Letters to my sons.

Trying to explain the world to two very small children.


without comments

Dear Son,

last night it was the MOBO awards – music of black origin.

This title is a load of rubbish for many reasons.

Firstly human being as we know them started life in Africa and those people were black. Therefore everything we know from fire to the Hubble Space Telescope is of a black origin.

Secondly they ignored the largest population of black people in the world – African’s – until 2005. They don’t seem to have a category for anything black that comes out of South America and they completely ignore the whole of the Caribbean except for Jamaica. Jamaica has given the world reggae but little else. Trinidad and Tobago has given the world Steel Pan, Calypso and given London the Nottinghill Carnival.

You would think that Jamaicans invented carnival and brought it to London with the Windrush. Calypso came on the Windrush with Lord Kitchner, possibly the worlds greatest calypsonian. But he was born, bred and became successful in Trinidad before coming to the UK. That aside when record shops are trying to sell carnival music over the Nottinghill Carnival season they stuff an area full of Jamaican CD’s and deck the area in Jamaica flags. The Canboulay rioters spin slowly in their graves.

But back to the MOBO’s and their other great crime – sucking up to American music. Obviously they have to keep their sponsors happy and to do that they have to have a high profile, so big American stars are invited and get their arses licked. The whole of English culture, including the input from foreign shores, is prostituted to the corporate agenda of the music business. Just like the fast food industry, they want to homogenise music so that everywhere you go you hear the same old over hyped crap. Anything original or different and unable to provide big enough returns to keep the music execs in nose candy is ignored or killed. I once watched a German music program and witnessed some German rap music. In between the German words could be heard the words “bitch” and “hoe”. How long before there is no corner of the world untouched by the culture and beliefs of the USA? There are places where children can get a carbonated soft drink with plant extracts but can’t get clean water. The MOBO’s are part and parcel of this process.

If you are having an awards ceremony that recognises only black music and therefore mainly black artists; are these same artists then excluded from awards that don’t discriminate based on ethnic origin? The MOBO people will claim that they champion “urban” music and not black music but this falls down on two counts : why have the world “black” in the title and why then do they ignore Pan? Steel Pan is urban music, especially in Trinidad and through out the UK as well.

But what do they mean by “urban”? Mega rich, big car and house? I’m confused son, maybe I’m too old to understand.

Written by Administrator

September 24th, 2005 at 8:21 pm

Posted in Culture

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