Today marks the five year anniversary since the P.A.G.R. (People Against Gangsta Rap) went to congress with a petition to outlaw gangsta rap music.
As most people know, a law was passed January 28th, 2002 stating that anyone who owns a gangsta rap album must throw it into their vicinity's bonfire before the end of February. Anyone caught listening to a rap album would serve at least five days in prison for disturbing the peace; anyone in possession of a gangsta rap album would be fined $500 and have the album confiscated from them. It's been almost two years since the law was passed, and America seems to be doing just fine without gangsta rap music.
Not only are radio stations actually playing good music again, but middle class kids who formerly listened to hip-hop seem have most of the vile music's teachings flushed out of their system.
On the way to work today, this writer witnessed something he never thought he'd see again. When I stopped at a red light at 28th & Tasker, I saw a woman (roughly 80 years old) struggling to pull her grocery cart off the curb into the street. Out of nowhere, a nice looking gentleman walked over, pulled the cart to the other side of the street, walked back over to the woman and helped her cross to the other side.
I got out of my car and asked the young man's name:
I: Andrew, I just want to thank you for doing that. It's so nice to go out in the morning and see a young kid like yourself help an old woman cross the street.
A: Thank you very much. That was Mrs. Vedder. She lives a few blocks down from me.
I: Where are you headed, Andrew?
A: I work for the city. I have to be in at 9:00.
I offered Andrew a ride and took him to work. When I got to my office at the Spoof, I curiously looked up Andrew's name in our records to see if we had any record of him. Sure enough, we did. It was an interview I did two years ago when the P.A.G.R. went to congress with their petition. Here is an excerpt from that interview:
"... Yo, man, dat law dey talkin' about some serious bulls--t, man. Dat just ain't right, you know what I'm sayin'? F--- all dem muthaf--kas who don't want to be hearin' our s--t. I'm gangsta, nigga. I don't give a f--k what those muthaf--kas think. I'mma play my s--t no matter what anybody says. Let a cop try and stop me and I bet I'll whoop his ass just like I whooped dat old bitch Miss Vedder's ass. Y'all niggas can't touch me. Straight up Hillside, muthaf--ka..."
Incidentally, we tried to contact a few former rappers a year after the law was passed to hear what they thought. Unfortunately, every McDonald's we went to denied us interviews with their employees.