Tuesday, December 9, 2008


"That's that A-rab money..." - Busta Rhymes


To bring us up to speed:

• Above, Busta makes the case that "Arab Money" is, in fact, merely an ode to the beautiful and rich Arab culture, and not a jumping-off point for the most gloriously culturally-ignorant single since "Walk Like an Egyptian."

Link to a hilarious Fader article, "A Rational Conversation Between Two Adults" about the song, featuring the following sidebar:

We consulted with Alex Wagner, the former editor-in-chief of The FADER, who is very smart and politically astute, to get her opinion.

ED: Would you say that calling someone “Arab” is not offensive, but if you do so pronouncing it “A-rab” it is offensive?

Alex Wagner: Uhm, yeah. “A-rab” fits into the category of “Orientals” or “Eye-talians.”

ED: But is “Arab” offensive on its own when pronounced correctly?

AW: It’s pretty generalizing. In what context are you calling people Arabs?

ED: I'm not calling anyone Arabs. I'm talking with Felipe about the Busta Rhymes song “Arab Money.”

AW: Oh yes. It’s kind of not cool, to just be like ARAB MONEY. Yeah. I would say that’s derogatory.  
• A video of Busta and his crew doing the "Arab Money" dance has made it onto al-Jazeera TV. My prediction has indeed come true: DJ Khaled is the new Salman Rushdie. The video piles just a little more cultural ignorance on the heap, as Bussa Buss introduces "the general of the A-rab Money Army right here, my man General Ali," (the gazillionaire in the beginning of the video) and then flashes a United Arab Emirates bill in front of the camera, boasting of having "real A-rab money right here in New York City":

Wow. Wait 'til al-Jazeera hears the remix with T-Pain, Akon and Diddy... I only wish I spoke Arabic, so I knew what the newscaster was saying.

OH SHIT AN IRAQI DISS TRACK! Iraq MC Narcicyst recorded a diss response to "Arab Money," featuring a few nice jabs like "Misrepresent us up in Duba/Arabs don't play up in Basra/It ain't "A-rab money"/It's called "Arab money" and "Even if you never heard of me verbally/You shoulda done your research/About the current state of currency/We hurt/Way more than we ball/Palestinian kids can't shop at these malls."

Actually, since I posted this, Narcicyst has apparently had an extensive conversation with Busta Rhymes, after which Busta agreed to pull "Arab Money" from video and radio rotation, if Narcicyst would pull his version, which was originally posted at Allhiphop.com. Here is Narcicyst's take on the conversation, from his blog:

After posting up my [response] song “Arab Money,” on Allhiphop.com, I was contacted directly by John Monopoly and Busta Rhymes. I spoke with [Busta] for 40 minutes about his intent, his message and his personal being and how he conducts himself as a man. I must say, Busta Rhymes is an incredibly humble gentleman to have called me and spoke to me directly about his feelings and how he feels about the fallout of “Arab Money.” He told me he has retracted the remix from all radio stations and has pulled the video from all video outlets until further notice and is sorry for any disrespect or negative outcome to the production of this song.

I must say I am extremely humbled and grateful, honored and shocked by the outcome of this situation. Busta Rhymes did not have to contact me. Allhiphop did not have to post the article about my song. God works in mysterious ways and I guess this is part of the plan. Busta rhymes, my brother, thank you for being 'the man' and being a honest and genuine person. I have supported you and your music my entire life and i will continue to do so and speak of you and represent you to the highest degree. In my mind you are an O.G. and a true individual, which is hard to come across nowadays.

Busta and I spoke about the importance of moments such as these are the respect we have for one another for acting cordially and respectfully towards each other. We spoke to the importance of hip-hop as a movement to represent all peoples internationally and as representatives of respective peoples, we are all one in the eyes and movement of hip-hop.

I would like to sincerely thank you all for listening, spreading the message and making this happen. I would like thank Busta Rhymes, John Monopoly and Allhiphop for your understanding, support and undying devotion to truth, respect, life and culture. This is truly a moment in hip-hop history. Busta Rhymes is the man!!!!!!!!!!!

I have removed the song from my blog and MySpace to concur to his actions of removing his versions of the songs and video everywhere else. In respect for Busta, I want positivity to surround his upcoming release and truth to be spread about the kind of person he is. He is a devout man, a believer and an honest individual with pure intention. God bless a'khooy.

Arabs are not free of wrong doings. We all do the do to represent our people and movement in a positive light, no matter what creed or color. If you were to do your research and listen to the Euphrates records, my two mixtapes that are free online (‘Stuck Between Iraq and a Hard Place’) and to see what kind of person I am. Growing up as a teenager I was ignorant to appropriate things such as the n-word and using it around people. As I grew up and educated myself past the age of 14, I realised the power of words and learned the history of the African-American plight in North America and developed the utmost respect for Africa and its people. In no way is the Arab experience comparable to slavery, in no way were we subjugated to the same dire conditions that slavery was. I also believe, we as Arabs are the new public enemy number 1 internationally and it is my duty as an Arab man to represent my brothers and sisters in a positive light. That being said, Arabs should never use the N-word. From people like DJ Khaled to any Arab representative in the game, words that do not belong to us and are not appropriate to the richness of a culture should be deleted and never be uttered ever. It is time for truth and change in the world, I think we are all ready to move as one. That being said, let us move as one and counter the hegemonic powers that are trying to control our ultimate self and power in this fucked up world. Thank you all for your support and time.

The Narcicyst

No comments:

Post a Comment

Keep the conversation going. Leave a comment!