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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Drop The Guns
Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Violence is an unfortunate aspect of the world we live in, but it’s also an aspect we can curb as individuals. Many rappers are known for filling their albums with violent imagery, a lot of which comes more from the fantasies, which in turn become self-fulfilling prophecies, of the emcees in question. On Sunday two more rappers were picked up on gun charges, this time around it was Ja Rule and Lil’ Wayne, in separate incidents in New York. My question to them, which doubles as an open question to all rappers who feel the need to carry a gun, is this; what do you hope to gain from this type of action?

Rappers like to use the tired rhetoric that it’s “a war in these streets.” Well first off Ja Rule and Lil’ Wayne have enough money not to live on those streets and second it’s not a war. You want to know what a war is like? Board a flight to Afghanistan and enjoy your stay. There’s also the misguided view some artists have that they need to carry a gun for protection. Message to those rappers, the only way people are “gunning” for you is on the charts. You can calm down now. And with so many of you carrying weaponry and rapping about how hard you are it’s a mystery to me how so many of you get robbed by some local whenever you head home. How many times has your chain changed hands?

The main issue with rappers, or anyone, carrying guns for protection is this, what do you honestly think you’re going to do with it? Are you going to wave it around and shoot it in the air outside of a strip club a la Stephen Jackson of the NBA? You saw how well that turned out for him. Or are you actually going to shoot and kill somebody? Personally, I don’t think many of you will do the latter. C-Murder did and look where it landed him, jail. Is that the new goal, to shoot someone and have your freedom taken away from you? If you’re carrying a gun you’re only making it easier to have your rights stripped. And you can stop rapping about anyone else keeping you down because with actions such as these you’re doing a perfectly good job of doing that yourself.

Finally, for all those rappers out there who think carrying a gun makes them tougher somehow, remember this, if you were truly tough you wouldn’t need to hide behind the gun. Which is the more macho figure, the man walking down the street with a gun, or the man walking down the street knowing he can outwit, or if it came to it, out hit everyone he sees? Chuck Liddell doesn’t need a gun. That’s because he’s actually tough. If your gun is your self confidence it’s time to read a self-help book, not shoot at people.

So rappers, please put down your guns. They can only cause you headaches, arrests, possible imprisonment and the loss of your rights (because you lose your right to vote after a felony conviction). Guns used for sport are one thing, but if you aren’t shooting deer what are you really using it for? To act tough. And remember, your fists can’t be turned against you, if someone grabs your gun you could be dead. All the rappers out there can set an example, and I’m especially talking to the one’s who’ve been shot. Ya’ll know the dangers. It’s time to be men about things. Either you can stand on your own two feet, or you need a shiny piece of metal to make you feel like a man. Which is it?


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:47 AM  
  • At 12:41 PM, Blogger truth hurts said…

    This is the most naive blog I've ever read. Seriously. You contradict yourself when you say rappers get robbed all the time but have absolutely no reason to carry a gun. How many dead rappers would love to come back from the grave to have a gun to shoot back at their murderers? This is the real world man, grow up, yes it is war on the streets, even if it's not rocket launchers, etc. And you really sound like a clueless kid from the suburbs who obviously has no idea how crazy it is in the ghetto

  • At 2:08 PM, Blogger Adam Bernard said…

    I love ripping apart comments like these.

    "You contradict yourself when you say rappers get robbed all the time but have absolutely no reason to carry a gun."

    My point was most of the rappers who carry guns STILL get robbed, therefore the gun is useless to them.

    "How many dead rappers would love to come back from the grave to have a gun to shoot back at their murderers?"

    So your solution is to have more death? How about neither party would have a gun and neither party would be dead.

    "you really sound like a clueless kid from the suburbs who obviously has no idea how crazy it is in the ghetto."

    I've lived in good areas and I've lived in some not so good areas. The biggest difference with suburbs is there's A LOT more fistfighting (to quote Hot Karl "the richer the quicker they are to fight") and they have significantly more school shootings / massacres.

    One of the best interviews I've done over the years was with Big Noyd of Mobb Deep for Elemental Magazine. He said that despite his lyrical content, if he had his way nobody would have a gun. Now I don't think you'd label him "a clueless kid from the suburbs" now would you?

  • At 8:34 PM, Blogger truth hurts said…

    Oh and since we're quoting rappers, there's one named Nas who said,

    "life's about decisions, you won't know how you'll react, til u in that position/and that's an actual fact".

    So let's stop the armchair quarterbacking. It's easy to sit at your desk with your little laptop and say what you would do in that situation, but the truth is, you'll never know what these rappers go through until you walk a mile in their shoes. One more Nas quote,

    "God or guns, which is better protection?...Can't decide, that's a hard one..."

    And Nas is definitely not a clueless kid from the suburbs either..

  • At 8:07 AM, Blogger Adam Bernard said…

    You're quoting lyrics from someone who was trying to sell an image to the public, I'm quoting a conversation where an MC said lyrics aren't necessarily how artist's feel. MOST artists I speak with want to get rid of guns.

    Oh and when it comes to walking a mile in their shoes, I have, and continue to, every day. When I'm out in Harlem or Brooklyn covering a show until three in the morning, because Hip-Hop isn't just something I cover, it's something I live. These aren't just people I listen to on the radio, many of them are my friends, some even qualify as family.

    BTW - Nas IS clueless. Go to his live shows, he has no idea what he's talking about. He'll go on a five minute rant about treating women better and then follow it up with three songs disrespecting women. He'll rip MTV, and then you'll look at your ticket and find out it was an MTV sponsored event. Nas is one of those dudes that's so overhyped is ridiculous.

    And if you really want to quote lyrics, one of my favorite rappers once said "if I ruled the world I'd send Nas back to school." Now that's the truth!

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