Ron Artest Marries Hip-Hop With Global Issues: is it a Match Made in Heaven?

The answer is: no. Ron Artest has less than zero rapping skills. However, the LA Lakers forward deserves props for having the right intention—albeit lyrically misdirected—for trying to shed light on the issue of domestic abuse (and an unnatural attraction to little girls) by the men in their community. It’s disgusting, really. According to nongovernmental organizations in-country, 90 percent of Afghan women are being abused.

In his music video Afghan Girl, Artest is moved to fuse his love of hip-hop music  by rapping over images of abused women, courtesy RAWA.org. There’s something viscerally disturbing about watching him rap in a wife-beater. But what’s even more unsettling is how he seems to be yearning in the video, cheesetastic  r&b hooks and all. Lyrics like: “I wish I was there so you could feel me, feel me/run my fingers through your hair through your hair/caress your face to show you that I care, that i care…” at 1:17-1:26 is just plain-old weird.

Back in the day, I think anyone of these verses may have worked, in a quirky way, on a remix for A Tribe Called Quest’s Bonita Applebum. In a good way, Artest’s flow on this track is mellow, laid-back, in an off-beat sort of way. And Tribe is so musically deft, even by today’s standards, that it could have carried the kind of almost schoolboy parlance Artest kicks on this track. Now, Artest as a voice for pandemic gender violence against women in Afghanistan? Not so much.

On Afghan Girl, Ron Artest would have benefited greatly by working with someone who had the sense to tell him, “No Ron, this ain’t working.”

Comments 5

  1. Pingback: Ron Artest Marries Hip-Hop With Global Issues: is it a Match Made … | Afghanistan Today

  2. Via FB

    From Cristina V.

    Great post, Raq; I’m going to forward this to my friend Emal (from Afghanistan – who already was trippin’ that in the USA, the word “afghan” refers to a type of knitted quilt, while in Australia/NZ its a type of chocolate cookie!

    Not to mention, as you point out, his creepy lines about wanting to “feel” her and “run his fingers through her hair” – which would amount to another kind of “assault” as per Islamic (not Talibanic, just “regular”) sense of modesty and contact between a woman and a man when they aren’t married.

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  4. Raquel, I absolutely agree. The “killer” line is: “Cupid open up the door. And if you do so, she will want more”… How more inappropriate one can go!!!

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