Lil Wayne, aka Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr. is a rap star who has just sparked enough outrage from his latest music video to ensure that his next song, God Bless Amerika will explode on the charts. The rapper was filmed trampling all over the American flag while shooting his new music video for the song.
TMZ got hold of the footage and you can see the 30 year-old Lil Wayne performing first in front of the flag and later on the flag.
The song itself will spark some controversy with lyrics that say, “My country ‘his of thee / Sweet land of kill ’em all and let ’em die / God bless Amerika / This ole’ godless Amerika.”
When Lil Wayne heard about the outrage that his music video had provoked, he got onto Facebook to explain what was going on in the video and to explain the song.
He said, “It was never my intention to desecrate the flag of the United States of America. I was shooting a video for a song off my album entitled ‘God Bless Amerika’. The clip that surfaced on the Internet was a camera trick clip that revealed that behind the American Flag was the Hoods of America. In the final edit of the video you will see the flag fall to reveal what is behind it but will never see it on the ground.”
That explained the flag at any rate; Wayne then went on to explain what his lyrics meant. He says that the words in the song are not supposed to be critical, but realistic. He says it describes a part of America that a lot of people don’t see.
Lil Wayne said, “In most people eyes including my own who were raised in that environment, the Hood is the only America they know and the only America I knew growing up. I was fortunate from my God giving talents to escape the Hood and see the other beautiful places this country has to offer but most people who are born in that environment don’t get that chance. That’s their view of their America. That was Dwayne M Carter from Hollygrove New Orleans view of America. That’s who I’m speaking for in this song.”
So apparently, Wayne is speaking for the “non-musical” side of himself. The Dwayne Carter Jr who doesn’t have the talent to succeed in the US. I’m convinced, but there are a lot who don’t get it or see past the rapper walking on the flag.
Publicist Angie Meyer Olszewski talked to FOX411 and expressed her anger at the message that she thought the rapper was sending out. She said, “Lil Wayne’s exploits are an atrocity to every soldier whose ever fought to protect this great country. His lack of maturity and respect for this country and our flag will without a doubt cost him in album sales. This video has gone too far. Lil Wayne’s actions are just plain dumb. What more can be said?”
Twitter took up Olszewski’s challenge and said a lot more.
The social media network was full of angry tweets. One tweet said, “That’s disrespectful to the extreme.”
There were several who called Lil Wayne, an “idiot” who should be “locked up,” and several others urged a “boycott” of this ‘ignorant POS.”
But whether the final “cut” of the video will show Lil Wayne trampling the flag or not, is beside the point. One of the things that we American’s pride ourselves on it the right to free speech. Of course the only problem with free speech, is that not everyone will agree with you are saying.
But, do we really want to go back to those days when “patriots” ripped the shirts off people’s backs because said shirt had an American Flag on it?
There are a lot of ways that people can show their anger. Author John Ziegler says that he supports the right of free speech to criticise the country, just as much as he supports the people who want to criticise Lil Wayne. He does go one step further and says that American’s who aren’t happy with the flag issue, should boycott the song.
While that makes a lot of sense, I would go on to say that folks who don’t like the flag being stomped on probably aren’t Lil Wayne fans anyway.
Jenn Hoffman says that, “Lil Wayne is an artist and a rock star. Musicians have been using the American flag in album art, photo shoots and music videos to stir up controversy and make a socio-political statements for decades now. This shouldn’t be a surprise or a big deal. It’s rock and roll.”
It is also good business. When ever someone does anything controversial with their music, film, or book, the negative backlash always causes sales to go up. Regardless of who the artist has offended, there will plenty of folks who will buy, listen, or watch just to see what the fuss is all about.
Lil Wayne may have sparked a lot of outrage with his (unfinished) music video, but I’d bet that he isn’t unpatriotic or being purposefully disrespectful to the flag. He’s just being a good businessman.
By Michael Smith