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November 30, 1990 - Image 19

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-11-30
Note:
This is a tabloid page

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0 f0
'nedium
f o r a
'Edutainment' is rap in its truest form, as KRS-One takes on the frauds

x .

with his vision of revolut
Edutainment is KRs-One's best
album, a tour deforce of political and
philosophical messages that both he "the
teacher" and guest speaker Kwame
Tur (formerly Stokely Carmichael)
present as a program for the upliftment
of both Africa and humanity. Musically
it is a groundbreaking work, shunning
the danceable and even the funky to
implement rap in its truest form, a
medium for a message. With its ska
samples, minimalist hip-hop
intelligence and metaphysically bold
bass activity, Edutainment might be

the truest sound of KRs-One to date. At
any rate, it must be listened to as a
work in and of itself With its many
"Exhibits," selections of the teacher's
science framing the many songs within,
Edutainment is a boldly, brilliantly
cerebral work of art, just as succinct
and powerful as the rendering of a
human brain on its sleeve.
On the back of the album's cover,
Kris points out a number of rappers
masquerading as leaders, "the frauds
of revolution," who "stand up and
take a false stand." He proceeds to

explain that the true revolution will
unite all of humanity, not any
particular race. He continues, "The
enemy is not the masses of people
worldwide, it's the masses of demonic
governments worldwide. When these
demonic people are wiped out and a
new human consciousness arises, every
race will get their due respect." Thus, to
take part in this revolution, it is not
necessary to pick up a machine gun and
knock off your nearest government
official. Kris barely considers himself a
leader, and goes so far as to doubt the

validity of any rapper or musician/
artist as a leader. He sees himself, like
Chuck D. of Public Enemy, as a Paul
Revere of the music industry, his goal
solely to wake up as many people as
possible, regardless of race, with his
bold messages. Edutainment is largely
likened to Kris' comeback on the
hardcore scene, as many hardcore
listeners considered last year's Ghetto
Music: the Blueprint Of Hip Hop,
his nadir. But, in explaining that that
album was his biggest seller, Kris has a
different perspective.

"Well, what itwas, it was strictly
planning ... and science. Strictly.
If you look at it, ninety-five
percent of the time when you listen
to music, you're sitting down.
You're relaxing. You're either in a
car, you're in a bathroom, you're in
a living room. Somewhere, most of
the time, music is listened to in a
car. . . Five percent of the time in
your life, you're dancing to it. You
only get to dance to music once
every weekend. Or, if you're in
your house, maybe you might get
up and dance in the middle of your
living room. But that's highly
unlikely in this day and age. People
sit down, they chill, they listen,
they hear Walkmans, they're
walking, so on.
"So that's how I did Ghetto Music,
under those., logical conclusions,
that you can just do it... nobody
really dances to music. That's an
illusion. Most people listen to
music. And what I did is, I put out
a listening album, not really a
dance album. It bugged 'em out,
but at the same time, everyone that
listened to it had to kick up the
respect, because it was still a good
album. Or even though it was not a
dance album, it was still a well put-
together album. So Edutainment
now comes out, being that my fans
are screaming for hardcore beats,
and this and that and the other ...
I'm not going to make a drastic
change. So Edutainment is like the
bridge, not that it's going back, but
just going forward. We got new
beats and stuff, matter of fact, the
new album is almost done. The
one for '91, I almost finished it
now."
Speaking of the relevance of
Edutainment as a groundbreaking
album, I relate to Kris my vision of
people dancing to rap as a sort of
appropriation of the music by people
with a different understanding, by
relative outsiders to the culture. I
mention to him that Ghetto Music
was shunning a certain audience, the
kind of audience that dances to It
Takes a Nation Of Millions To
Hold Us Back. He laughs.
"Now keep this in mind, man,
the classics are all music that you
don't dance to. All the classics. All
the records that come and go are
the ones that you've danced to and
gotten tired of. I'm making music
for the people, ten years, fifteen
years from now, they'll pick up
and, 'remember this old jam?'...
Some sort of oldies station will be
playing my music. Word, 'cause it's
classic. CriminalMindedis still
sellin' right now. That record was
done in '87, most people can't do
any records from '87. But in doing
classics, you can't chase the
platinum audience. You have to
maintain some sort of equilibrium .
. within the entire industry. You
can't have the industry dictate to
you, but at the same time you must
serve the people.

According to witnesses, when the
student reached into his book-bag
to get a pen and write down the
cop's badge number, the police
officer drew a gun. Earlier this
fall, another University student
was arrested for anti-deputization
graffiti; that time, the artist used
the more "traditional" means of
expression - a la
shaken spray can.
Hoxie saysA
because he isn't a
student, many
people think he is
less affected by by Donnak
the University
deputization policy. But this
chalker argues just the opposite.
"Within the next few months
there is going to be more and
more protest against this Middle
East thing," says Hoxie. "The
University knows that I, for one,
do not want to be the person who
gets shot when I am protesting
against the war."
Hoxie cites examples like
Kent State in 1970 in which four
protesters were killed during an
anti-Vietnam War protest, and last
year, when a Western Michigan
University cop shot a non-student
in the back, killing him.
Ann Arbor has a long (and
sophisticated) history of graffiti.
Check out some of that writing on
the wall:
eDuring the mid-1980's, a
group of feminists threw water
balloons filled with white paint at
a billboard of a reclining women
which read "Why don't you touch
the velvet."
* "A woman was raped here,"
was an effective graffiti slogan
painted around campus in red.
This was part of campaign which
eventually pushed the University
for the creation of the Sexual
Assault and Awareness Center.
*Upon entering Ann Arbor
from M-14 you may notice the

IT
ladipalo

oerpass's mesage; u.s. out o f
Salvador." And "House people
not cars," is another recurring
theme, denoting the work of the
Homeless Action Committee. Of
course, there are countless other
demonstrations of unique slogans
and wall paintings all over Ann
Arbor.
*October 12, 1990

in the Daily this week't Dude.
said:
"The truth is that the
incremental cost of the safety
initiatives will be in the range of
$600,000 per year. To put this in
context, let me note that this is
only about one-third of the
amount we now spend to clean up
campus graffiti."
First of all, by "incremental
costs" Duderstadt means the
increase each year in funding
deputization - i.e. $600,000 more
each year. In actuality, the lowest
estimates for the entire cops on
campus project are around $2.5

million. That's est inc ud .
the cost of the new police
headquarters the administration
seems to be planning.
Now I might not shine at
math, but Duderstadt should
because he is originally from the
engineering school. But also
according to him, the total graffiti
cost per year is (uhm-m-m
$600,000 x 3) $1.8 million.
One point eight mil a year on
removing graffiti?
Duderstadt is obviously trying
to imply that chalkers are costing
the University a fortune.
While some, like Duderstadt,

- The chalk
movement had
officially begun.
Students held a
"Chalk-In" and
covered the diag with
drawings of guns and

murdered students.
Likewise, the University also
has a long - extremely
sophisticated - history of
censoring the art.
Last year, the University spent
$400,000 to clean up graffiti on
campus, and will spend another
$400,000 this year, according to
University Director of Plant
Operations Russell Reister.
"I'd like to think someday (the
graffiti) will go down," says
Reister.
Obviously, Reister has not yet
recognized the subtle
contributions of chalk to art.
"Graffiti is graffiti," says
Reister. "Whether it be paint or
chalk, it still has to be removed."
Of course, some say the
University could cut-down this
expense by just allowing the rain
to take care of things - especially
when dealing with chalk. And
others believe the $400,000 figure
is a bit high compared to other
Big Ten schools, like the
University of Illinois, where the
average expense of graffiti
cleanup is about $13,000 a year.
To top everything off though,
Duderstadt can't even get his
own figures straight on the
subject of graffiti - or
deputization. In a letter published

I
I

n
d
p
cc
of
c
w
L
N
g
b

_

STUDEP
ARE
STRAN
You live in rooms

0

S-.

I

the size ofso ~s.
Eat pizza for break-
fast. Ruin your
posture by
hauling heavy
books around
campus. And
throw jello
at the ones
you love.
us. We love students.
Because students
love music.
Why Pay "NORMAL" Prices?
Good for
CKS
No-a'o aoo 2 OC (Excepth
Ii
S. UniversityGalleria

10

10 WEEKEND November 30,1990

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