Posts Tagged ‘rap music’

Anthem for Deaf Youth

Posted in General, On This Day on November 4th, 2007 by Eugene Finerman – Be the first to comment

I marvel at the popularity of rap music with suburban youth. This generation is not the first to make a fashion of self-loathing. In the sixth century Byzantine youth adopted the clothes and hairstyles of the Huns. Of course, their admiration for barbarian chic did not extend to living in tents and eating horse meat.

I have been reading some of the rap artists of an earlier generation. What a pity that there were not Grammys in 1918. I would have nominated Siegfried “Sephardic Slim” Sassoon, Robert “Klassics Kewl” Graves and Wilfred “Bonz” Owen. They were gangstas from the hoods of Oxford and Cambridge who expressed a certain resentment about being annihilated. Mind you, I wouldn’t dare to compare a week on the Somme with the horrors of a lifetime in suburbia, but let’s consider the two rap genres.

Here’s Bonz Owen:

What passing bells for these who die as cattle?
Only the monstrous anger of the guns
Only the stuttering rifles’ rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.

Here’s Eminem:

Starin’ at my jeans, watchin’
my genitals bulgin’ (Ooh!)
That’s my motherf***in’
balls, you’d better let go of ’em.

Perhaps we could popularize Owen by translating him into contemporary verse.

Kaiser despiser
try to outrun the Hun machine gun.
Britannia rules is jive just for fools.
I ain’t your bitchin’ her
Lord Kitchener.
Not Eton you sh*t
Pimp Minister Asquith.
Verdun We’re done.
Ergo Somme, heirs left none.

Wilfred Owen stopped rapping on November 4, 1918, one week before the Armistice.