In running through the SXSW mp3s, I came across “Read a Book” by Bomani D. Armah and was surprised that I had missed its internet meme status. Though, as I’m not a BET viewer and not generally a follower of Hip Hop, maybe I wasn’t the intended audience.
People have at turns called this artist’s work satire, or a danger to our children, or even an attack on black culture. He’s had the opportunity to try keeping a straight face in the wake of questions and complaints of how this is affecting children negatively; an artist suggesting kids read a book rather than sell drugs to finance the crunk lifestyle… How DARE he! It’s alright that kids watch bootie shaking, Cristal drinking, and rims spinning, but this is too much?
The NSFW video
Kids don’t understand satire? Come on. I didn’t catch who said it on the CNN video, but I thought the same thing; Mad Magazine was completely understandable as satire when I was a kid.