Riot Music: Black Korea
47 seconds. That’s the length of ‘Black Korea’, Track 15 of Ice Cube’s 1991 sophomore solo album ‘Death Certificate’.
47 seconds. That’s all it took to show the world the racial tension bubbling in Los Angeles circa 1991.
Ice Cube wrote and recorded these 47 seconds in response to the shooting of 15 year old Latasha Harlins by 51 year old Korean liquor store owner Soon Ja Du, a murder premeditated by an intense racial distrust between the African-American and Korean populations of the local area. An inter-minority conflict that would end up costing Los Angeles millions.
Hit the jump to understand the murder and the mentality that lead to both this track and the 1992 Los Angeles Riots.
Paul Routledge is an idiot.
Earlier today, the Daily Mirror published this article by Paul Routledge titled “London riots: Is rap music to blame for encouraging this culture of violence?”
He framed it as a question, so let’s answer it for him; “…No, you silly, reactionary bastard.”
The fun part? I can deal some major damage to his argument without citing a single rap song.
Riot Music: Dancing In The Street
London’s burning around me, and I just started a blog. I pretty much have to write about riots, but no one said they had to be these riots. Not yet, at least.
Throughout the 20th century, music and riots readily intersected. Hip Hop has, since its inception, been a voice of the downtrodden people so often brought to a boil by police brutality and overt racism, and we can often use the lyrical content to understand the mentality of the communities that erupt in a whirlwind of violence and fire. If nothing else, Hip Hop has been one hell of a barometer. You’ll see this when we examine the recent output of UK Hip Hop in light of the recent unrest.
For now, though, it’s my first solo blog post and I’m taking it back… way back… back to the 60’s.