[Editor's note: Rap pioneer and Geto Boys member Willie D answers reader questions for our sister paper, Houston Press. Something on your mind? Ask Willie D!]
Photo courtesy of Peter Beste
Dear Willie D:
I just wanted to say hello and also thank you for all of the awesome Geto Boys and fantastic solo albums you put out. I hope everything is going great for you nowadays also. Have you considered putting out any other albums in the meantime, or are you concentrating on bigger and better things nowadays?
I try to avoid answering music related questions because I think there are more important issues to address that people want answers to. But since I would not have this column if not for my music career and a number of people continue to inquire about my music future, I would be remiss to remain silent.
As you know with the market being saturated with everybody and their yard man rapping, records labels not investing in the long-term success of artists, fans pirating music and radio stations favoring booty music over substance, it's difficult for artists who have something to say to be heard, so that's why I haven't put out anything new. I'm put off by the politics.
I don't know about bigger and better, but I have moved on to other things. I'm doing some stuff in Hollywood and I'm writing a few books. I've never stopped recording, so eventually I will release new material. I can't give you a timeline as to when, but until then, hop into your car, turn your favorite Geto Boys or Willie D song all the way up, then roll up on a policeman and ask, "Excuse me bro, aren't you the cop from The Village People?"
I FOUND A CONDOM IN HIS POCKET
Dear Willie D:
I have been in a relationship for 16 years with the same guy and I found a condom in his pocket. Is he cheating?
Out of Pocket:
Are thongs found between booty cheeks?
More Willie D wisdom on the next page.
THE TERM "TRADE" IN PROFESSIONAL SPORTS IS RACIALLY INSENSITIVE
Dear Willie D:
I am seeking your opinion, as I know you are a conscience man who loves sports. I am petitioning professional player's associations and the sports industry to eradicate the use of the culturally insensitive slave term "trade" regarding the acquisition of athletes. Considering the United States' and Europe's atrocious slave history, the term trade, as it relates to the ownership of human property and or talents, was unique to African slaves.
Although all athletes are not of African descent, the majority of the major professional athletes in the U.S. are, so essentially white men are still trading black people. You may ask, what word should the sports industry use? I suggest the industry use acquire or exchange. What do you think? I would appreciate your support.
Actually the term "trade" in regards to slave-trading was not unique to African slaves, as slavery dates back to ancient times with the Egyptians and Ancient Greeks. But it's interesting that you wrote in about this issue, because periodically when I hear the term "trade" regarding an athlete it does make me uneasy. That's because I do associate the term with slavery, but I also associate it with currency, baseball cards, stocks and bonds, livestock, comic books and automobiles.
There are other words that come to mind when I think of slavery, like cotton, chains, whips, and boats. Hell, I'm still uncomfortable when I visit a friend who lives in a neighborhood with the word "plantation" in its name.
But do we also petition to stop people in those industries from using those words? I don't necessarily believe your grievance is misplaced, but if someone is going to find a cause to stand up for on behalf of professional athletes, I would like to see them fight for revenue-sharing, health care and better pension plans. I think the players would appreciate that more.
PLEASE HELP ME BECOME A RESPONSIBLE STUDENT
Dear Willie D:
How can I be a more responsible student, and begin to write more effectively?
Becoming a good student is like being good at anything else in life: you have to put in work. Common attributes that successful people possess are focus, drive, commitment and follow-through.
Apply these methods to your studies. Get a decent amount of rest and start your day off with a healthy breakfast. Listen and don't be afraid to ask questions. Participate in class discussions and group projects. Complete your assignments on time. Keep a journal of completed tasks to gain a sense of accomplishment and reward.
Avoid destructive behaviors like drugs, alcohol and hanging out all the time. Limit your use of addictive distractions like your phone, the internet and social networking. For some people being a good student comes natural, but most of us will have to work hard to get good grades. But that's okay, because as my mother used to say, "A little hard work ain't gon' kill you."
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Ask Willie D anything at askwillied.com, and come back next Thursday for more of his best answers.