Saturday, July 15, 2006

Q: Why? A: Why not?: Explicating Jadakiss' "Why?" Pt. II

At long last I have found the time for round two of my Q and A with Jadakiss. The second verse of the song “Why?” had some hard-hitting subject matter, but I think I managed to put Jadakiss’ worries to bed under a blanket of reason, logic, and empirical truths.

Why do niggas push pounds and powder?
It seems to me that the selling of illegal drugs generally spawns from the need for money. People who prefer these substances are usually willing to pay top dollar for them, resulting in unusually high profit margins—or if you grow up in the suburbs it results in the purchaser being the proud owner of a zip-lock bag of Oregano or baby powder.

Why did Bush knock down the towers?
This is a topic that megaphone wielding, banner making demonstrators in Union Square feel very passionate about—that and likening Bush to Hitler (I’m still trying to work that one out). While I am in no way a Bush supporter I can’t say I believe in either a) Bush’s physical prowess being mighty enough to knock over tall office buildings or b) his intellect being honed enough to organize the September 11th attacks. Furthermore, why do the people who bring this question up always forget about the Pentagon? It’s kind of like straightedge kids conveniently forgetting that Ian Mackaye said, “Don’t fuck” in the lyrics to “Straightedge.”

Why you around them cowards?
They make me look cooler and more masculine than I actually am.

Why Aaliyah have to take that flight?
If I remember correctly she was returning from, or flying to a video shoot in an exotic island locale. In short, she was trying to make that money. I also contend that if Buddy Holly and The Big Bopper’s flight had crashed during the summer returning from wholesomely rocking the islands the song “American Pie” would never have been written, or if it had it would have been composed by Bob Marley while high.

Why my nigga D ain't pull out his Ferrari? Why he take that bike?
Okay, I have to plead ignorance on who “D” is, and to his possession of a Ferrari and a motorcycle. Whatever happened as a result of D’s automotive choice I’m sure he just wanted to feel that breeze on his face, or enjoys the feel of protective equipment on his bodice.

Why they gotta open your package and read your mail?
I don’t know what kind of packages and mail you’re getting these days, but I know if the government wants to open my packages and glimpse the cell phone charger I left at my parents house during a visit, or security check the controversial nature of my utility bills/bank statements they can go right ahead.

Why they stop lettin' niggas get degrees in jail?
Did this happen? If so, when? My impressions of jail are a smattering of weight lifting, religious unrest (usually between Muslims and Christians and/or white supremacists), drug selling and using, cigarettes as currency, generally there’s a guy in a wheelchair hanging around the television room and who is really insightful, some forced sodomy on “the new guy,” and of course the heart-warming emotional maturation that occurs when the older “lifer” teaches the young twenty-something how to read and helps him get his high school diploma.

Why you gotta do eighty-five percent of your time?
In relation to what I described in the last answer I’m sure that sodomized “new guy” would be damn excited about only having to serve 85% of his sentence. Mostly I feel that the general, non-jailed, public would like to see more prisoners complaining about serving 100% of their sentence rather than just 85%.

And why do niggas lie in eighty-five percent of they rhymes?
The truth is boring. The average rap fan would much rather hear hyperbolic claims about street life instead of the truth, or hear any kinds of commentary on how to solve socioeconomic injustices. This is why groups like The Roots aren’t as financially successful as Dem Franhize Boys.

Why a nigga always want what he can't have?
Mostly due to a complicated and cyclical relationship between the individual and the consumer culture we exist in. That, and possibly the inordinate amount of “bling,” expensive cars/boats, costly alcoholic beverages, unattainable/ exploited females, large mansions, and sports related apparel that appears in rap videos and MTV’s cribs.

Why I can't come through in the pecan Jag?
Go right ahead; see if I give a shit. Just don’t cry when my 95’ Taurus and I Tokyo Drift past your stupid ass.

Why did crack have to hit so hard?
Crack is highly addictive, and reportedly “so much fucking rowdier than that pussy cocaine shit,” by a bum who pees on the dollar book carts bi-weekly at the Strand Bookstore.

Even though it's almost over, Why niggas can't get no jobs?
What’s almost over? Joblessness? That’s not almost over. It seems to me that good jobs go towards those amongst us who can network or have much better luck than everyone else. This is particularly true for college graduates who can’t get a response to a resume and cover letter for an entry level position because despite the phrase “entry level” they want 3-5 years experience in the field. Jadakiss, if you want to team up on this, maybe we can take a day and go get some answers on this one. I’m free Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Why they come up wit the witness protection?
Witness protection is a good thing. Isn’t it? I mean, if I saw something, had to appear in court to testify and in turn did not want to be murdered or have my family/friends systematically killed, I’d say witness protection is pretty all right.

Why they let the terminator win the election? Come on, pay attention.
California’s residents are not intelligent. Seriously, they would have voted for me if I looked good shirtless.

Why sell in the stores what you can sell in the streets?
Mass marketing my friend. You’re able to reach a wider base of consumers versus whoever wanders up to the trunk of your car, or rendezvous’ with you in a secluded parking garage or alley.

Why I say the hottest shit but be sellin' the least?
Sounds like a personal problem to me. Also, I see little evidence to your “shit” being the “hottest.” Have you heard Mos Def? Seriously.


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