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14 June 2005



I saw this issue in the CVS the other day and I was like whaaaaa? I mean, I love me some "Oz" fantasies just like the next man, but XXL has gone too far now.

In my opinion, at least.


No, I'll tell you what it is.

It's this entire country's fixation on mobstyle violence. When you have an impoverished, undereducated, and undervalued population glorifying it, the effects are just magnified. The reason for overvaluing these mob lives is because the real existence of all Blacks in this country is so horrible. Oftentimes, a separation of self into these mob-inspired personas and codes acts as a sad attempt at healing. Unfortunately, this is like puttingBandaid for a leg that is nearly severed from the body.

What the New York Times article you reference failed to do, was make the connection to the larger society. EVERYONE in this country is fascinated with the mob lifestyle. How come The Sopranos is great art but Lil Kim's "Mafia Land" isn't? Are they not just as far-fetched and grandiose?

Sure the argument can be made that for blacks it's spilling over into life. But referencing Tupac and Biggie is actually not a real good analogy, as their deaths are more related to supposed "gang" affiliations, not an overvaluing of Italian mob culture. But the point is that frequently black folks have few avenues in life and the mainstream media (and now of course hip-hop media) continues to glorify violence, particularly the code of the mafia as a fashionable way of life. The Godfather is a good movie, so is Scarface. But interrogate why Scarface, for instance, (and other images of mafia style violence) was aggressively marketed to Blacks in the 80's, not the effects of it.


Ig'nant. Just plain damn ig'nant. And they say it like it's a compliment: Welcome to our first-annual jail issue. You mean there's more coming?

Oh dear....


actually it is rather sad...the idea that these hip-hop fools are to be looked up to, the idea that jail is a right of passage and most importantly the idea that one should not respect authority. Thankfully my musical preference is Soul from the 70's and 80's

You are doing a great job here!


See..... sh*t like that makes my job triple hard, raising 18-year-old twin boys (my nephews), who think that it's cute to get locked up (and been locked up a couple of times), and the idea of having an honest job (that you go to everyday) is "a bunch of b.s.", as one of them put it. I second Nathans' entry. It's just sad....


i agree. this is as ignorant as the two on the cover. i am a huge hip hop fan, but since 50 has come into the game, there has been more senseless drama. it really makes me wonder it his rhetoric is authentic or if it's a ploy to sell records. regardless, it's ignorant!


We live in a world where certain core values such as decency, respect, and love have no worth. One excuse is that once the monetary rewards are good then the action is justified. Corrective thinking should be taught in the homes and reinforced in the school systems.



First off, big ups to Rod...love the site man.

At first glance, I didn't mind XXL's "Jail Issue" mainly because I thought it would come from the only possible angle a logical, self-respecting magazine could present from: Jail = wrong...but apparently some attempt at justification or normalization is underway (so there was a team meeting at XXL where an annual issue was decided on?).

I haven't read the article yet (I'll take a look the next time I'm in Publix and there's a long line, or a group of really uninteresting looking people), so outside of the inevitably homoerotic undertone of "prison-life-isn't-that-bad", what could the editors possibly present supporting the world of Oz?


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