Wynton Marsalis asks "Where Y'all At?"

What does jazz master Wynton Marsalis have in common with rap stars such as Ludacris and 50 Cent? Nothing, we hope for Wynton's sake. Never one to mince words, the trumpeter is putting hip-hop on full blast -- and he's doing it in his own rap song. A New Orleans native who now orchestrates Jazz At Lincoln Center in New York City, Marsalis goes ballistic on his new album debuting on Tuesday, From the Plantation to the Penitentiary.

Of the in-your-face track titled "Where Y'all At?," Marsalis told the UK's Guardian Unlimited:

"...Hip-hop substitutes the plantation for the streets. Now you have to say that you're from the streets, you shot some brothers, you went to jail. Rappers have to display the correct pathology. Rap has become a safari for people who get their thrills from watching African-American people debase themselves, men dressing in gold, calling themselves stupid names like Ludacris or 50 Cent..."

Wynton Marsalis sees today's hip-hop industry as the modern version of a slave plantation
To be fair, Marsalis doesn't just dress-down hip-hop. He's also hopping-mad about the slow recovery of New Orleans from Hurricane Katrina -- and he's hardly alone...
hurricane katrina hits new orleans
A good friend of mine, D., who lived in NOLA until The Hurricane, made her first visit home since moving to Chicago after "Kat." She went back for last week's Mardi Gras and had a great time. Except she was furious to see the City had planted lush palm trees near the French Quarter... An unthinkable expense, D. feels, given the devastation that's still apparent in so many neighborhoods.

Since President Bush visited the region again earlier this week, maybe the people in struggle created by "Kat" will begin to see housing, insurance, electricity and other concerns begin to turn the tide... ^ ^ ^ pause NOT!


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Paula Neal Mooney said...

Good for Wynton!

We need more intelligent brothas to speak out about nonsense.

And I hope New Orleaneans get everything they need: food, water, safety, houses, a good wall of protection...and pretty palm trees!

kweenkong said...

Wynton has quite a "unique" style. It'll be interesting to see how his messages are received.


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