Rapper Soulja Boy was recently interviewed by The Daily Beast and, in addition, to being criticized for his blatantly sexist and derogatory lyrical content, he was also caught out making an incredulous statement defending the slave trade.
I can hardly even comprehend it, but here it is.
Last week in Atlanta, I got to interview Soulja Boy Tell Em. I found out just how young he really is. He was one of about ten rappers I interviewed in one day for my BET show, The Black Carpet. I decided it’d be fun to give all the rappers part of the Proust questionnaire. I thought it’d be a way to get beyond image and into who they really are. Most of the guys gave good, thoughtful, intelligent, sensitive answers. I asked Juelz Santana, “How would you like to die?” He said, “Loved.”
Then came Soulja Boy Tell Em. I asked him, “What historical figure do you most hate?” He was stumped. I said, “Others have said Hitler, bin Laden, the slave masters…” He said, “Oh wait! Hold up! Shout out to the slave masters! Without them we’d still be in Africa.”
My jaw, at this point, was on the ground.”We wouldn’t be here,” he continued, having no idea how far in it he’d stepped, “to get this ice and tattoos.”
Wow. Never mind that diamonds come from Africa. Never mind that there were many generations of pain in between leaving Africa and getting diamonds. Never mind that the long-term cataclysmic effects of subtracting about tens of millions of young, strong people from Africa over the course of a couple of centuries is a large part of the reason why Africa now appears so distasteful to you. Never mind all that, Soulja Boy. You put country first.