Future Brings Up the Past in the Wrong Way

May 16th, 2013

(photo: John Ricard / BET)

(photo: John Ricard / BET)

By Jake Rohn

In a recent interview on Big Boy’s Neighborhood on Power 106 in Los Angeles, ATL rap star Future raised the ire of many while attempting to defend Lil Wayne’s lyrics on the “Karate Chop (Remix),” telling the host that he felt the controversy “brought a positive energy to the situation.” The “Turn On the Lights” rapper received a collective side-eye from the masses for something many rappers have been suffering from of late, foot in mouth disease.

Future’s full response read:

“I think overall with the whole situation, he did bring light in a positive way to what happened, even though they thought it was negative. He brought a positive energy to the situation because a lot of people don’t know, my dad didn’t even know who Emmett was. He’s thinking I’m talking about Emmitt Smith.”

He continued, “He raised awareness to people who didn’t even know who Emmett Till is to young kids who didn’t even know what happened to him. After Lil Wayne brought light to it, they had to go and do their research.”

Unsurprisingly, Future has been vilified for his comments. Did he deserve to be lambasted for his poor choice of words? No doubt. But, if you look at just that last sentence, “After Lil Wayne brought light to it, (people who didn’t know of Emmett Till) had to go and do their research.” THAT is what he was trying (and failing) to say. It goes without saying that Future could use a little training from a good publicist. It also goes without saying that Future is an adult and – well intentioned or not – should be prepared to face the consequences of his actions and words. But buried in this whole mess is the microcosm of a much broader issue: A lack of accountability when it comes to context. With so many tabloid pundits, journalists, “journalists” and gossip sites, people have gone from reporting on facts to creating them. And, in many cases, that leads to them missing the forest for the trees.

YMCMB rapper Tyga found himself at the center of a similar whirlwind of controversy after offering his point of view on Rick Ross’ now infamous “U.O.E.N.O.” lyrics. In an interview that took place shortly after Reebok dropped Rozay at the behest of protestors, Tyga said, “We’ve all got friends who have been to jail, that sold drugs or whatever. Sometimes you gotta be the voice for them people. That’s what rap is. Even with 2Pac. ‘Pac would talk about having kids, his baby mama getting on his nerves, but that stuff he was talking about he was the voice.” He went on to say, “What he said, that’s like freedom of speech. It wasn’t even his record.” And what numerous headlines read based on that response? “Tyga Defends Rape Rap.” No discussion about whether or not the lyrics should fall under freedom of expression, just enough so-called truth to attract more hits. In today’s world of predominantly online readerships, the average person typically skims through headlines and opening paragraphs, leading to an abundance of misinformation and half-truths that people use to create their own, uneducated opinion of people.

Whether either of these men bring up valid points of discussion is irrelevant because in an increasingly polarized society where everyone has an agenda, every statement is analyzed and scavenged for dirt. I guess all’s fair in love and journalism.

For more log on to BET.com.

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