Friday, May 19, 2006


So just finished reading my second sister's blog. She's gotten me all fired up. Especially that quote across the top of the page. Good one Seems.

This on top of the latest news out of our borders. First M.I.A. and now K'naan.

I couldn't understand why M.I.A. was denied a visa to come here and work. Some bs about her father's involvement with the Tamil tigers, etc etc. Google her or read this if you want the full scoop. She was headed here to do a new album produced by Timbaland. Come on you folks over at INS/Homeland Security. Get your shit together. It's not like you didn't know she was coming. And it's not like she has never been to the US before.

And now K'naan! He was supposed to play a show in NYC on Wednesday, but got turned back at the border. WTF! I met K'naan and his manager Sol at the Global Hip Hop Summit in Jozi last fall. This was an event sponsored by the UN, not your typical terrorist organization. K'naan is a Canadian as well, for gods sake. So he gets turned around at the border on Wednesday. Again, not like folks didn't know he was coming . . . . and again, he just finished a rippin tour with Mos Def, Talib Kweli and many others that went all over the US. Sponsored by SonyPSP for gods sake. So perhaps you can only get in as an artist if a huge corporation wants you to hype their latest goods.

Word to the wise artist - forget a record label, sign up with Exxon to sing their latest theme song.

The atmosphere for artists get more and more poisoned. Although never easy to get in if you are African, poor, melanin-rich, political, muslim, or some ungodly combination of the above, it is getting worse. A couple years ago, the band Mamar Kassey from Niger got 2 (!) of it's 12 piece band through. And those 2 spent upwards of 10 hours in questioning inside the airport. As our (Americans) exposure to various places gets more and more limited, we lose our basic sense that there is more out there than us. And we've never been good with that one anyways. Closing the borders to artists doesn't really seem to encourage dialogue, peace and a reduction in terrorism. In fact, I believe that it is just one more step that will increase the resentment against the USA worldwide.

Word to Bush - Leave the artists alone and go get Osama. Or maybe Osama's just keeping a cave warm for you over in Afghanistan/Pakistan so you have someplace to go after you're impeached.

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