Why Do We
Keep Running In Our Videos?

March 22 1999
by Davey D.

I was just choppin' it up with a buddy of mine the other day when the topic of 'mind sets' came up. I was noting how we as black folks sometimes allow ourselves to get addicted to drama in our lives. In other words, we continously paint certain pictures about ourselves and never expand our scope. For example, the average rapper pays 200 thousand for a video which really winds up being an expensive advertisement for their album.

What I often notice is that in these videos a lot of artist spend an awful lot of time running from the police and other law enforcement types. Now I'm not one to advocate shooting down the men in blue, but it just seemed to me, if your gonna spend an awful lot of money for a video which is based in some sort of fantasy, why does a brother always gotta be on the run? That's my 64 thousand dollar question for this morning. Why are we always running? We're either running or we're in jail? Has our reality evolved to a point where we can't escape such compromising situations? Wouldn't it be great to watch a video where some NYC or LA cops bent on ruining a hip hop concert find themselves being chased?

Heck I know I would be on the phone with director Hype Williams and have him flip a dope video of me being king of the world. I would have Hype use all the latest lighting techniques and I most certainly would not be running from some cops or be in a jail cell. Call it stroking the ego or whatever, but I can't have myself running scared in my 200 thousand dollar video.. I was telling this to a buddy of mine and was talking about how everyone is trying to 'keep it real'. I pointed out a lot of these guys who have themselves being chased by Feds, Police or Mafia Dons were not going through that in real life. Although, many of them may have seen the inside of a jail. But heck why do a reactment of the tv show 'Cops'. Flip the script and start kicking some ass. Flip the script and start painting some new images.. Be like Public Enemy. They broke out of jail in their video 'Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos'. They even blew up a car in the video 'By The Time I Get To Arizona'. It was in protest to the state of Arizona not having a Martin Luther King holiday. What happened to those type of videos where we come out on top? If a rapper decides to depict himself in such a manner will Washington lobbyist like William Bennet come out the wood work and talk about how irresponsible these artists are being? Will Congress pressure some of these record companies and pass a law that disallows such videos?

I just want a change of scenary. I'm tired of seeing every rapper walking through piles of garbage talking about 'they're in the hood' locking it down. I'm tired of seeing us walk through sewers. I'm tired of seeing videos that look like cheap rip offs of the God Father or Scarface. If we're gonna be gangstas why not be imaginative and come up with some new ideas. Why can't we redefine what that's about. I'm tired of seeing us in jail, strip bars and running from the police. Why can't Mack 10 do a video where he pulls over a cop and rips him off? Why can't Ice Cube do a video where they do a reactment of some tragic shooting in the hood and he goes down to local police station and beats down a few men in blue? Why do we always have to mean mug each other and act like we're ready to take each other out in videos but we don't do that to the Feds in our videos? What sort of mindset do we have?

I am almost certain good men and women in blue would not sit idely by and allow such things to be shown without speaking out. They know how influencial rappers can be. And they know how influencial these videos can be. All that talk about artistic liscence and integrity flies out the window if there were to be a slew of videos depicting young brothas from the hood beatin' down a few cops. And to be honest I understand where the police would be coming from on this one. They don't people getting any ideas. So why is it that we continously show ourselves in a negative light where people may come away with a few bad ideas? For 200 thousand dollars why not put the cops in jail? Why not make them run? Maybe that's why we're always runningin real life and not fighting back to change things. We got so used to seeing us losing. Maybe that's why we pretend to be John Gotti and not come up with our own way of being. Maybe that's why sistas are seen a 'bitches' and 'hos' and brothas are seen and subsequently treated as 'niggas'. And maybe that's why Little Johnny from the hood grows up trying to figure out what sort of hustle he needs to adapt to get an ice [diamond] ladden Rolex and not how he can get straight A's in class and not be seen as some sort of sucker.

Heck if I'm coming out the pocket to the tune of 200 thousand dollars to make a rap video, I can guarantee I'm gonna win each and everytime. Maybe going after law enforcement in these videos would be going to far. So why not do a replay of the tragic Byrd killing in Jasper Texas where the brotha was dragged behind the car. In this video an artist like Scarface or Willie D would get some Klansman or Neo Nazi skinhead and and drag them behind a car in their video. Why not? Why is it ok for us to shoot at each other in a video but not ok to drag a Hitler look alike behind a car? My boy tells me that would be inhumane. But, since when did depicting yourself as a Pimp or a ruthless drug lord become humane?

I have a better idea let's get Snoop and Kurupt to redo the video to New York New York. Let's have them stomp through the streets of the Big Apple and kick over Mayor Guiliani's office.. Do you think fellow New Yorkers would get upset at this in the aftermath of the brutal Diallo shooting? [He was the unarmed brotha shot 41 times last month in case you didn't know]. I mean, will there be some brotha sitting around honestly complaing and ready to re-start the East West Coast war because Snoop stomp on NY's city hall. Heck, let Snoop and the Dogg Pound do a remix of the song, hook up with Wu-Tang and together they burn the whole city down in protest to the rampant brutality that seems to be occurring everyday. After that we'll get Nas to hook up with Ice Cube and they'll do a video where they chase down California regent Ward Connerly and his Republican cohorts and make him rescind the law they brought into place which got rid of Affirmative Action. Why not? We'll get Latin rappers like Fat Joe, Big Pun, Kid Frost and Cypress Hill and have them do a video in which they patrol the border and they decide who to let in and not let in.. If Taco Bell can do an offense commercial like they did a few years back where they encouraged people to run South for the border.. Can Kid Frost do a video where he tells white folks to get the hell out of Aztlan. Aztlan is the original name for the Western states [New Mexico, California, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Nevada] that were once part of Mexico.

Then we'll go talk to Luke who is known for showing sistas poppin their cooch and doing other sexually explicit things. Here we'll get Luke to show a look alike of NJ Governor Christine Whitman poppin' her coochie or getting freaked by Luke. It would be in protest to her putting out a bounty trying to get 2Pac's aunt Assata Shakur extradited from Cuba. I mean if Luke is gonna get props for demeaning women at least let him demean some one who's trying to kick folks in the butt. In this case let it be Governor Whitman. Why not? Why can he get video play for disrespecting sistas but not the Governor of New Jersey. Hey since were on that vein, let's get KRS-One, E-40, Lauryn Hill and Too Short together and have them do a video where they go down to Pennsyvania and beat down some prison gurads and FREE MUMIA. Why not? It's just a video. Certainly they won't harm anyone or will they? Hit me back with your thoughts at mailto:kingdave@sirius.com

written by
Davey D
c 1999

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