"Yeah, tolerance is gettin’ thinner 'Cause Iraq never called me nigger So what I wanna go off and fight a war for You best believe I got your draft card So bad to hate somebody else But much worse to hate yourself Victim to the menticide of the devil Why must black folk be made to die Keepin’ 'em on and on . . . keepin’ ya on and on Like my brother down [in Compton] said, "Fuck the Police" I'm sayin’ "No Justice, No Peace . . . "
All of this talk about the war in Iraq has made me homesick for the days of old. I started to reminisce when rappers like Kam, the X-Clan, Ice Cube (when he was an Islam devotee), Rakim would often speak out against the President and his foreign policy or raise awareness about the conditions facing the African-American community via records.
Sadly, those days are gone now.
So I had to smile when I read that old-school militant rapper Paris is back on the prowl and announced his sonic jihad against President George W.(ar-monger) Bush. The smile comes from remembering back-in-the-days (circa 1992) when Paris would lyrically attack Dubya's father, George Bush, Sr., on records for neglecting the problematic conditions (drugs, crime, police brutality, etc.) in the African-American community. I was a major Paris fan after he released his 1990 classic album, The Devil Made Me Do It. It was a great rap record of hardcore political raps over some surprisingly interesting G(uerrilla)-funk beats. But it was his follow-up LP, Sleeping With The Enemy, that got my attention, especially with the fantasy assassination banger, "The Bush Killa."
Today, Paris spends much of his time recording songs and writing editorials on his official website, Guerrilla Funk, when he's not flipping the loot as a stockbroker. (The man is smart – he has a degree in economics.) The great thing about his website is that it features a discography of all his albums, including The Devil . . . and Sleeping... ., plus all of the videos(!), including the ones that were banned on MTV.
This is totally awesome for an old-schooler like me.
"Fuck the games I still feel the pain I still feel the shame 'cause ain't nothin’ changed I can't fade peace when the war is all around . . . "
But the site's main attraction is his acidic editorials on President George Bush. And now that the war has begun, Paris is blunt and forthcoming about his viewpoints on the U.S.-led invasion with Iraq. In his eye-opening, facts-driven commentary, Killers on the Payroll, Paris believes that this war is not ours to be fought. "Iraq isn't part of the war on terrorism," he argues. "The only link between Iraq and Al Qaeda is the fact that they hate each other's guts. And no matter how often Bush says "9/11" and "Iraq" in the same breath, Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with the terror attacks." Paris makes some good points throughout the editorial and some – in my view – that are debatable.
His most incendiary editorial, "The War On Terror," might anger a few as he lays out a lengthy tirade about The Patriot Act (which was signed into law after 9-11), arguing this hypothetical: What would you do if you found out that the United States may have been responsible for the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001? For more info on that, peep Paris' long-form video, Aftermath: Unanswered Question from 9/11.
All and all, it seems that Paris hasn't lost his militant edge. He still has the eye of the tiger, rather a panther, and his hunting down the Bush Administration much as he did back in the early '90s.
"Call me unpatriotic if you like, but that would be a blind assumption," growls Paris. "Know that it is more unpatriotic to not question the government and it's actions, especially when our rights are being violated and so many people are adversely affected by what it does. The first casualty of war is the truth."
"It's no surprise that a brother got wise Now rat-a-tat-tat, it's an eye for an eye How many, got to die before we see Them muthafuckas don't give a damn for you or me So wear a vest on your chest and the rest stand still For P-Dog is the Bush Killa . . . " - Paris, "Bush Killa", from Sleeping With the Enemy.