Category Archives: Culture

Expected Behavior

The very first time I saw Lean on Me, this scene stuck out to me because it was a very powerful message.

It wasn’t a stand out scene but it set the tone for the entire movie. You may have only processed it subconsciously but you instantly got it when you heard it. It is so powerful yet and so simple to understand yet most don’t recognize the impact of it.

Mr. Clark was simply describing how people are who we define them as and thus we can’t be surprised if/when they live up to those expectations. But what happens when people expect themselves to be treated like animals? That’s exactly what happened at East Side High; the "good kids" were so used to watching "bad kids" get treated as if there were failures that they began to become failures themselves and then the teachers treated all of the students the same.

In everyday life, we expect people to fail (admit it to yourself, it’s ok normal), we expect people to give up on others. Due to this we start to expect ourselves to fail and we start to expect people to give up on us when we are in the same situation but we want to be helped. Why does this happen? Because we expect people to treat us like we treat others or how we see them treat others. In psychology this is unofficially called Herd Mentality.

A good example of this is when we see cars disabled on the side of the road with the driver standing outside of it in need of help.  There are very few people if any that would stop to provide aid yet if we were in that situation we would hope that someone would stop but expect no one to do it. You want to be saved, you need to be saved but so many just pass you by.  The situation thus encourages you to not help someone when you see them in the same situation. Had someone stopped, chances are you would be more encouraged to help next time you saw someone in need. ABC created a whole show around it called What Would You Do?.  I’m sure you’ve seen or heard about it.

So what happens when there is a life on the line:

Before I use this unfortunate event as an example I must say that I in no way condemn anyone involved for their actions, abilities or lack there of. It was a tragedy to hear about and I’m sure it was far worse for them to experience first hand. I mention this story only to draw parallels on the forthcoming points.

What would you do in this situation where someone is drowning but you can’t swim? A co-worker and I discussed this when this story happened and he believes that you should go jump in and try to save the kids. I, actually not being able to swim, say that you should do what ever possible to help but jumping in could hurt rather than help. It is a tough question to answer to yourself: Do you do whatever you can or give up to let them struggle or do you fight for them and possibly go down with them?

For the people that are close to me that I care about, I often do everything I can to help when they need it. Often going above and beyond what others think I should. I believe you should support people as much as you would want them to support you, if not more than they would you. Think about the last time you were in a time of need or didn’t realize you were in need and someone was there for you.  Now image if that person wasn’t there or the last time someone wasn’t. Did you expect someone to help? Now I’m not talking about major life events. It could’ve been as simple as dropping something in a crowed room, having your hands full while approaching a door or moving your residence.  You get the idea.

When people come through for you, it feels good. When you don’t expect people to help and they do, it feels amazing! When you help people it feels amazing for yourself also. Try to notice when people want or need your help because they will want to return the favor to you one day or even to a stranger.

A few weeks ago I was walking into a market and there was a woman outside with a teenaged girl.  She had her ID and EBT card in her hand while asking for help to get food for her kids. As I walked up I saw many people walk by them and not saying a word. When I approached I told her I didn’t have cash but if she needed I could pay for whatever she needed.  She agreed and walked out with something to eat for the night. I don’t know if she was telling the truth but I couldn’t take that chance when I have the capability to help.

They say you should pay it forward but I think you should just pay it without expecting something in return or that it would benefit you in the future.

As Simple as Socks and Sandals

 

There’s this great scene (I think it’s the greatest scene in the movie which we will get to in a second) above from The Devil Wears Prada where Miranda (Meryl Streep) explains to Andrea (Anne Hathaway) why she is wearing a blue sweater. Actually it’s Cerulean if you were paying attention to what she said. Lapis is also a shade of blue. I know that because I am into photography, art and web design by the way.

Back to the point, Miranda’s explanation is to educate Andrea on why it is she is subconsciously choosing her clothes.  I think of this every time I see someone walking around in black socks or socks and sandals.  It also comes to mind with the baggy pants phenomenon in the 90’s and 00’s and tight jeans fad of late.

Before I get into this let me first say that I am not a fashion historian but I do pay attention to people’s behavior and fashion. First socks and sandals. It’s a very prevalent practice throughout history and throughout the world regardless of how we Americans think of it. For the record, I personally don’t like it and haven’t partaken in it.

So how did it become popular? Same place everything becomes popular, high school of course, particularly jocks. Jocks or athletes typically would dress in their uniforms prior to participating in their sport and often wear their uniforms afterwards. Sports such as baseball, soccer and football often require a specific type of sock to match the uniform.  Since taking sneakers on and off requires untying or unlacing, sandals became the easiest for of footwear that could function for quick removal and protect the feet while in full uniform.

Thanks to the competitive and conformist culture of high school, the jocks are typically at the top of the food chain and idolized by the masses and so adopt their fashion choices. This of course spreads to the younger siblings and then encouraged behavior by these same jocks and influencee’ when they become parents. It then becomes popularized by pop culture and other adults catch on then then a fad is born.

Now I haven’t forgotten about those we refer to as bohemian or hippies. They too dress like this but unfortunately their fashion style wasn’t strong enough to influence the masses.

Skinny jeans are a much simpler explanation. They are just a direct opposition to the baggy jeans phenomenon. Typically it’s called counterculture or rebellion. Tight pants lead to tight shirts and thus a new fashion tread was born.

As always, you don’t have to agree with me. If you think I’m wrong, write your own blog or complain in the comments. Either way is fine with me but one thing is for certain, you can’t say I’m completely wrong if you think about it now can you?

Yo! Where is Yo! MTV Raps

Yo! MTV Raps

Yo! MTV Raps was an iconic and pioneering show on MTV. Not since the debut of Soul Train had a TV show about music had such a profound impact on our culture.
It was the first show on Cable TV to feature Hip-Hop from the prospective of the artists and their music. It brought to our TV’s Hip-Hop on a daily basis in the form or interviews, behind the scenes, promos and freestyles from the artists of its time.

The show had two running series; Yo! MTV Raps (1988-1995) and Yo! (1996-1999). For those old enough to see the original, it still holds a special place in our memories.  Current shows just don’t hold a candle to it due to their focus on the audiences and shortened versions of videos.

MTV has release many of its shows to VHS, DVD and Blu-ray over the years including but not limited to: Beavis and Butt-head, Aeon Flux, Jackass, The Hills, Remote Control, Rob & Big, The Andy Milonakis Show, various MTV Unplugged, Laguna Beach, Pimp My Ride, Punk’d, Celebrity Deathmatch, Jersey Shore, Daria, etc. … they have not released Yo! MTV Raps to the general public.

While others have suggested that MTV simply re-air the show, I think it would be more beneficial to have it released in some form of media (preferably physical) for consumers to view. I request that the release of the show contain the following:

  • The entire catalog of shows (1,830 in total).
  • A "Best Of" will not suffice and would only do a disservice to the show, its fans and the Hip-Hop generation.
  • Full episodes including interviews and music videos should be included.
  • Commercial breaks are OK for plugging current MTV materials or artist content.
  • If DVD or Blu-ray releases are made, the episodes should be authored appropriately to allow for easy navigation to sections of the episode.
  • Behind the scenes, extras, commentary or bonuses while nice are not essential to be included.
  • An uncensored audio track should be the default if it is available.

Besides the entertainment value of this show, the historical aspect of the genre is most significant. It documented the birth and coming of age of a music genre. Many of the artists still around today were featured in their "humble" beginnings on this show. As Hip-Hop ages, it’s beginnings shouldn’t be more than the ramblings of the older folks to the youth especially when it was captured on film.

It should be noted that MTV is owned by Viacom and the music which was featured on the show is owned by many different record companies and artists.  While undertaking something of this sort wouldn’t be easy for MTV it is not impossible for them. MTV you just turned 31, it’s time to embrace you maturity and put the music back in your name. You can start by putting the music back in our lives.

By signing the petition I prepared, you can show MTV that this music is just as important to us as our past.

When Hip-Hop Crosses Religion

Meek Mill

Despite my lack of enthusiasm for current-day rappers, I happen to like Meek Mill. Being that he is local here in Philly I had the chance to hear him prior to his signing with Maybach Music Group. So far his sound is slightly different but that’s to be expected once an artist is signed by a label.  The grooming process tends to change some things.

So when his latest song Amen came out I gave it a listen. You can listen below and draw your own conclusions. For me it was a miss for one reason: I’m not a fan of overly religious references in a song. I’m not really a fan of religious music at all. When the local Hip-Hop station sneaks it into their line up, I change the station. I’m not against it, it’s just not for me.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I’m not an atheist or anything like that. I grew up a Baptist. I didn’t start going to church until I was a teenager and that was by my choice to do so on my own.

When I first heard the song, I was a bit turned off by the constant bellowing of "church", "preach" and "amen". I don’t even like it when people say those things in general conversation but to each his own. Then I got down to the lyrics in the hook:

Now there’s a lot of bad bitches in the building (Amen)
A couple real niggas in the building (Amen)
I’m finna kill niggas in the building (Amen)
I tell the waiter fifty bottles and she tell me say when
And I say church (Preach)
We make it light up like a church (Preach)
She wanna fuck and I say church (Preach)
Do Liv on Sunday like a church (Preach)

To me, there’s a few things you don’t make light of about a person and their religion is one of them. In that regard I think the Flying Spaghetti Monster is one of the most in your face attempts at mocking someone’s religion. I also feel that people have the right to express themselves so I would never knock anyone for displaying one of these things. If you think I just double-talked myself then you don’ understand the difference between rights and freedoms.

So then I heard Meek discussing his song on the radio with a reverend with Meek not truly understanding the definition of the word meek:

Part 1

Part 2

In summary, the heated verbal exchange had all the characteristics of a worthless discussion about nothing

  • Scream loudly in an attempt to prove your point no matter how weak it may be until the other side backs down
  • Don’t listen to the counter point no matter how valid it may be
  • Attack your adversary personally with comments unrelated to the topic
  • Defend yourself by stating only God can judge you
  • And of course, when in doubt, lash out

Had this taken place not on the radio but in person on the street, I think there would’ve been some unneeded violence. Both sides of this argument were poorly constructed. Meek seemed to be seeking ooh’s and ah’s from the crowd while the reverend wanted Meek look like a bad person.

I’m at all surprise by this type of behavior from either of them. This type of exchange is why people tune in to watch Love & Hip Hop, Basketball Wives, Real Wives of Wherever and the rest of the shows like them. Those shows are built on the expectation that someone will fight or argue which for some reason brings in viewers. It’s almost the same reason some people use as to why they watch hockey.

If you haven’t heard the song then listen for yourself. Maybe it’s about time I finally pick up a copy of The Great Debaters. Maybe they should also…

 

The BET Awards Experience

8720584_600x338[1]

I haven’t watched BET in almost 10 years. I don’t even know what channel it is. Seriously, I had to hunt for about 5 minutes to find it. Last time I saw BET I think Teen Summit was still a show. I don’t know if it still is one but it was back then. I didn’t even watch UPN, the channel that causes BET (hopefully you’ll get that reference).

Since it’s been so long I decided I’d give the BET Awards a chance. And boy it was a very torturous night. It’s no secret that many of the people that "should" like BET don’t. But I’m not going to talk about that. I’m going to talk about the award show.

The event started off with a pre-show, a 2 hour pre-show. I didn’t know it was going to be 2 hours so I wasn’t ready for that. I had to miss part of it to go get dinner. Once I returned with food I started the night. There wasn’t anything too exciting there, a few performances and a lot of talking.

The show opened up strongly with Kanye West, Big Sean, Pusha T and 2 Chainz then knocked it down a few notches when Samuel Jackson and Spike Lee attempted to rap. From there a confusing award for Best Group which featured Kanye West and Jay-Z as The Throne. They were later nominated for best collaboration which also led to some confusion but what do I know.

From there it was the usual mix of performances, awards and tributes. The return/debut performance of D’Angelo was welcomed by all. And the tribute to Frankie Beverly was fantastic. The entire audience jammed to Maze and Frankie as he performed his classic Before I Let You Go. He shared the stage with Joe, Faith and Tyrese who sang his tributes.

It was a lot more entertaining than I thought it would be. I was expecting the usual buffoonery that I’ve come to expect of BET past. Maybe the channel has turned a new leaf. Maybe I’ve been too hard on them. I’ll have to watch some other shows before I can say that for certain but I’ll say that for another day and another article. All I can say is that once the show actually started and became a more adult affair than the outside was, I was able to enjoy myself.

Rodney King – Catalysts to a Resolution Gone Wrong

Rodney King

Rodney King was found dead this morning at the bottom of a pool.

In case you didn’t know, at one point Rodney did release a song but that wasn’t his biggest impact on Hip Hop. His impact was the inspiration of change in the way police interactions between themselves and civilians. His impact influenced the soundtrack to an entire coast. His impact caused a a whole community to people to stand up against the wrongs committed against them and make the whole world take notice.

The LA Riots were started because of the dismissal of charges against the LA Police Department after a video surfaced of them clearly using excessive force against him. I won’t go into the whole history of the event but the following video which aired a few weeks ago covers it in great detail.

There aren’t too many points in history where the name of the victim is remembered synonymously with the even but the world will never forget the name Rodney King.

Putting words to good use

Here’s a project I wish I thought of first. (Actually, I did around the time that I dreamed up this site a few years back but not to this extent.) Here’s the premise, they take song lyrics and analyze them by date, region content and a whole lot of other things. Then you can find out things such as who was the first artist to product place a shoe or how long did it take for the word shorty (showdy or showdee depending on where you are from) to be used across the coast.

It’s has a lot of promise and I hope that it exceeds its funding or if it doesn’t continue to look for funding because I really like this project.  It’s good to see a creative way of using Hip Hop that isn’t being utilized anywhere else. I’m sure there will be others that will come along and still this idea and use it in other forms of music but I hope it’s this project that spins off into other genres. 

Pledge you support today as there are only a few more days left to donate.  There are incentives depending on how much you donate from chocolates to beta or lifetime access to the site.  I’ll be pledging my support because every dollar counts!

The Take Over – Updated

I have to say, I really hate making statements like this but it seems to be proven over and over again.  While this post includes racial topics, it is not intended to be a racial or prejudice issue, just pointing out some observations.

There’s been this long standing social stigma that blacks can make something popular then once whites adopt it, it no longer becomes cool because of over use or abuse of use. Over use happens when you apply too much and abuse happens when you apply something beyond its intended use.  I’ll give you two examples, baggy pants and the words phat and hot.

Baggy pants, origins aside, exploded in fashion among blacks and then skaters came along and took baggy pants too far then surprisingly went the other way and opted for super tight pants. Thanks to Pharrell, blacks became skaters to and started wearing tight jeans too.

Of course people never gave up on this trend and still continue to do this today. I can’t speak for anyone else but I wore my baggy pants for comfort. To get away from the tight or fitted pants look of  my younger years.  I never had my pants too low unless I didn’t have a belt and it couldn’t be helped but I never did it to purposely show my underwear as people do today. As with most things that young people do, it lead to an outcry of the older generation and there were laws attempted to be made to prevent it but that’s hopefully all behind us now (pun intended).

But you didn’t come here to read about pants, no this is about music.  You may remember that Cee-Lo released a song over the summer called F**k You:

Of which 50 Cent quickly jumped on:

Which was all and good. Everyone liked both versions and and we had a summer jam.  Now fast forward a few months to the  George Lopez Show and we find William Shatner’s attempt at the song:

Well thanks Shatner, the song had a good run while it lasted.

UPDATE  – Damn, my post wasn’t even a few hours old and yet again I discovered Gwyneth Paltrow on Glee (never seen the show and don’t plan to by the way). It would be nice if the original artist can enjoy some time to enjoy the success of this song.

Serious Radio

It’s around 7:20 AM and just like any other morning I hope into my car, turn the key and the radio comes on.  As always while getting situated, the sounds coming out of the speakers don’t register as intelligible at first. A few seconds pass and I recognize what is going on; a phone prank. Not being a fan of this "ageless" gag, I tune to another station for relief. A few minutes later and it starts again but with different voices. On to station number 3 and they are giving a recap of a phone prank I thankfully missed earlier.  WTF?

After enough of the Hip Hip and Top 40 stations I move to the R&B stations hoping for relief.  Hopefully the more mature DJ’s can bring a more serious tone to my day but alas not.  The buffoonery is more intense so that it lacks the taste and is only mildly amusing. Is this the humor of the older generation or is it a left over of different times when we were to be mocked rather than treated as equals?  Whatever it is, it is not something that I can tolerate for too long.  And did I mention that some of them also do phone pranks?

What happened to radio?  When did it become so devoid of originality? As one of my friends put it, the radio is like a tape stuck on replay (or a playlist on replay for those of you that don’t get the reference).  Ever since the radio companies were bought by parent companies (ClearChannel, Radio-One,…) they have become franchises serving the same menu across the country. 

Gone is the local flavor that made us tune in.  No more does the local artist get his first break to be heard.  Playlists are distributed to all stations and re-run throughout the day to push the latest release.  Payola may not be a published practice but it is clear that it is being masked in some way.  How else can you hear the same songs every hour during peak listening times (rush hour and 8 to 10).

With the advent of digital music devices, radio is now in trouble. Once HDRadio is put into play, I believe that radio will vanish completely. Radio must evolve or rather revert back to it’s roots to survive.   Bing back the local influence that once ruled the airways.  Let the listening audience dictate the playlists and play a broader variety of songs.  There has been too much music created to only play the same 34 minutes of music throughout the day. This one is for you Radio Raheem!

Real Dads Stand Up

If you haven’t heard by now, a father in Florida boarded a school bus to confront the bullies of his daughter who has cerebral palsy. During his escapade, he threatened violence against everyone on the bus including the bus driver and children on the bus. You can see the details in the videos below

The support for him is overwhelmingly positive which I though was surprising.  Here a black man went onto a school bus and threatened children with violence and he is being supported. I’m not sure if his daughters illness has to do with the support but I have a strong inkling that it does.

Does Hip Hop fuel the bulling flames with it’s culture?  It may very well be since it is full of confirmations, conflict and issues that seem bulling like.  Many rap battles start due to someone being a bully and calling out his target.  If the bully isn’t confronted or responded to, then the target faces the ridicule and possibly being ostracized from his or her peers.  Many artists have threatened to (and some succeeded in) end the career of another artist or some type of violence against someone they know.  Beanie Sigel often referred to himself and an album as the Broad Street Bully.

We know bullying won’t stop in Hip Hop and despite all the claims, we know that Hip Hop influences peoples actions so what can we do to stop it?  Just as the "expert" in the video above says, we need to put it on the audience to stop the conflict.  If Lil Random Guy says he’s going to put an end to DJ Wusisface and in response DJ Wusisface claims to know the mother of his child and has a sex tape, the audience should take the responsible route and ask "why can’t they both exist". 

But I know that won’t happen.  We’ll want to see the sex tape then we’ll want to hear their diss songs all for the sake of entertainment.  Which is the true reason for bullying.  The bully is just looking for a way to entertain himself because he was not taught how to properly do so.  So rather than getting to the point of having to get on the bus, let’s teach our children that bullying isn’t a form of entertainment, it’s an act of low self-esteem and the lack of the ability to occupy oneself without it being at the expense of another’s well being.

The Audacity of Vulgarity

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine was listening to a religious talk show on an AM station where the topic was about vulgarity.  After the show, my friend called me and asked, "Why is our culture so vulgar? Why is our music so full of references to sex, b’s and h’s?"  Of course many have asked this for years. I too have pondered this question.

I wondered if this is really all we know.  Looking at Hip Hop from the outside in, there are lots of examples of vulgarity.  We don’t often see or notice it because we have become accustom to it. We use profane language in our homes then tell our children not to used "adult words."  We wear clothes that reveal parts of our bodies many people tend to cover up.  And let’s not even mention the things we watch and listen to

We’ve become numb to many of the things that society at a large considers vulgar.  Sometimes it is pointed out to us in the wrong way by people who don’t understand it.

These are the people who preach that we must learn from our mistakes of the past and point out key moments in history to back up their points but then in the next breath inform you that you should get over slavery and pretend it never happened.  But that’s a different discussion.

Is it time to let go of the notion that we can brute force acceptance of our behavior  or culture on others?  Maybe, maybe not. That’s for society to decide.  Me, I guess I’m just going along for the ride.

Social Media Day

Maybe you’ve heard of it but chances are you haven’t.  Today is Social Media Day.  In a nut shell it’s a day to celebrate the revolution of media becoming a social dialog.  So sign up for a Meet Up near you then go out and be social;  Tweet, FB, Check-in or whatever your favorite site uses then go meet some people.

Why is this Hip Hop? You do use these services don’t you? And more than ever, we need to be out representing in a positive way.

What are we doing?

I turn on the radio and I hear rappers singing about who they know, what they have and what they’re going to do someone for whatever reason.  And then I turn on the TV or pick up the newspaper and I see the result of it.  Yesterday in Chester, PA, a 2 year old boy loses his life to gun violence.

A few days before, a man is shot under unknown pretences.  Months before in the same city, a woman is shot by a stray bullet while sleeping in her bed. 

This is just a few examples in one city.  I’m sure you have many others in the city you live in or near.  The temperature is going up and with it so does the violence in the streets.  We have to get a grip on ourselves and each other.  The value of life is diminishing in the eyes of our youth. 

We say our music is the message of the streets, a way for the oppressed to speak about atrocities they’ve seen so that the world can know of their struggles but we don’t learn from its messages.  We’ve turned our music from outcries and celebration to bragging and boasting of how much we (or rather the artists) own. 

At one point in history, the artist grew tired of the problems and banned together to try to send a positive message to the youth:

 

Theses days, the artist ban together to help line their pockets:

Look at the lead photo a little longer.  Burn it’s image in your mind.  Imagine that it’s someone in your family.  Imagine it’s someone you know.  Now imagine that it’s you.  If we keep up what we’re doing, one of those phrases will be true!

Time's 50 Worst Inventions

Time Magazine just released a list of what they’ve deemed The 50 Worst Inventions.  Most notable on the list are recent inventions such as the Segway Scooter and the Facebook Application Farmville.  I’m no fan of either of them but I am a fan of Hip Hop so let’s take a look at it’s influence on the list.

First up, Venetian-Blind Sunglasses.  These hideous things were left back in the 80’s until but Kanye decided to go back and pick them up.  They took a couple unneeded swipes at him in the process but he did bring them back into style.  

Next up on the list, Fake Ponytails. Sorry ladies but I put this, weave and wigs in the same category.  I know someone won’t like that but fake hair should be left for play time, stage or theater.  IF you want long hair, grow it.  While we’re on the subject, Hair in a Can and Bumpit also made the list.

The last on this list is Auto-Tune.  I’m not sure if abuse of an invention should make it appear on the list but i am sick of hearing the damn thing.  See here for a list of offenders.  There are too many to list.

Certainly the sound had it’s place with Zapp and Roger’s use of the talkbox.

Worse than the N word ? Urban

I actually got a surprise while researching this topic.  Typically, I look for an image using Google Image Search and it took a couple pages before I reached an image of a black person.  This is contradictory to how the word is typically used.  Only when using the keywords Urban Youth did I get my expected results. 

So what’s the big deal here? Often times Urban is used as a code word for black, though it is often combined with other words (radio, youth, clothing, music, television, etc) for this meaning.  It’s used so often, that it isn’t given a second thought but its audience.

Many businesses and organizations have capitalized on this misconception.  Many include urban in their names to further identify their alliance with race such as  Urban Outfitters whose clothes don’t seem to fit into this definition and National Urban League, a civil rights organization.  Just as Urban Outfitters points out, not all terms or businesses are code words.  Urban Legends and UrbanDictionary stem from uses in language that doesn’t exactly predate stereotypes but doesn’t get its meaning from blacks living in the city. Often in Mom and Pop stores it hangs above the music and in the news it describes the people but why?  No history exists of the words association with blacks as of yet but it is in heavy use with no misunderstanding of what it means.

Of course I have my own theories on the subject?  My first guess is White Flight where whites, moved from urban areas to suburban areas.  This changed the ratios of whites to blacks in urban areas therefore creating the stereotype of large amounts of blacks live in urban areas.  But wait a second, blacks live in the suburbs too.  More so in the south than in the northern states. 

I don’t need to quote statistics to prove that blacks live in other areas than in cities, just look around.  If someone is working in a store, chances are they live in the area.  Especially when it comes to teens.  Teens don’t travel as far as adults do to get employment.  They go as far a the bus, train or parent will take them within a reasonable distance.

So what harm can this do?  There is a huge movement of racists and stereotypical behavior starting to surface.  The media will have you believe that it started because of the Tea Party Movement or since Obama started running for president.  I believe it started with the popularity of the internet and the new sense of anonymity that it give people.  The is one of the founding properties of the KKK and the internet has further this.

Get at me dog

First off let’s get some things straight, I don’t condone nor to I condemn dog fighting.  I’ve never witnessed or been a part of it.  I believe there are far worse atrocities going on in the world that need attention than this.

Second, dog fighting is not a product of Hip Hop, black culture or even the United States.  It has a long standing in history along with fighting other types of animals.

Third, Michael Vick, didn’t increase dog fighting incidents.  He only brought to the surface what society chose to ignore.  Even since Vick was linked to this activity he has been blamed for every case that has come about. As if he was the originator of dog fighting.

I’m not going to defend him or his accusers.  What I want to know is when do you really pay your debt to society? When do you finally get to move on from your crime after serving time?

If you want to drag animal cruelty through the mud, take a look at horse racing.  It’s everywhere so much so that there are laws specific to it and