Reading Context Clues Is Instrumental To Other Matters…

09.03.07 10 years ago 22 Comments

“Read A Book” Music Video Creators on CNN 2/2

Ahh….let us begin with a few random quotes from the interview and responses…


“You can’t understand satire outside of it’s context.”

True, context is always key. I discovered that while reading a recent message board thread where someone “lost all respect” for Ice Cube after hearing “Black Korea.” The same person claimed to be a huge Cube fan.

A.) You can’t be a huge Cube fan and just now hearing a song from ’91. Death Certificate is arguably his best record to date & only matched in the amount of social commentary by his debut.

B.) Put into context, the song fits. During the same time & within a matter of years, you had the murders of Yusef Hawkins on one coast & Natasha Harlins on the other. Looking @ Harlins’ murder, you’ll see that it was a tipping point, a lynchpin, for the strained relationship between the Black-immigrant relations in several major cities. The situation got some media attention outside of the West, but it was on hip-hop, which was much more socially active @ the time, to help spread the word that similar situations, although lesser, were indeed going down. Pac & Cube were instrumental in engraving Natasha’s name & the incident in my mind forever. Hell, I hate orange juice even.

Same situation here with this “video,” and I use the term loosely.


“The problem is bigger than a cartoon. Fix the problem.”

Truth. The video is a parody of BET current video rotation and alot of what artist/labels/other media outlets are pushing. The artist’s intentions have been reportedly varied but it’s easy to discern where his influences came from & those being the shit that airs on BET all day long, under the guise of “music videos.”

“Do you watch BET?”

Probably not. Poor journalism to even threaten to cut off the mic of someone you’re interviewing.

Before I even say anything else, let me go ahead & admit I don’t watch BET. In fact, I think they should just change it to ET because I don’t know too many Black folks still entertained by the current programming. That plus any videos I see currently are courtesy of Youtube. It’s my OnDemand these days.

Since I don’t watch it, my point of reference is the OG “Read A Book” video, which is maybe a weirded out, new version of Schoolhouse Rock. I watched it twice, thought it was an interesting take & pretty much left it @ that. I didn’t stand up and applaud, giving out “bravos” nor did I feel outraged. I thought some of the lyrics were borderline ignorance (“brush ya teeth”?) but I grasped what I perceived to be the concept.

But, I’d love to see some of the brains behind BET up for questioning in a public forum.

Never mind my thoughts. I’m about two cups of coffee and half a pack of squares into finishing up some other stuff (Can you not tell by the title of this post?). Simply ran across that clip & wondered how others felt about it, the original video and whatever else they’re airing on BET these days.

In the end, this post is twofold.

1.) We know that the game has changed considerably and with Fruity Loops, home recording and Myspace, everybody’s an artist. Starving mostly, but still striving to attain fame.

With that in mind, the homie upped a variety of instrumental albums for consumption. Go ahead & get your jackin for beats on. Maybe you too can follow the path that lead to Fif’s stardom. There’s a few other instrumental albums in the Shots of this post as well.

2.) Aspiring rappers, please note – Our babies are listening, watching and mimicking all we do. Be mindful. Please.

Instrumental Strays

J._Armz-How_To_Be_An_MC_Vol._41_(Nas_Instrumentals)-(Bootleg)-2CD-2007

Method Man – Tical 2000 Judgement Day (Instrumental Album)

Mobb_Deep-Murda_Muzik_(Instrumental_Album)-1999

Mos_Def_and_Talib_Kweli-Blackstar__Instrumental_LP_-1999

Raekwon-Immobilarity_(Promo_Instrumental_Album)-1999

Raekwon-Only_Built_4_Cuban_Linx-(Instrumental_LP)-1995

VA-DJ_EFX-The_Best_Of_T.I._(Instrumentals)

VA-J._Armz-How_To_Be_An_MC_RnB_Edition_Vol._2

VA-J._Armz-How_To_Be_An_MC_Vol._42

VA-J._Armz-How_To_Be_An_MC_Vol._43

VA-J._Armz-How_To_Be_An_MC_Vol._44

VA-J._Armz-How_To_Be_an_MC_Vol._45-(Bootleg)-2007

Wu-Tang_Clan-Enter_The_Wu-Tang_36_Chambers_(Instrumentals)-Bootleg-2007

Instrumental Strays

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