(Ie Atiditang TBhzi
Roses Are Read
itor's note: Last week, the
B oard of Regents' "advisory
ommittee"gathered in a dark,
usty room to begin the long,
duous process ofdetermining Who
Will Be University President.
The meeting, held at Maureen
Hartford's summer home in Lisbon,
was not open to the public, but a
transcript was handed over to The
Michigan Daily by Deane Baker's
cat, Honeybunch. (Actuallv, we
bribed Honeybunch with some
newspapers and some cat food. We
nsider this ethical).
The regents originally wanted an
ethically diverse group, but when they
realized no information about the
committee would be available to the
media, they decided on six students,
named Charles, Chip, Chuck, Chas,
Charlie and Dugan Fife. At the last
minute, a plan to have faculty
members and an alum on the
committee were scratched when the
regents realized that those people
*e not subject to the Code and
therefore might not be so easily
A partial transcript:
CHARLES: First order of business:
The Open Meetings Act. To circum-
vent or not to circumvent?
DUGAN FIFE: Open? I'm open. Give
me the ball!
CHAS: What are we looking for in a
Oniversity president, anyway?
CHIP: Let's read what they said in
CHUCK (reading): "... and that's
when the twins started kissing. I
removed their bikinis and -"
CHIP (interrupting): What the hell
CHUCK: Forum. Penthouse Forum.
CHARLIE: You idiot! Notthat
forum! The forums from the regents!
9 CHUCK: The regents have their own
torum? Wow. I mean, they seemed a
little deviant, but -
CHAs: No, no, no. The forums they
held around the state, asking people
what they wanted in a president.
CHUCK: OK. What did they want?
CHARLES: According to a recent
survey, most people want a president
who will lower tuition, improve
education, make campus safer, lower
*e drinking age and institute a flat
CHIP: Who can do all that?
CHARLIE: So we can't find anyone
then? I guess there's no choice. We
won't have a University president.
DEANE BAKER: You fools! We have
to have a president! Who else are we
going to force out?
CHUCK: What the hell are you
MAUREEN HARTFORD (waving a
copy of the Code menacingly): Watch
your language! Lisbon is in our
jurisdictional zone! We'll take you
outside and shoot you if we have to!
CHUCK (holding up a pistol): I'll
DUGAN FIFE: Yeah! You can beat a
zone by shooting from the outside.
CHIP: Hey, now. Let's everybody
alm down and examine the question:
Why do we need a University
MAUREEN HARTFORD: We're not
done with the construction on the
CHARLIE: Why do we need more
construction on the Diag?
MAUREEN HARTFORD: To get rid of
the lawn completely.
CHAS: Why would you want to do
MAUREEN HARTFORD: It's just our
motto: No Grass on the Diag.
CHIP: There goes Hash Bash.
CHARLES: So we're picking a
president just to do construction?
MAUREEN HARTFORD: Yup.
CHARLES: How about Bob Vila?
MAUREEN HARTFORD: We checked.
CHIP: Busy? Doing what?
MAUREEN HARTFORD: I don't know,
but he was holding a chainsaw when I
asked him, so I didn't press the issue.
CHUCK (under his breath): I'm
surprised you didn't bring him up
under the code.
MAUREEN HARTFORD: Good idea!
J~oOU dU't B
BJy irt: Bowen
ast year was an active, controversial 365 days for African Ameri
cans and the nation at large. 1995 saw the return of Marion
Barry as D.C.'s mayor, the acquittal of O.J. Simpson, Mumia
Abu-Jamal's fight for his life, and the bombing of an Oklahoma City
The nation heard FBI accusations that Malcolm X's daughter plotted
to kill Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, cheered or criticized
Mike Tyson's release from prison and decried a Republican-led "Con-
tract with America" (or, the "Contract on Blacks, the Poor, the Environ-
ment and Education").
It should therefore come as no surprise that '95 -- the year of
Whitewater (what exactly is all the fuss about anyway?), Jake Baker
(the University's ex-resident computer-porn freak), the Million Man
March (400,000, my ass) and the black woman's anthem (Mary J.
Blige's "Not Gonna Cry") - was also a whirlwind year for the rap/hip-
Never have the industry's demographics been so altered. Not since
the 1990 attacks on Luther Campbell and 2 Live Crew by politicians
and police departments has the industry been so ruthlessly demonized
across party, race and gender lines.
Yet, for the many knock-downs rappers, DJs and their works have
been dealt, never has the rap music enterprise stood on such solid
ground. Priority Records (which released albums by such artists as
NWA, Mack 10 and Geto Boys) and Def Jam Records (with Method
Man, Domino and LL Cool J) celebrated their 10th anniversaries. With
increasing airplay, outstanding retail returns and a constantly growing
audience which, more than ever, transcends party, race and gender
lines, rap music has been able to weather every storm blown its way.
The award for biggest bag of hot air goes without reservation to C.
Delores Tucker. President of the National Polotical Congress of Black
Women, Tucker is calling for a ban on gangsta rap and a return to the
days before gangsta rap when, it seems, women weren't degraded,
drive-by shootings didn't occur and cocaine and marijuana were never
thought of. Of course, the B.S. dumping from her lips has found an
audience with some Congressional members who just can't seem to get
people to realize that rap is the cause of every social problem from
poverty to drug abuse to President Lincoln's asassination.
How stupidly ironic that a body of people who can't go even one
electoral year without having half its members under investigation for
some type of ethics violation so desperately wants to safeguard good ol'
American morals against CDs. How sickening that a body composed
almost exclusively of older, wealthy white men considers itself a
capable judge of music born in poor, mostly black-populated regions
more likely to house a dump site than a governmental effort to reduce
crime and poverty.
Yet many of America's most spineless succumbed to the political
pressure in 1995. "Yo! MTV Raps" has been shortened, given the worst
time slots and all but cancelled. Hosts Dr. Dre and Ed Lover were fired
(but we still have BET). Time Warner shocked many when it decided
to sell back its 50 percent interest in Interscope Records, which
distributes the controversial Death Row Records.
Even Detroit's 96.3 FM sold out, cancelling its hip-hop format to
play alternative junk exclusively. Now Detroit has just one station
which plays solely popular urban music, but it has three different
country-music stations. What's wrong with this picture?
When they couldn't touch the music, politicians sic-ed their law
enforcement agencies on rappers. Last year alone, Craig Mack was
charged with inciting a riot in Queens, NY, Spice 1 served 30 days on
a trumped-up weapons charge, immigration officials tried to deport an
already incarcerated Slick Rick, Biggie Smalls was arrested for assault
and 2PAC was imprisoned for sexual assault (he's now out pending an
appeal). District attorneys are also pointing their smoking guns on Snoop
Doggy Dogg (his trial began last month).
The attacks keep coming, but the music keeps surviving and thriving
because people use a little common sense and figure that Bob Dole and
Jesse Helms aren't the best judges of modern-day music. This industry's
bouyancy comes from its malleability. While many other music genres
seem locked into set definitions, hip-hop is dynamic, the sounds of any
year are almost distinct from those of the previous one.
How in '94 could anyone foretell the coming of a guy who, because he
could talk really fast and say words like "esophogarus," would become
one of the year's greatest up-and-coming rappers? E-40 did in the West
Coast, and eventually Anytown, U.S.A., with his debut record "In a Major
Who would've guessed that the sing-along rap style Domino popular-
ized in 1993 with singles like "Ghetto Jam" and "Sweet Potato Pie" would
return again to the forefront'? It did in '95 thanks to "This Is the Shack,"
the debut release by The Dove Shack.
Even the idea of gangsta R&B artists, which sparked a little bit in '93
see HIP-HOP p. 5B