Slikour “Blackz R Fools” – Is BEE the only way to be something?

Slikour

It’s been a week of very public criticism for South African artists. First Brett Murray’s installed piece “The Spear” at the Goodman Gallery has come in for strong criticism from the ANC, COSATU and a number of other commentators, with the Goodman Gallery and the City Press Newspaper being taken to court. And now, criticism has been being leveled at rapper Slikour for his song “Blackz R Fools”. Just like with Murray Slikour is being asked to remove his work because it is not sensitive.

Our own interpretation of the message Silkour is making is that, the playing field in South Africa remains uneven. Black artists and people in general are still less able than their white counter parts to be promoted and receive success. He accuses black executives and black people in power of helping to suffocate black talent, by disassociating from their essential “blackness” and becoming consumed by their own vanity and materialistic needs. He argues that black people in power are responsible for selling out and oppressing their fellow black people. He asks the question, whether we are always going to need preferential treatment such as BEE instead of investing in development and progress of black people as a whole.

Slikour takes a critical look at black people and makes a strong statement. It is not weighted in high -level political analysis, but he is, afterall, a rap artist and not a political spokesperson.  If he stated that it was his personal experience as opposed to his view of the goings on it the country, it would have been autobiographical. Would that have made it more acceptable to the public?

While we do not have anything to say about the skill of the song or its message, we feel it is within the rights of the artist to express his view of his world.  Rap music in any event has never been a sensitive form of expression. Its angry music expressing angry ideas. It evolved from street culture as the means to highlight, that which is oppressive. Rap themes often relate to misogyny, offences to women, graphic portrayal of sexual acts and organs, criminal activities etc. As has been the case of visual art – it has always been a place of graphic representations of emotions and revulsions. The huge outcry against artists this week is less about taste (because art has never been about taste), but rather that artists are now expressing what can be seen as political views.  Who would think that would be worse than the vagina monologues? Whatever would Steve Biko have to say about this song? Make up your own mind, should Slikour remove this song? He’s already said he that he wont.

Slikour – Blackz R Fools

[Foreword]

“A nation without education will not know its worth.

What I’m about to say is going to determine whether you know your worth

(and if you don’t know) this is not book education, but it’s your present!”

[Verse 1]

Ten years in the game I know white bands that only seen

Two years of fame  but they set for life

Look at the Parlotones and KFC

I ain’t knocking them it’s really just what I see

Zola was the biggest star that we’ve ever seen

But what’s sad was it was only seen by Cell C

While we work hard just to sell a CD

They make millions of a couple of mp3’s

And break bread for their own race, own creed

I wish black executives could take the lead

But they put us down like we embarrass them

And give us deals that equate to embarrassment

And when we broke they blame it on money management

I must say black people are stagnant

BEE billions we brag with it, while black schools are less than average

Then what’s up with that?

[Chorus]

Coz we blackz are foolz they just want to fresh

And they want to be cool

Give them a little money and they think they rule

But I hope we, but I hope we’re, but I hope we’re,

But I hope we better than that

We better than that x2

We better than that that that that that

[Verse 2]

Now in the struggle we used to burn traitors

I guess that’s how they could to separate us.

Nowadays its money and political favors,

Politicians wanna be Celebs and famous.

Celebs want to be politicians, buy faces

I guess our society has gone pretentious

And when you tell the truth they say you have envious

I’m going to be blatted coz now this is strenuous

Media undermine us

They even offend us

Radio don’t play us

They don’t even recommend us

Journalists with scandals to misrepresent us

Meanwhile they building companies of the oppressors

For minimum wages they make us look lesser

So who should the kids look up to? America

Of course, our heroes are down played by editors

So why blame white people when we can credit us

For our own lack of progression that we bring to us

And we think we are progressing but we are delusional

[Chorus]

[Verse 3]

We show off the BMW’s, and VWs but doesn’t that trouble that they don’t consider you

In their marketing strategy that’s my view

But they know that you have the fashion IQ

Chances they don’t even like you

But they know you going to make their brand cool

Coz we so materialistic we’re such fools

They don’t give a buck to the same hoods

Spending money on extravagant foreign goods

Gucci, Versace,  Louis

We advertise them so much you think we get loeries

And supporting our own is such a duty

That’s why we don’t own nothin,

‘cause we think of ourselves as nothing

Black people always be job hunting,

Is BEE the only way to be something? But

[Chorus]

 

 

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