The Soundtrack of Capitalism

Look at the image above. It is the emblem of an enslaved mind, the icon of a slave mentality. It symbolizes a popular kind of hip hop lifestyle, one that celebrates crass consumerism and the capitalist system despite the fact capitalism is responsible for the destruction of the lives of hundreds of millions of people across the globe.

For people of African descent, in particular, capitalism has been a holocaust. It was the enslavement, branding (literally and figuratively), and commodification of African people that was the catalyst for the development of the capitalist system. Being “in the black” is not a euphemism for making a profit. Buying, selling and owning “blacks” is how profit was made, how wealth was created, how capitalism was invented. The European slave trade established the foundation for the system by enabling certain elites to amass immense capital in the form of “black” bodies whose value could be extracted as labor, used as capital to purchase goods, pledged as collateral for loans and mortgages, or given as gifts and endowments that could be passed down from generation to generation.

Profit still is made from “blacks,” only these days its done by making us slaves to consumption by selling us trinkets and perishable goodies to the tune of nearly a trillion dollars a year. And the new auctioneers are hip hop bling entrepreneurs like Pimp Daddy Combs and Hustle Simmons, who devote their lives to promoting crass consumption despite the fact Cristal ain’t made in Harlem, Bentleys ain’t built in Bed-Sty, Rolexes don’t come from Crooklyn, unless they’re as fake as the Negroes who worship them.

A recent report from The Nielsen Company and the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), a federation of more than 200 Black community newspapers across the U.S., projects African American buying power will reach 1.1 trillion dollars by 2015. The report titled “The State of the African-American Consumer” contains a number of interesting facts about “black” buying habits. Among its highlights is the noteworthy finding that “with a buying power of nearly $1 trillion annually, if African-Americans were a country, they’d be the 16th largest country in the world.”

The sad fact is we would be a country of Cadillac Escalades, Asian hair weaves, Xboxes, Nikes, and flat-screen televisions. Given our addiction to bling, and our gullibility to hucksters selling shit for the price of gold, we should call our country Assholeland.

The rankings by nation shown on the chart to the left are based on GDP (Gross Domestic Product) for 2010, as determined by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

A projected income of 1.1 trillion dollars in 2015, actually would place Assholeland in the 14th position immediately below Australia and above Mexico. Look at some of the other nations on the list that have a smaller GDP than the Negroes of Assholeland … South Korea (makers of flat screen tvs, cars, computers, cell phones) …  Saudi Arabia (oil, oil, and more oil) … The Netherlands (land of tulips and marijuana) … South Africa (diamonds, gold, platinum) …

And what do the Negroes of Assholeland make? … Other people rich.

The Negroes of Assholeland love capitalism. And capitalism loves the Negroes. But all the Negroes get out of the deal is the “ism” … the capital just passes right through our hands. We get the baubles, the bullshit, the bling, and the debt that goes with it. But the Negroes don’t care. If the beat is tight and dance floor is packed, we are happy to live out our days in Assholeland as contented consuming slaves.

Look at the image below. This is what you should be seeing. This is the reality behind the bling.

To learn more about the role of certain hip hop artists in sustaining the deathstyle that passes for a lifestyle in Assholeland read: The sound of capitalism | Prospect Magazine.

For insight into whose money really rules America check this out: Wealth, income and power.


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7 thoughts on “The Soundtrack of Capitalism

  1. Absolutely love your use of imagery here to show what one (bling) really is (irons). Ripping back the facade – awesome! When I see music videos (which is rare) with black singers all ‘blinged’ up, I can’t help but see the blood dripping from those diamonds and feel gobsmacked “how can you do it”? It infuriates me, and then at the same time I’m aware of the ugliness of holding a specific group responsible for what is a society-wide illness – a different standard applied to those most vulnerable (historically and in the present) to the desire to ‘be ok’, to ‘fit’. Yet still… Thanks for a very thought provoking piece.

  2. Thanks so much for your feedback. I’m a great admirer of your blog. I discovered it a couple of weeks ago and meant to post something about it. I did post a link to it on my blogroll; however, I just got around to writing something about it today. I’ve been busy, but I’m also a terrible procrastinator. I need to hire someone to follow me around everyday yelling “He tat mate, he roa taihoa,” followed by the appropriate explicative in English.

    I read your recent piece on Africa today … brilliant. I’m subscribing so I can keep abreast of your posts. Thank you for the great work you are doing.

  3. Akwaaba,

    Great Post! I think the note about Black consumerism: “with a buying power of nearly $1 trillion annually, if African-Americans were a country, they’d be the 16th largest country in the world.” is the reality that eludes the average Afrikan. We have to become the creators and producers of what we consume within our communities. The Sheeple (Sheep/people) are still plugged into the Matrix.

    • Etisen, Afroetry,

      You’re right about being plugged into the Matrix. And many of our cultural trendsetters—certain hip hop artists in particular—are encouraging us to remain right where we are in debtors’ prison. Given the wealth available to our communities, we could be doing a whole lot more to solve our educational and economic problems. Instead, we have our minds fixed on accumulating the latest trinkets. Maybe the deep recession will act as a wake up call for some of us. I say that, however, with a healthy degree of skepticism.

  4. I really enjoyed reading this post as well as your other post. I was ignorant of slavery going on elsewhere in parts of the world the world I thought had stopped it long ago.
    I have written a post on the racism as I used the image of the shackle in my post, and of course I have linked the image to your page so I haven’t infringed copyright laws ( I hope!). Do check out my post titled ‘Education! Education! Education!’ ^_^

    • Slavery remains a major global problem, with women and children being the principal victims of forced labor and human trafficking. I’m glad you’ve chosen to highlight this issue on your blog. I enjoyed reading your post and was pleased you linked to one of mine. My mission is to share information across the globe via this venue. Your link helps me immensely in realizing that objective.

      I’m familiar with the book “Nightjohn,” but I must confess I’ve not read it. I have read Achebe and Morrison, and count them among my favorite authors. I’d like to recommend two other novels that you may find of interest (if you are not already aware of them: “Kindred,” by Octavia Butler (http://www.amazon.com/Kindred-Octavia-Butler/dp/0807083100/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_1); and “The Known World,” by Edward P. Jones (http://www.amazon.com/The-Known-World-Edward-Jones/dp/0061159174/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1334947383&sr=1-1). Both are unique in their perspectives on the issue of slavery in the United States.

      Thank you for visiting Ourstorian, and for your support. I look forward to reading more posts on “macenachan.” I must say the brief tour I took of your blog made me very hungry. The tofu Bi Bim Bap looked especially mouthwatering!

      • I’m glad you approve! Just like how Miss K inspired me, I hope she inspires others. ‘Nightjohn’ is a must read. Its no more than 150 pages, probably less and its extremely powerful. I haven’t read your recommended books yet so I will add it to my list of books to read (that list is already very long!)
        I’m happy my food posts interested you! Korean food is pretty trendy right now, so it’s something not to be missed. I have yet to read the rest of your posts, so I look forward to it.

        Happy blogging ^_^

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