An Open Letter to Bobby Shmurda

By Imani Brammer

Dear Bobby Shmurda,

I have danced to your song “Hot Nigga.” It’s on my iPod and I love when it plays. What does this mean? It means that I enjoy a catchy beat, a nice flow and even better, a fun dance to complement it. However, for a while, I didn’t know that you were rapping about murdering people. I was simply lured in by your beat, flow and dance alone. The lyrics were dissonance: mere noise that did not register in my mind. Though mainstream rap is often frowned upon, not all the time am I compelled to listen to politically conscious music like Common and Mos Def (though I adore them both, and also have them on my iPod). Sometimes I want to simply hear a beat, hear some words that flow and dance without digesting or internalizing the lyrics. However one day, when I was listening to your song without dancing, I actually heard what you were saying and it disrupted my fun. I can no longer listen to your song with a clear conscience. I try to deliberately block the lyrics, but hearing myself say, “errbody catchin’ bullet holes,” is just not OK. I am too well aware of your mental disease to even enjoy this track like I want to. Not only are you spewing disease, but also you are spewing self-hate and in the words of a Caribbean: fuckry.

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Reactions to Ebola in America Labeled as “Ignorant”

By Imani Brammer

With a wave of fear sweeping over the nation, there has been an energy of caution, darkness and uncertainty that is looming over our heads and permeating through our thoughts. Recently, Twitter has been overflowing with such Ebola hysteria, that it has even become comedic. This is all due to the recent and very first case of Ebola in New York City. From one state to the next, many people have been plagued with terror and the silent thought of, “please don’t come here.” Unfortunately, Ebola is continuing to make its deadly rounds.

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