Opinions

September 20, 2010

Rick Ross not Morehouse Worthy

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Written by: The Maroon Tiger

“Lights, Camera, Action.” In the blink of an eye, Twitter was set ablaze with tweets of this year’s homecoming hip-hop concert artist. Rick Ross was announced to be the highlight of SpelHouse Homecoming 2010.

As I rolled my eyes in utter disgust, retweets spread like wildfire. Spelmanites were excited. Men of Morehouse were elated. In an instant, I became befuddled at the overwhelming response such an artist was having on my AUC followers.

Personally, Rick Ross is not my cup of tea. I like people who have some substance behind them. But despite my personal feelings, I couldn’t understand the fascination with the artist. It made no sense to me. We, the Men of Morehouse, like Rick Ross? He is worthy of our money?

Here at Morehouse, we often walk around with a haughty attitude, noses in the sky. It is our belief that we are God’s gift to this world, the most precious resource available. We are greatness and, hence, others are lucky to be in our presence. We even have the keen sense of being able to distinguish a Man of Morehouse from a Clark Atlanta student or West End inhabitant. Somewhere in all of that, I guess we too have an appreciation for the raw talent that is rap.

It must be the Bankhead, Bronx, Chicago, Compton in all of us that makes us want to scream “Big Meech, Larry Hoover.”

Regardless of that however, can we truly say that Rick Ross portrays the image that Morehouse is all too often known for?

From the outset, Ross appears to be one of many artists that have fallen prey to the modern interpretations of hip hop, forgetting the true meaning of a belt. He could benefit from our Appropriate Attire Policy. As of now, being well-dressed is a distant goal.

He could very well be well-spoken. Looking at his lyrics, however, no wonder there must be a radio-edited version of virtually every song he creates.

Too bad it’s a sad reality that Ross does not portray what President Franklin requires of his students.

Maybe that’s why the homecoming website no longer has the names of artists for both the hip-hop and neo-soul concert. The rumor mill turns that President Franklin has stepped in and pulled the plug.

Do recall last year’s hip-hop artist, Lupe Fiasco. He so eloquently portrayed that of being well-spoken by berating a sound technician with profanity. Surely Franklin was not pleased.

It comes down to the fact that Morehouse has an image. We say every day, that if you would not like to partake in that image, you can partake somewhere else. Then why are we allowing someone perhaps the furthest from the image of a Man of Morehouse or Morehouse Man, to grace the stage at Forbes Arena.

If we are going to hold ourselves to a certain standard, why not do the same for the artists that we bring to our campus.

Tre’vell Anderson

Opinions Editor

Anderson.trevell@yahoo.com



About the Author

The Maroon Tiger
Award-winning student news organization of Morehouse College. The organ of student expression since 1925!




 
 

 
 

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  • Ashley Morris

    “Too bad it’s a sad reality that Ross does not portray what President Franklin requires of his students.”

    And Young Jeezy and Lil’ Wayne do?

  • Tre’vell Anderson

    Well, I would personally say they do not. Having met with President Franklin, I know that we as an institution are going to begin focusing on embracing the Renaissance in all areas. This article, and others to come, will hash out the debate on not only Rick Ross, but Hip-Hop/Rap’s place as it relates to the image of Morehouse.

    As the editor of the Opinions Section, I ask that you continue to visit our section and give your comments.

    Thanks

  • Chris Lamb

    What’s the hold up though? President Franklin began the initiative to institute the ideal Renaissance Man back in the 07-08 school year, ironically enough my freshman year. The image of Morehouse, by and large, should be one of a worldly, well cultured, well educated black man, and it can be argued that having a respect and knowledge of Hip-Hop/Rap can be beneficial to such an archetype. The image of Morehouse has slowly but surely suffered for years now because of an ever growing mindset of individuality in a place where students, namely freshmen, have exerted a personal affiliation that overshadows the silent agreement they made when they were handed those nifty maroon (I assume they’re still maroon) blazers.

    And this is just a gripe, but why isn’t Well Written among the Wells?

    • Chris Thomas

      I understand and respect the concept of the Renaissance man, but people need to realize that this is Homecoming. The Lupe Fiasco show last year was proof that our concert’s main act can’t be someone who only appeals to the minority. I enjoyed the show just the same, but I can say that Lupe’s concert had the worst turn out of the three Homecoming concerts that I’ve attended. Ross is hot right now, and you have to respect that. He’s the perfect Homecoming act that isn’t Kanye or Hov (who aren’t feasible for the school’s budget).

      • Tre’vell Anderson

        I will definitely agree with you there. He is the perfect choice for Homecoming. He is currently hot and the student body will show up. The fact of the matter still remains that Morehouse has an image. We as an institution have established an Attire Policy for our students, but we can’t be more cognizant of the people we bring to campus to perform. Homecoming or not, that image still stands.

        One thing I hope readers will understand is that I am not against Rick Ross coming for Homecoming. Though I am not a personal fan, I am not the only person at this institution. The purpose of this article is to simply state – Morehouse has an image; Rick Ross is not that image.If we are going to be an institution that constantly tells students to fit within this box, why not get artists as close to this box as well?

  • JPoz #TMRCKT

    You and Pres Franklin can have the Mississippi Mass Choir if you want, but then that would be whack wouldn’t it… Although I’m tired of hearing Rick Ross right now, B.M.F. definitely put him out there as the summer’s top act, which is backed by the mass following. He offers what every homecoming performer must do in order to attract fans (and revenue), which is to be able to sell tickets to a show. When I was at the House, we had everyone from TI (back when he was still TIP) to Freeway and Young Jeezy. Why? Because the hype was there and the tickets sold. Also, there music happened to be on most ipods floating around campus — meaning people wanted to hear them. In turn, excitement about the show grew. Isn’t that what we want at Homecoming — that sense of excitement? Homecoming has always been that week that you can let loose a bit and enjoy just being on campus with the myriad of events held. Following mid-term stress, the haughtiness of Morehouse took a back seat to such events as the Homecoming concert, Pretty Nasty, and (lets face it) drunken tailgating. Maybe not the “best face” for the Morehouse brand, but definitely the best source of memories fro the students attending the events due to this sense of excitement and fun. Without that promise of that one time a year when campus life is promised to be exciting, Morehouse becomes a bland institution to those trapped behind its walls. So again.. you can have the Mississippi Mass choir if you want… you’ll just be missing the other “well”… Well Attended…

  • Tre’vell Anderson

    Lol. Well said! However, please do understand that despite the satirical way in which you approached the topic, Rick Ross still does not fit the image Morehouse Administration put out to the world. That is the point of the article. Student satisfaction and gratification aside, Rick Ross is not Morehouse material according to what we, the institution, put out there.

    On the same topic, the MT hosted a panel discussion this past week: “I think, therefor I am: I Think I’m Big Meech.” Dr. Wilson, Morehouse’s Hip Hop Professor, made a presentation on this concept of a Man of Morehouse or Renaissance Man. She stated how this idea is an ideal concept. Similar to an asymptotic line, it will never be reached. There is no one person that wholly fits the Five Wells or Renaissance ideals. While I agree with her, the bottom line is that her view (and yours) of this situation and the view of the President and his administration differ.

    • JPoz #TMRCKT

      Thanks for being a good sport and picking up on the satire. I’m in no way downplaying or attempting to undermine Pres. Franklin’s agenda with the reconnecting with the philosophies that embody the spirit of Morehouse; However, there must be a link established that will allow for the connection between the past ideals and current realities. The very idea of a Renaissance Man is perplex in itself. They were those who were multifaceted members of society, often excelling in many endeavors. As were there ideals, they could not be easily boxed into one category of excellence or another. In doing so, this would limit their potential for free thought and expression through which, in turn, they changed and challenged the viewpoints of society. It is that challenge of popular belief that allowed them to push the bounds of common reasonings and explore new possibilities of thought. While awaiting death, Socrates explained to Plato [The Apology] that he stood accused of “corrupting the youth” with novel ideas that, more or less, went against the grain of society. In this case, he was deemed to be a dangerous threat to the ideals of the society. It wasn’t his ideals for which Socrates found himself on trial; however, it was his individualism. How does this relate to our current situation? While it may be ideal to create a Renaissance Man, there is no formula to create the individualism that sparks the fire. Renaissance is born from a revolution from what one has been taught in an effort to bring forth new ideas born from the ashes of the old, strengthening the ideals that were solid and establishing new boundaries beyond the norm. While the creation of things such as dress codes and codes of conduct attempt to set Morehouse apart from other institutions, it also forces students into a mold or normalcy, which could possibly have the effects of leading to sociocultural isolation. While we may not always agree with guys in women’s shoes, sagging pants, and the like, the freedom to express oneself cannot be outweighed by the appeal to impress ideals that stifle the will to escape norms. Without this will to challenge, diminish and restore, we become tools of the machine — marching on in single file line likes ants at a picnic — instead of becoming creators of the new and redefining life. To tie it all together… to create a single stage of existence and to base [Renaissance] ideals so stringently upon them is an effort in futility. We all must challenge the basic tenets of our societies, destroy them to the core of their existence and (most importantly) rebuild them. This means we don’t say that one specific style [of music] doesn’t fit into Morehouse’s “Renaissance” definitions on the basis of that Renaissance is to established the capability to challenge based on a diverse cadre of experiences and knowledge sources. While we hail members of society such as H.L. Gates, Dr. Cornel West, and Dr. Cosby, Rick Ross’s expressed viewpoints as a musician also makes him as capable of provoking diverse thought from a different societal vantage point. Each person (and their belief/ideas) is valuable beyond what we can imagine, or readily state, due to it being a part of the bigger picture. In conclusion, I leave you with a passage from John Donne’s Meditation 17…

      “No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were: any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.” ~John Donne [Meditation 17]

      2s

  • Dean Darden

    First, morehouse’s rep is already tarnished. Check the “Mean Girls” article in the Vibe. Who comes to your campus doesn’t reflect on the image of the school, especially if they’re an entertainer. ITS ONLY ENTERTAINMENT. I hope stay low key for the rest of your matriculation through Morehouse b/c someone from Bankhead, Chicago, and/or Compton is going to whip your ass. And I hope you keep your nose high and keep your haughty attitude afterwards. Try to get to know some of your fellow colleagues before speaking for everyone with false comments. I’m from the West End and graduated with a 3.1 and if I see I’m going to smack you. U wanna know why?? “.. I think I’m Big Meech, uh, Larry Hoover..”

  • hooy
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