Author Topic: Dated Casual Racism In Popular Music  (Read 8439 times)

Re: Dated Casual Racism In Popular Music
« Reply #150 on: May 02, 2021, 11:55:38 AM »
struggling to think of a single example of black supremacism in reggae
The Rasta/'conscious' style of reggae lyrics is hard to pin down to a precise ideology- its a mixture of positions that include black nationalism, Afrocentricism, Garveyism as well as Rastafari.. I think its fair to say that sometimes there is an implicit black supremacist viewpoint there, for example in songs which recast the Israelites in the Old Testament as black, implying, presumably that black people are God's chosen people, e.g. Rod Taylor's Ethiopian Kings.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=OoIA3iQUiLU
This song is still a bit equivocal though, because it still name-checks the more mainstream idea of equal rights.
Probably the most widely circulated and unequivocal bit of black supremacism in pop muisic is Wu-Tang Clan's sermon-like Wu-Revolution,  influenced by Nation of Islam beliefs:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rbQ8V1Ul67A
Quote from:  Wu
We are original man, the Asiatic Black man
The maker, the owner, the cream of the planet Earth
Father of civilization and daughter of the universe....

...and then you got the five per cent
Who are the poor righteous teachers
Who do not believe in the teachings of the ten percent
Who is all wise and know who the true and living god is
And teach that the true and living god is a supreme being black man from Asia
« Last Edit: May 02, 2021, 12:15:27 PM by Astronaut Omens »

Re: Dated Casual Racism In Popular Music
« Reply #151 on: May 02, 2021, 12:39:26 PM »
A literal reading of foundational Rastafarianism could be black supremacist, but to apply that to the whole of reggae is itself racist: 'these particular Jamaicans are racist so all reggae is racist'. It would be like saying all white music is white supremacist because it originated in Jim Crow America and there are still some racist country acts.

But any slack you could cut Morrissey for one particular quote is negated when you compile all his quotes. It's the overall pattern of the rastas, Chinese and Asians being portrayed as 'subspecies', non-British, not belonging, and taking over spaces that should belong to whites. Then the political allegiances he has formed in the last few years make all past statements unable to be interpreted any other way.

Re: Dated Casual Racism In Popular Music
« Reply #152 on: May 02, 2021, 02:49:05 PM »
Oh yeah, I wasn't trying to defend Moz, the 'subspecies' comment in particular shows he's completely gone through the looking-glass, I was just responding to gib's comment.

kngen

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Re: Dated Casual Racism In Popular Music
« Reply #153 on: May 02, 2021, 03:04:45 PM »
But any slack you could cut Morrissey for one particular quote is negated when you compile all his quotes. It's the overall pattern of the rastas, Chinese and Asians being portrayed as 'subspecies', non-British, not belonging, and taking over spaces that should belong to whites. Then the political allegiances he has formed in the last few years make all past statements unable to be interpreted any other way.

I do wonder if the odious sentiments in Bengali in Platforms ('live is hard enough when you belong here') flew under the radar for so long because it's such a shit song[1] (and I can't be the only one that skipped it when listening to Viva Hate). I wish he'd just gone all in with The Last of the Famous International Racists as his big coming out, and I could have dispensed with any continuing engagement there and then.
 1. If I want to make myself sad, I imagine what Vini Reilly's reaction was when he heard his music behind that load of pish

Re: Dated Casual Racism In Popular Music
« Reply #154 on: May 02, 2021, 03:16:59 PM »
Burning Spear's Marcus Garvey, one of the best things ever done by anyone in any media, is an explicit endorsement of an ideology that has counted as a supremacist movement in many western nations.

The Congos sublime Heart of the Congos in addition to a few anti-gay songs, contains songs like "Ark of the Covenant" which, while not explicitly saying that everyone who is not Black is eternally damned, stress the huge amount of repentence and spiritual reckoning needed by everyone who isn't Black when judgement comes.

The chances of Morrissey having heard either of these records in the mid 80s: 0%

If I want to make myself sad, I imagine what Vini Reilly's reaction was when he heard his music behind that load of pish

Allegedly intended as an angry punk song for The Queen is Dead, then rewritten as a b-side and abandoned by the Smiths.

The fact that this material was floating around for years and various members or producers were veto-ing it suggests Morrissey's worst opinions were already out in the open. I always thought of "Bengali" as being a deeply prejudiced and bigoted person's attempt at an anti-racist sentiment - a yes, life is hard for outsiders everywhere sentiment, Morrissey clearly thinks he's being generous and warmhearted to the song's subject but still can't phrase it in any other way than shit about who belongs where. What would have been "no one belongs anywhere anywhere" becomes "deal with your own problems because we've got our own too" delivered like its coming from a place of profound empathy no one but him could understand.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2021, 03:33:31 PM by Video Game Fan 2000 »

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Re: Dated Casual Racism In Popular Music
« Reply #155 on: May 02, 2021, 04:33:17 PM »
Hence this release by James Brown and the JBs.
https://www.superthrowbackparty.net/2015/01/who-is-above-average-black-band-aabb.html?m=1

I'd never seen that sleeve before and don't like it. I always assumed the JB's AABB was tounge-in-cheek acceptance of some white beardy Scotsmen making legitimately good funk.

kngen

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Re: Dated Casual Racism In Popular Music
« Reply #156 on: May 03, 2021, 12:30:34 AM »

Allegedly intended as an angry punk song for The Queen is Dead, then rewritten as a b-side and abandoned by the Smiths.

The fact that this material was floating around for years and various members or producers were veto-ing it suggests Morrissey's worst opinions were already out in the open.

I had no idea. That is shocking/fascinating. Is there any record of this anywhere?

Quote
I always thought of "Bengali" as being a deeply prejudiced and bigoted person's attempt at an anti-racist sentiment - a yes, life is hard for outsiders everywhere sentiment, Morrissey clearly thinks he's being generous and warmhearted to the song's subject but still can't phrase it in any other way than shit about who belongs where.

Absolutely, he betrays so much with his choice of words. It could have easily have been 'life is hard enough when you are from here' - the cadence might be a little laboured (and the sentiment a smidgen less hateful), but we're hardly dealing with top-notching lyricism in the rest of the song. What a cunt.

Re: Dated Casual Racism In Popular Music
« Reply #157 on: May 03, 2021, 12:50:31 AM »
I had no idea. That is shocking/fascinating. Is there any record of this anywhere?

A demo version from after the Strangeways sessions was with one of the big Morrissey leaks, although Marr isn't on it so it barely counts as a Smiths track. Same lyrics but not really the same song, its a shitty girl group thing much like the Cilla cover with Morrissey playing up the "ben-gaaal-iii" accented bit in the chorus and the infamous "life is hard enough when you belong here" line is already present. Its on youtube. No idea if there is evidence of an earlier version but evidence enough that he was proud of the lyric enough that he tried to fit it to several different songs.

Re: Dated Casual Racism In Popular Music
« Reply #158 on: May 03, 2021, 12:51:36 AM »
I think it was after The Queen Is Dead. Marr had already left and Ivor Perry did the guitar part.

https://smiths.fandom.com/wiki/Bengali_in_Platforms

The Youtube version has some lovely guitar fills by Vini Reilly but, as kngen says above, Vini must have been fucking mortified by the lyrics.

Re: Dated Casual Racism In Popular Music
« Reply #159 on: May 03, 2021, 12:54:34 AM »
Imagine finding a tape marked RARE UNRELEASED SMITHS SONGS and then you check it and Marr's name appears nowhere and then you check it again "BENGALI IN PLATFORMS" TAKES 1 - 4

Jockice

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Re: Dated Casual Racism In Popular Music
« Reply #160 on: May 03, 2021, 09:13:01 AM »
Imagine finding a tape marked RARE UNRELEASED SMITHS SONGS and then you check it and Marr's name appears nowhere and then you check it again "BENGALI IN PLATFORMS" TAKES 1 - 4

And it's also marked The National Front Disco. To be played at.

Re: Dated Casual Racism In Popular Music
« Reply #161 on: May 03, 2021, 04:56:31 PM »
Can't find where I read the song was demoed for Queen first. Possibly on the old Morrissey lyrics page? Maybe just Perry saying the song had different arrangement before and extrapolating from there?

The least PC thing to have a Mandela effect about.

gib

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Re: Dated Casual Racism In Popular Music
« Reply #162 on: May 05, 2021, 04:23:59 PM »
Lovely sunny morning here and i decided to get one of the kids out of bed by asking alexa to play at full volume The Sun Has Got His Hat On.

i won't be doing that again, had no idea it features the n word

Re: Dated Casual Racism In Popular Music
« Reply #163 on: May 05, 2021, 04:41:33 PM »
There's a bit of racism in this Peter Wyngarde classic.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vY26l5SAxJs

It's not the worst thing about the song.

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Re: Dated Casual Racism In Popular Music
« Reply #164 on: May 05, 2021, 05:13:00 PM »
I do wonder if the odious sentiments in Bengali in Platforms ('live is hard enough when you belong here') flew under the radar for so long because it's such a shit song[1] (and I can't be the only one that skipped it when listening to Viva Hate). I wish he'd just gone all in with The Last of the Famous International Racists as his big coming out, and I could have dispensed with any continuing engagement there and then.
 1. If I want to make myself sad, I imagine what Vini Reilly's reaction was when he heard his music behind that load of pish
I remember an interview with Cornershop, back in the 90s, where they specifically referenced that song as one of the reasons their hardcore Smiths fandom went off the boil somewhat.

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Re: Dated Casual Racism In Popular Music
« Reply #165 on: May 05, 2021, 05:45:10 PM »
I remember an interview with Cornershop, back in the 90s, where they specifically referenced that song as one of the reasons their hardcore Smiths fandom went off the boil somewhat.

They used to play a medley of Bengali In Platforms, Asian Rut and The National Front Disco at gigs for a bit. Morrissey's response was to say, When I Was Born For The 7th Time was his favourite album of the year in '97. Just ask his mate, Sonya from Echobelly.

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Re: Dated Casual Racism In Popular Music
« Reply #166 on: May 05, 2021, 06:33:35 PM »
I've thought of a Scott Walker one. 10 points to the first person to get it.


Also he says 'faggot' in one song.

kalowski

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Re: Dated Casual Racism In Popular Music
« Reply #167 on: May 05, 2021, 06:42:14 PM »
I've thought of a Scott Walker one. 10 points to the first person to get it.


Also he says 'faggot' in one song.
I'm not advocating his use of the word (don't know if there's an equivalent in the Jacque Brel song) but that word, and "slapped our asses as if we were fags" are both, in my ears, sung in character.

Wracking my brain for the racist one.

Dr Rock

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Re: Dated Casual Racism In Popular Music
« Reply #168 on: May 05, 2021, 07:22:18 PM »
Clue - it's another cover.

Re: Dated Casual Racism In Popular Music
« Reply #169 on: May 05, 2021, 08:55:06 PM »
Was it his cover of Skrewdriver's Hail The New Dawn that was the B side of the Brando (Dwellers On The Bluff) 7"?

Re: Dated Casual Racism In Popular Music
« Reply #170 on: May 05, 2021, 09:04:56 PM »
I've thought of a Scott Walker one. 10 points to the first person to get it.


Also he says 'faggot' in one song.

Is it Reuben James from Til The Band Comes in?

kalowski

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Re: Dated Casual Racism In Popular Music
« Reply #171 on: May 05, 2021, 09:05:53 PM »
Clue - it's another cover.
Bloody hell this has me stumped. Reuben James?
Quote
All the folks around Madison County cussed your name
You're just a no-account, sharecropping colored man
Who would steal anything he can
Edit: Oz Oz Alice on the same wavelength.

kalowski

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Re: Dated Casual Racism In Popular Music
« Reply #172 on: May 05, 2021, 09:10:03 PM »
PS. I'd see this one as another song in character, quoting others:

Quote
All the folks around Madison County cussed your name
You're just a "no-account, sharecropping colored man
Who would steal anything he can"
Direct speech.

Dr Rock

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Re: Dated Casual Racism In Popular Music
« Reply #173 on: May 05, 2021, 09:27:19 PM »
I wasn't thinking of that one.

kalowski

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Re: Dated Casual Racism In Popular Music
« Reply #174 on: May 05, 2021, 09:33:15 PM »
I wasn't thinking of that one.
Right. I've got it. Where Does Brown Begin?

kngen

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Re: Dated Casual Racism In Popular Music
« Reply #175 on: May 05, 2021, 09:36:53 PM »
They used to play a medley of Bengali In Platforms, Asian Rut and The National Front Disco at gigs for a bit. Morrissey's response was to say, When I Was Born For The 7th Time was his favourite album of the year in '97. Just ask his mate, Sonya from Echobelly.

Asian Rut, forgot about that one. Even though, superficially, it expresses sympathy to the protagonist, it really is just saying 'Oooh, wouldn't it just be better if we all stayed where we're supposed to' as much as Bengali in Platforms, with the brutal consequences of the final verse (and the whole of NF Disco, really) being a kind of 'what did you expect to happen?' fait accompli.

At least Ian Stewart had the courage of his convictions instead of wafting his hands around in a 'isn't this awful?' manner. Also, his songs got catchier the more racist he became.[1]
 1. Shit, what a giveaway!

Re: Dated Casual Racism In Popular Music
« Reply #176 on: May 05, 2021, 09:54:51 PM »
"Asian Rut" is irredeemable, but without the context of Morrissey's other racist songs (not even counting his racist statements), "National Front Disco" would be great. If it came out of the blue I'd be hard put to say anything bad about it at all.

It seems like he's excoriating the "oh no our sons are being radicalised, how terrible for us" attitude that we see the liberal press now, as seeing radicalisation not as the reduction of individuals into irredeemable thugs and the actual violence visited on minorities, but as a loss to the communities that radicalised youths come from. There's this huge double standard in the American press around right wing radicalism where they condemn any and all attempt to understand why young white males are attracted to right wing groups beyond Twitter-grade "privilege, innit" shrugging yet they dwell and dwell on the impact of radicalisation on communities as if that has any importance whatsoever. Oh booo hooo hooo your cousin only talks in Pepes now, how terrible for you

It's a better version of XTC's "No Thugs In Our House" because it holds that ambiguity right up until the end, but now in context its just an elaborate excuse to have a song with the lyrics "England for the English" and I can't hear it any other way. It doesn't matter whether he thinks radicalisation is good or bad, its just an excuse to associate himself with the song's subject and say the line. Early 90s Morrissey was still capable of being extremely clever but there's not much intelligence on show, emotional or otherwise.

kngen

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Re: Dated Casual Racism In Popular Music
« Reply #177 on: May 05, 2021, 10:05:43 PM »
It's a better version of XTC's "No Thugs In Our House"

Yeah, it's very much of a piece, but I prefer XTC's take.

Quote
its just an excuse to associate himself with the song's subject

Not dissimilar to 'First of the Gang to Die', I suppose. A coquettish wink and nod to his diehards (except the skinheads tended to throw sharpened 50p coins at him, rather than the garlands that his Latino fans hurled - I wonder how reconciled that contradiction.)

Re: Dated Casual Racism In Popular Music
« Reply #178 on: May 05, 2021, 10:10:44 PM »

It's a better version of XTC's "No Thugs In Our House" because it holds that ambiguity right up until the end, but now in context its just an elaborate excuse to have a song with the lyrics "England for the English" and I can't hear it any other way. It doesn't matter whether he thinks radicalisation is good or bad, its just an excuse to associate himself with the song's subject and say the line.


It isn't the Greeks, it's the Jews he's after.

Re: Dated Casual Racism In Popular Music
« Reply #179 on: May 05, 2021, 10:17:47 PM »
For every outright racist Morrissey song there's about three where he decries white supremacy and wrings his hands about imperial wars and police violence. It would be confounding if the narcissism wasn't so poorly disguised.

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