Rapper King Combs, the son of Hip-Hop mogul Diddy, may have some explaining to do soon. The Bad Boy heir has impressed most by learning the dance moves of one of the 90’s best entertainers, his father. The rising rapper, real name Christian, also garnered quite a bit of success with the song & video featuring Chris Brown, Love You Better. Now, the young heir is in the hot seat. As if he does not know nor care of the history of his own culture, the young emcee dropped a rap punch line that’s got people ready to knock out his career.
The lyrics violating Black culture
“Woke up wit’ a chain on my neck, Call me a slave” raps King Combs in his first verse on the song. It can be heard on the video around the 1:30 mark (see here).
While there are other lyrics that can be seen as offensive to certain people, none should offend such a large group as these. After all, 400 years of slavery that includes mass murder and rape, turned into a joke for a mere punch line, is a bit hard to rival.
Why King Combs rap line is bad
If a white person were to say this punch line, it would be following by a scathing rebuttal and outrage from the public. Imagine Donald Trump saying “Them rappers got chain on their necks, call them slaves,” as a joke. Would this offend anyone?
Imagine a police officer standing over a young Black or Latino youth , who’s dead. However, because he’s got a necklace on, he makes a joke like “Hey, i guess he was a slave anyway with that thick chain on.”
Could Eminem even get away with such a rap line like this? Imagine if Marshall Mathers, the dopest white boy in all of Hip-Hop, said “All my rapper friends got chains on their necks, just like slaves.” Would his career be able to survive the reaction from the culture?
Why does a Black rappers get a pass?
Remember, there will be white fans who listen to Combs new ‘Surf’ song and sing all the lyrics. Impossible to not do so, if you like a song. So now the idea that he can be called a slave and the idea for a very bad joke, has been sparked by a self-made billionaire, who’s biggest base of customers might just have family members who were killed in slavery. Not all Black people had family member effected by the slave trade, at least not Diddy’s (read here), but does that make this line any more acceptable?
Will Hip-Hop icons speak out and fix this?
We have rappers like Jay-Z, Diddy, Master P, and 50 Cent who have ascended to super-mogul status beyond the rap industry. In the transition, they still have managed to keep a high level of credibility with new generations who didn’t see their supernova like rises. All 4 have come to speak out against various topics involving racism, police injustices, and oppression. For instance, Jay-Z just partnered with the NFL to smoothen the rising racial tensions. This after he and other Hip-Hop figures denied the National Football League’s requests to have them perform at the Superbowl, before Colin Kapernick’s case was resolved.
Will this be resolved within the culture or shall it be pushed under the table because it’s someone who appears to look just like us? Is dancing to a song that important? Is it worth more than the self respect and dignity to some people? Will the various American cultures and POC that come from the ‘triads’ and aware of it, be okay with people saying “chain on my neck, call me a slave?”
Sound off in the comments. See King Combs official “Surf” music video (watch here) on CKHID.