It has come to this. Musicians, especially rappers, had to wade in. Like everyone else who is now an expert on Uganda, they were quick to declare themselves on board with #Kony2012.* But some have taken it further. They had to release songs (already). You can imagine the deep thoughts encased within lyrics that had a whole 72 hours (at best) to be formulated. I woke up this morning to learn that Soulja Boy, who likes a fight (his last adversary was 80s rapper and now actor, Ice T), has thrown in his lot with Invisible Children and wants to “Stop Kony” (H/T: Palika Makam). If you want to be tortured, go listen here.
Hilarious and embarrassing. This is not even a song. It’s like a monologue set to some vague drum beat. And he drops the word “swag” a few times.
Even more perplexing: why any other musician would want to shout out to such dead lyrics or music. But Soulja Boy’s music has been used in the past by other musicians (yes, clearly not by him) to comment on war (that time, it was on child soldiers in Sierra Leone):
As I blogged at the time, in January 2010:
I don’t have much time for the phenomenon that is Soulja Boy and his nonsensical lyrics. Like in “Turn My Swag On.” But a German group, Die Orsons, took the song, slowed it down, gave it a acoustic feel, worked in some images from a short film, some CNN audio, an interview with former child soldier Ismael Beah, and made it into a protest/PR for a campaign about stopping child soldiers.
But back to the present.
Another rapper, Mistah F.A.B., has also made a Joseph Kony song (“Kony Freestyle”). He has better beats than Soulja, and at least his rhymes go with the music, but he can’t help combining a valid critique with conspiracy theories (“it’s all a Government ploy to get oil out of Uganda”) and epithets.
* African musicians who were quick to uncritically post (their approval of) #Kony2012 were electro rapper Spoek Mathambo (who since took it down), The Very Best (who since took their support message down), Gazelle, Van Coke Cartel and many more.