Is this a song or just one long product placement?

I Want You (Bob Dylan song)
I Want You (Bob Dylan song) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


At a local computer store I saw a video on BET by A$AP Rocky’ called Fashion Killa. In this song he lists all kinds of products used by rich people. I had heard about such songs and how hiphop artists were using their songs for product placements but I had never heard an actual song full of this. I won’t repeat the lyrics because I don’t want to promote that kind of thinking to my fan.


Granted, this is only one song but it is an example of a conscious choice that this young man made. BET also made a choice in presenting his music to their viewing public. Music can express ideas about conspicuous consumption on a level beyond the means of average citizens. Or it can offer hope and inspiration. I wrote a few months ago about the need to write songs  about the wars, the killings of innocent people on the street, songs that expressed ideas about the state of our society. A man was recently released after spending more than 30 years in prison for a crime which he did not commit. The original witness against him almost certainly lied while changing her story. And her relatives were prevented from revealing that she had lied.


It’s a story that sounds a little like that of Rubin Hurricane Carter, whose story was popularized by Bob Dylan. Why not write songs about the Angola prisoners locked away? Herman Wallace of the Angola 3 was briefly released from prison after more than 40 years served for a crime he did not commit. He died a day later while the state persecutor fought for a way to try and return him to prison. No one sings of Angola and the lives stolen from families.


Instead, there is the promotion of luxury. This may sound socialistic but it is definitely time for music to serve the needs of ordinary people. The kind of music you hear from Pete Seeger and the kind we sometimes heard during the Vietnam War.Music for people, not for products!



I would be a hunger striker

  1. If I had been held for more than 10 years without charge I would be a hunger striker.
  1. If I had started to hope when President Obama said he wanted to close Guantanamo and I was still being held I would be a hunger striker
  2. If I had been forgotten in an illegal prison, I would be a hunger striker.
  3. If I had been cleared for release and was still being held I would be a hunger striker.
  4. If I discovered that President Obama held me fate in his hands and had morphed into the worst possible imitation of George W. Bush, I would be a hunger striker.
  5. If I had been cut off by my family without contact I would be a hunger striker.
  6. If I had been an innocent man sold into prison I would be a hunger striker.
  7. If you break it, you own it. President Obama owns the horrible wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that victimized these hunger strikers.
  8. If you voted for Obama you should support the hunger strikers
  9. If you believe in freedom you should support the hunger strikers.
  10. If you believe in humanity you must support the hunger strikers.


Atlanta Falcons putting their money on Banks

This week the Atlanta Falcons gave Brian Banks a second chance at his dream. Banks was a highly recruited football player who attended the University of Southern California. While he was in college his career was cut short when a friend falsely accused him of raping her. Despite evidence that pointed to his innocence he has convicted and spent 5 years in prison before being exonerated when his accuser admitted that she had lied. Upon earning his release, Brian, now 27, began trying out for pro football teams and finally signed with Atlanta.

Kudos to the team for recognizing his abilities. He is like many at potential young men but he stuck to his dream of becoming a pro player. In that sense he is a role model. There is that old cliche that you can only pl,ay the cards that you’re dealt and Banks lost a few good hands but the ace was always there and now we will be able to see him in action.

Congratulations to Brian Banks.