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to the Editor
Writer sees both sides of "50-cent" visit
posted May 31, 2010
Let me begin by saying that I applaud Mr. Jackson (A.K.A. 50Cent) for
his interest in the genealogy of his family. Far too many times
it seems that celebrates we see on television or hear on the radio are
disconnected with those of us who lead common, simple lives.
In addition, the fact that Mr. Curtis would take time away from his
busy schedule to participate in the making of a television special
shows his true desire to understand where he came from. While I'm
not a Hip/Hop or Rap music fan, I have kept up with Mr. Jackson over
the years through music periodicals and the Internet. His, is the
story of what America still has to offer to those individuals who wish
to work hard, even though I personally don't agree with the fruits of
Yes, Mr. Curtis was an admitted drug dealer at one point from what I
understand, one who almost paid for this transgression with his
life. However, it's obvious to this writer that Mr. Curtis,
either through his own actions or through the help of a family member
or friend, changed his life in a large way. And as a citizen of
Edgefield I certainly welcome Mr. Curtis and his film crew here in
order to do their business.
However, I feel that Mr. Jackson having the opportunity to address our
local High School students may have been a mistake.
First off, Mr. Jackson is a "musician", and I use that term very
loosely. I've never considered poets, lyricists or writers to be
musicians. On the contrary, musicians play an instrument,
something that takes years and years of hard work to master. And
even though Mr. Jackson isn't a musician, why was he not allowed to
speak to the music students at STHS? Certainly he could have
given them advice on the music business or simply told stories about
how his records are made. In addition, Mr. Jackson does work
closely with some of the best musicians in the world when making his
recordings. I understand the desire of our school administrators
to have Mr. Jackson address students about his success.
Furthermore, I can see how his story would be inspirational to a small
majority of students in the general makeup at STHS.
In the end I know that if Mr. Jackson inspired only one student to not
deal drugs, to stay in school, to strive to achieve his or her goals,
then the visit was a success. As an adult I know that often times
Hip/Hop or Rap artist are simply playing "gangster" characters because
it sells to young buyers. In Mr. Jackson's case, he has the scars
to prove he isn't just "playing" the role of a reformed gangster.
In the end however, I wonder if any of our school administrators ever
took the time to listen to the lyrics from Mr. Jackson's
recordings? Like the vast majority of Hip/Hop artist, they rap
about two subjects that I feel to be detrimental to the young of our
society (the selling of drugs and the dehumanizing of women) all the
while telling a totally different story when walking amongst us.
I simply question how much thought went into the decision to allow Mr.
Jackson into our school.
John L. Brown Jr.
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