by Davey D
My good friend and author Adam Mansbach often lectures about white privilege and the types of transgressions he sees white kids making within Hip Hop. He recounts the days, not so long ago when he was coming up and what it was like being part of the majority culture but being a distinct minority within Hip Hop. This positioning forced him to deal with certain types of realities he would in most cases have overlooked including the ways he engaged a culture he was drawn to, but knew wasn’t tied to his immediate roots.
There was a certain type of respect one had and lines one didn’t cross, even as a participant, (Mansbach was an emcee before a writer). Mansbach points out how today there are many white kids who have grown overly comfortable, to the point that they show up in your living room and put their dirty feet upon the coffee table with no concern as to how that looks, who it offends and what folks have to do to clean the table that they just soiled.
Seeing how this saga with actress Gwyneth Paltrow is playing itself out, definitely makes me think of Mansbach words. Here’s an actress who obviously loves Hip Hop. From what we gathered she’s fond of hanging out with some of Hip Hop’s biggest stars, Jay-Z, Kanye, The Dream and Nas to name a few and with that has come that comfortably Mansbach noted of putting one’s dirty feet upon on your living room table..
This is not so much about Paltrow tweeting the title of a song ‘Niggas In Paris‘ and pointing out her friends Jay-Z and Kanye were those ‘Niggas for Real’, it’s about her being dismissive which was eloquently pointed out by Q-Tip in his response to all this in a series of tweets…
Adding insult to injury is are all the passes Hip Hop’s elite have been giving her.. Initially we had The Dream saying he tweeted on Paltrow’s account.. Then he recanted..Now we have Nas of all people riding hard for Paltrow saying he’ll slap the shyt out of anyone on her behalf..
He adds on: “She’s the homie, she’s cool. Gwyneth gets a pass. Real people get a pass..” He goes on to refer to Paltrow as a ‘real nigga‘..
When I first heard this I thought to myself is this the same Nas who did the song Coon Picnic These are Our Heroes where he goes in on Kobe Bryant, Cuba Gooding Jr and Taye Diggs accusing them of ‘cooning’...
When asked about the song and why he went after Tiger Woods, Nas explained that Tiger was ‘flawed’ for not going in on a white female sportscaster who made a lynching joke.. Basically he was upset Tiger gave her a pass so to speak.. You can peep that interview HERE
The irony of Nas going in on folks like that and here he is going above-board to defend Paltrow. Was he doing that because that’s really the homie or did she ask him to step up on her behalf? I only ask because there are lots of folks who Nas knows and is friends with who get dissed for a variety of reasons and you don’t see such an impassioned defense coming from him.. Why Paltrow? It certainly appears to be a case of the pot calling the kettle black…I like Nas.. I like his a lot. but this stuff here is pure ignorance.. In any case it’ll be interesting to see if Paltrow steps to folks defense when they catching heat for crossing any of the various fault lines in Hollywood. ..Will Paltrow who is part Jewish ,offer passes if any of her rap friends or any of us say something that is perceived as anti-Semitic? Will she ride hard for folks the way they did for her?