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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Kwame Kilpatrick. - Don’t Worry If He Writes Rhymes, He Writes Texts

A big h/t to dr. mike check. at Really Real Talk as you may remember, a few days ago I wrote a post on the Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

He has his own thoughts on this mess Kilpatrick got himself and his city in. Check out the post Don’t Worry If He Writes Rhymes, He Writes Texts.

They call Kwame Kilpatrick the “Hip Hop Mayor.”


If you asked me why a few months ago, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you why and truth be told, I can’t even tell you who “they” are. Not only is he the mayor of America’s most dangerous city, but he’s the son of Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick and was elected when he was 31 as the youngest mayor in the city’s history. But now he is caught up so deep in this case that by the end of this year, he might himself be history. And it’s no LOL matter.

But why is Kilpatrick considered hip hop? Is it ‘cause he’s black?

Ok. He did host Russell Simmons and rappers during Hip Hop Summit at Cobo Arena in 2003 and again at Wayne State University in 2006. But that’s played out. He does have a myspace. He's stylish. I suppose his wild stripper party at the Mayor’s mansion in 2002 and the lap dance he was getting from a stripper when his wife walked in might mirror some low-budget Rap City videos. (btw, the stripper, Tamara Greene, was killed the next year in a case that remains unresolved and in some crazy way is linked to all his current drama. More on that later.) But, as we all know, a real life BET video hardly makes anyone hip hop.

I didn’t get it at first, but with all that’s going on with dude nowadays, it’s starting to make some sense. Earlier this year, the Detroit Free Press found some 14,000 salacious text messages exchanged between Kilpatrick and his chief of staff, Christine Beatty, a chick he knew since high school. The text messages were from five years ago on city issued pagers, but when he wrote messages like "That's the first time I couldn't fully seduce you! My game is off. LOL!" he wasn’t talking about failure to push legislation. They were both married with children at the time of the affair. Beatty has since divorced and resigned. Carlita Kilpatrick is standing by her man.

It all came to an exploding head last week when Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy announced a 12-count criminal indictment against Kilpatrick and Beatty. Kilpatrick was charged with eight felonies including perjury, misconduct in office and obstruction of justice. Apparently, the text messages also revealed that he was also lying during a whistle-blower lawsuit about the firing of Deputy Police Chief Gary Brown, who before he was “fired” was investigating the aforementioned stripper party where the mayor’s wife may or may not have attacked Tamara Greene. Drama right? (Not to mention Beatty’s former husband and Kilpatrick supposedly were boys.) It does have some sort of Jay-Z/Nas beef ring to it and his shady under-the-table dealings do appear Wire-esque. But still, all this makes Kilpatrick seem more Bill Clinton than Beanie Sigel.

But by the end of last week, I became a convert. Kilpatrick is hip hop. I’m not talking the alive and kicking version that became a global phenomenon linking cultures and customs in one empowering and emancipating language of art. I’m talking about today’s hip hop. The dead one.

Kilpatrick is yet another version of what happens when keeping it real goes wrong, when you slack on your pimpin’. First off, why in the world would you broadcast your undercover escapades on city-issued anything? And to my knowledge, he was the who re-authorized the city directive that said all electronic communication sent on city equipment should be “used in an honest, ethical, and legal manner,” not for personal or private use. But that’s not why he’s hip hop.

His hip hop status comes not from his actions, but his swagger, as misguided as it might be. On Thursday, he told hundreds of people that authorities are trying to “lock me up forever” over the messages.

"I have the opportunity right now to go prison, not jail, for text messages," Kilpatrick said during a 40-minute speech. "There's been no evidence. No facts presented. Get out of office and go to prison."

"I will humbly serve you till the day I die," he said from the pulpit.

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