skip Bayless, co-host of the Fox Sports talk show Undisputed, about his opinion about the controversy surrounding 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick. Lil’ Wayne asserted that he believed, “there was no such thing as racism.”
Lil’ Wayne seems to think that the presence of white people in his audience has some how ended racism in America. If that is the case then what have black people been complaining about for the last 400 years? White people have always enjoyed black music and black culture. They’ve enjoyed it so much; many have gone out of their way to steal it!
I choose not to deal with the absurd. Instead, let’s deal with the hypocrisy. Maybe Lil’ Wayne has forgotten that the Internet is forever and a simple Google search can turn a ridiculous statement into a boldface lie. Let’s travel back four short years ago in 2012, when Weezy accused the Oklahoma City Thunder organization of racism when he was denied access to Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals. The Thunder disputed his claims of racism and stated, “Lil’ Wayne’s representatives insisted that he sit in the front row, and none of those seats were available.” Maybe Lil’ Wayne can’t see racism because he suffers from a different type of privilege, wealth privilege. Sadly, he attained this wealth with lyrics that highlighted the very racism he claims doesn’t exist.
Maybe Lil’ Wayne can’t see racism because he suffers from a different type of privilege, wealth privilege.
From the album Tha Carter III, on the song “Misunderstood,” Lil’ Wayne seems to pontificate about the black experience in America as it relates to law enforcement:
“I watching T.V. the other day right Got this white guy on there talkin’ ’bout black guys Talkin’ about how young black guys are targeted Targeted by who? America You see, one in every 100 Americans are locked up One in every, nine black Americans are locked up.”
In his song, “Hollywood Divorce” from the 2006 soundtrack to the motion picture, Idlewild, Lil’ Wayne discussed the media exploitation of New Orleans flood victims after Hurricane Katrina:
“Yeah, and I don’t have to go to Hollywood Cause Hollywood came through my neighborhood with cameras on I really think they’re stealing from us like a sample song I really wish one day we’d take it back like Hammer’s home The hurricane came and took my Louisiana home And all I got in return was a darn country song This whole country wrong.”
Then of course, there was the scathing references to George Bush in the song, “Georgia”…Bush from the Dedication 2: Gangsta Grillz mixtape, where he suggests renaming Hurricane Katrina, “Hurricane Georgia… Bush!”
“They tell you what they want to show you what they want you to see but they don’t let you know what’s really going on make it look like a lotta stealing going on boy them cops is killers in my home niggas shot dead in the middle of the street I ain’t no thief I’m just trying to eat man, fuck the police and President Georgia…Bush!”
This is not the first time Lil’ Wayne has created controversy around race.
So Lil’ Wayne doesn’t think racism exists but he’s more than willing to make a quick dollar from perpetuating the notion that it does in his music. Lil’ Wayne should have stuck to sports in the interview. Honestly, I don’t know why anyone wants his opinion on sports or politics, but I digress.
There is a huge issue with men of Lil’ Wayne’s public stature making reckless statements like this. Deniers of racism or social injustice will use these words to further their claim that we have somehow reached a post-racial America. We haven’t. The irony is that most of the people who are running with this story probably had to search the web (or their teenager’s music collection) to find out more about Lil’ Wayne. The Hip-Hop artist has now ostracized his fans to further the cause of people who don’t listen to or appreciate his music. Not a smart move.
This all comes as no surprise to me. This is not the first time Lil’ Wayne has created controversy around race. The rapper apologized for his “inappropriate” use of the name of civil rights icon, Emmett Till in a verse on the remix of the song, “Karate Chop.” Interestingly enough, in the apology published in Rolling Stones magazine, Lil’ Wayne made a promise to the black community:
“As a business owner who employs several African-American employees and gives philanthropically to organizations that help youth to pursue their dreams my ultimate intention is to uplift rather than degrade our community.”
Well, Wayne… it appears you’ve broken your promise. I guess the parents and family of unarmed black men and women who have been killed by the police, as well as every person of color who is still victimized by systemic, covert and overt racism will patiently wait for another apology.