Author Tags: Law, Music
As co-owners of Pound Magazine, Christian Pearce, a second-year law student in Vancouver, and Rodrigo Bascunan of Toronto have co-written an investigation of the hip-hop generation's fascination with guns entitled Enter the Babylon System: Unpacking Gun Culture From Samuel Colt to 50 Cent (Random House, 2006). Whether discussing how black market guns can be acquired in Vancouver or listing the guns President George W. Bush has received as gifts while in the White House, Enter the Babylon System provides a litany of disturbing lyrics and news stories about gang life in bullet-ridden streets. Ultimately they see a parallel between the Babylon currently being invaded by the Bush-ites and the Babylon of preening tough talk that is glorified in lurid music videos.
"When some of the world's most powerful people are so absolutely corrupt," they write, "so ready to go wild with their guns in order to fatten their pockets, it's really hard to convince intelligent youth that hip-hop is a serious threat to our collective safety. The effect of drive-by shootings is worrisome, but what about the effect of drive-by headlines: CORRUPTION, MILITARIZATION, DECEPTION, INVASION? When we speak of Babylon, we are not referring to skin colour, nor are we pointing to any place on a map; we speak of a blinding and destructive greed as visible in the grimiest street as it is in the squeakiest-clean office."
[BCBW 2006] "Music" "Law"