Photo by Jemma Michelson
Yo, don't know if y'all niggas heard 'bout this but this white dude in Florida recently wrote this fucked-up fuckin' review of a hip-hop show, talkin' bout, talkin' bout, talkin' bout how fucked-up the show was and shit. Nigga didn't write it like a white dude, though. He did it all street 'n' shit, saying shit like "Cris was in da house but 5-0 came down hard, wit Macs an' dogs sniffin fo' bud so da peeps all bailed." What the fuck he be talkin' 'bout? All, "5-0," an "Macs" and shit? He supposed to be like, "Hello, I am Brent Batten, there was a rap music show here in Naples that was cancelled," but instead the nigga be all, "Homeslice was gettin' Cris at his crib when he gets a dime sayin' there's a sitch at the show. 'Fo' he gets back to the areous, all the boyz and shorties rolled." When my dogs read this, we was like, "Wha?" An' we wasn't the only ones. The National Association of Black Journalists checked that shit and they was like, "It's on, motherfucka!" They wile out. Niggas was all up in the Naples Daily News's face, like, "Batten insulted thousands of readers, many of whom may or may not speak with an urban dialect, but most of whom probably don't look like or sound like Brent Batten." And they even got all up in the editor's shit with, "More alarming, however, was not just that Batten chose to sit down and write such a piece, but that his editors allowed it to be published. Did anyone raise even the slightest comment, question, or concern? Certainly there would have been more pause if your columnist wrote something as patronizing about your Jewish community in, say, mock-Yiddish?"
And me and my dogs was like, "Damn Batten, the NABJ done worked you good!" So then all the white niggas at the Naples Daily News were stone cold buggin' out. The motherfuckin' editor wrote this big thing where he was all, "I was thinking the column poked fun at hip-hop, the musical genre, just as a column might poke fun at disco, rock, swing, punk or opera. We never intended the column to be a slap at an ethnic group or a culture. I was thinking the column was no different than using Hollywood-agent, ‘let's-do-lunch' lingo to lampoon the shooting of a Joe Pesci comedy near Marco Island or using Beat Generation lingo to comment on the closing of a coffee shop. Batten has used this technique before. Two years ago he wrote the following in a column about a local pro-marijuana rally: ‘The Glades Hemp Festival was held east of Naples. Organizers estimated the turnout as: ‘Oh dude, there were like a lot of people.'' I was thinking there was little or no difference, and I was wrong."
DAAAAMMMMN! Nigga went out like a little bitch. Yo, Phil Lewis (that's the white dude editor's name), you have to have your dogs' back, son. No matter what. What the fuck is wrong with you, dog? Again: You goin' out like a bitch!
So we called up the first white dude, that Brent Batten nigga, and we was all, "What the fuck, dog? Your homeboy punked you. You going to take that shit?" and he goes, "I don't have anything to say about my editor's letter per se. People have various reasons for doing things. Personally, I regret that my article offended so many people. I meant it as harmless, light humor and most of our reader's saw it that way, including African-Americans by the way, but once the article was forwarded around the internet, I realized it was much more incendiary than I originally thought. The NABJ was especially offended by grammatical errors like ‘they be doing' and other mistakes. They saw it as me mocking African-Americans' command of the English language, but I didn't mean it that way. The rap scene in Naples, Florida, is predominantly caucasian and the racial problems behind my parody didn't occur to me at the time." It was cool that this Batten nigga was straight like that, cuz I could tell he just wanted that shit to be over but that bad gramma shit was not cool. White dudes always assume that rap bands always usify expliticidocious lyrics, but it's not true. Most of the bands me and my dogs listen to are very polite and would never use profound lyrics.
Oh yeah, and check this shit out: Another problem with what Batten did was, he just wasn't keepin' it real. You have to drop science when you droppin' science and that dog was on some "check it out, foxy momma" '70s shit. That's not street. That's not fresh for the 0-0-4. I asked my dog (ya heard! Batten is my dog no matter what happened, because that nigga agreed to talk to me––don't hate), yeah, I asked my dog what he thought about how the NABJ said he was "inauthentic," and Batten was all, "I don't really care about that. As I said, I didn't mean to offend anyone, but the fact that I used antiquated slang and didn't sound real was kind of part of the joke. I grew up reading music writers like Steve Allen's reviews of the Beatles and he'd say horribly uncool things like, ‘These cats were really groovy,' and we used to laugh it off. I think it's more important to focus on the fact that people were offended. That was really unfortunate."
Damn, Batten is on some next-level shit. It never seems to amaze me how obsessed some people are with makin' shit all racial and shit. I ain't down with that and neither are any of my dogs. If some motherfucka wants to crack me and get all up in my face, I'm-a be like, "Are you a serious motherfucka or is you playin'?" If he's playin', I'm-a laugh it off like it ain't no thang. Too bad my cats at the NABJ couldn't be more groovy. Ah well, it's all good in the hood.