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Is It Best That Chamillionaire Will Be A Grand Marshal Of Houston MLK Parade?

The rap star Chamillionaire will be a co-Grand Marshal of the 2009 Martin Luther King Day Parade in Houston.  Above you see a picture of Mr. Chamillionaire. He is from Houston. 

This parade will be held starting at 10 AM on January 19 in Downtown Houston.

It is easy to say that Dr. King would have been less than pleased by the presence of Mr. Chamillionaire at his parade. I admit that this was my reflexive reaction. However, so I could give a more informed view about Mr. Chamillonaire, I’ve done some studying.

Here is a link to the web site Hip Hop News discussing Mr. Chamillonaire’s part in the parade. The story does not talk about any issues this performer has focused on. His Wikipedia profile makes no mention of any politcal activism.

Here  is his own web home. With his own space, Mr. Chamillonaire makes no mention of any political concerns, that I see at least, nor does he provide links to causes he sees as important.  

Though he does say the following in a profile at his web home— 

“He (Chamillionaire)  does just that on “Hip-Hop Police,” a look at how the media and a variety of public figures continue to place blame on rap music for social issues, making loving hip hop equivalent to committing a crime. Then there’s the insightful “Evening News,” where Chamillionaire examines — with a sarcastic tone – what constitutes newsworthiness on a planet filled with legitimately significant events and genuine human suffering. …”Everyday I watch the news and look at how crazy the world is,” he explains. “It humbles you to see other people’s problems and to see the amount of adversity others seem to be going through. If you think you’re going through hard times, you can always turn on the TV to see someone else who’s going through things 10 times worse than you. But then again, the media will also dedicate a majority of their time focusing on topics that I feel are not as news worthy, often times making celebrity gossip their main focal point. I wanted to do a record with some social commentary but also not be too heavy handed when it comes to discussing the stuff that we should really be focusing on. I wanted to find the perfect balance and go right down the middle.”

All right–That’s something. I have signed up for Mr. Chamillionaire’s e-mail updates in case he announces a more comprehensive commitment to political activity. 

Here is what it says about Mr. Chamillionaire in his profile on the Houston MLK Parade web home—

“On a personal level, there are many causes that are dear to Chamillionaire’s heart, especially anything to do with helping children; something that was inspired by his upbringing. Taking a cue from his Mother, who routinely took in foster kids while he was growing up, Chamillionaire himself currently homes 3 foster children. Cancer research and his church are also causes to which Chamillionaire contributes regularly. Chamillionaire’s fierce love for his city means that you will always find him present in times of need. Whether it is donations for hurricane repairs to schools, or giving his time to raise awareness for those causes he holds dear, Chamillionaire is a philanthropic staple in the Houston community.” 

I punched his given name, Hakeen Seriki, into a comprehensive list of political donors to federal campaigns and saw no donations to help elect Barack Obama. I’m not assuming that he supported Mr. Obama because he is black.  Mr. Chamillionaire is free to vote for whoever he chooses.  But I do think that Dr. King might have supported Mr. Obama.

Here is a link to Mr. Chamillionaire’s song lyrics. I have to say that many of these lyrics do not appear to advocate social responsibility. 

Here is a sample of lyrics from the song Parking Lot Pimpin’—

Ladies and Gents, I’m the prince of all parking lot pimps
Yes I’m the Grinch and I ride twenty inch, like it’s a synch
Might convince your woman, to let me leave my paw prints
On her ass, take a pinch while you watch like a wimp
Look it don’t make sense, rims bigger than Shawn Kemp
I maneuver the big body, like I’m parking a blimp
I’m the thoedest speaker, to ever speak through a speaker
Talk down on Chamillion, I’ll fix your face with my sneakers
I get more green, than a whole forest full of reefer
You just mad, cause you can’t afford a smart beep-beeper
I’m the crooked chrome creeper, from the gutter young thugger
Chrome rims looking bigger, than your seventh grade brother
Not a lover, she just trying to put me in a lip-lock
I can’t stay with you girl, I can only make a pit stop
Big rocks what I rock, and I sip plenty of Henny
While you losing your fame and game, like Penny and Lil’ Penny

Mr. Chamillionaire , like all of us, is a work in progress. Maybe at the parade next week, Mr. Chamillonaire could ask where are the honor roll students and the debate club students marching along with the gun-toting ROTC kids (Who I know are good kids as well.) What would Dr. King have wanted?

The Hip Hop News article says there will be a military flyover at the parade. Maybe Mr. Chamillionaire could ask if that is a good use of tax dollars in this time of recession and people losing jobs.  He could ask if  Reverend King would have ever wished to be honored with a military flyover.

Mr. Chamillionaire seems a hard working and creative person who has earned his succcess. I’m uncertain that if he wishes to be a full force for good, or really merits a place of honor at a celebration of the life of Martin Luther King, that Mr. Chamillionaire can proceed as he been doing with such lyrics and offering such messages.

I call upon Mr. Chamillionaire, and on all of us, to use King Day to reflect on what course is best to follow so we may be of the most service to others.

(Please click here for the 2009 Martin Luther King Reading & Reference List.)

January 15, 2009 Posted by | Houston, Martin & Malcolm, Music, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments