Music

Guest Columnist Will Cooper analyzes aritist Poodher P's lyrics and music, and what they say about the world we live in. 

Poohder P is a budding musician whose searing lyrics speak for an often-forgotten part of his generation: socially conscious young people from the inner city. 
 
His songs explore subjects like economic inequality, LGBTQ rights, mass incarceration, global warming and artificial intelligence. To name a few. 
 
In "Was It Could BePoohder P imagines, in his typical rhyming style, a world without war: “Imagine that nations never started wars/That boys didn't die so men could settle scores.” He yearns for peace, recognizing that more unites humanity than divides it: “Just One people kicking it in peace/Across the globe hostilities would cease.” 
 
Poohder P also imagines that exponential advances in technology didn't threaten human safety. The surveillance state — in the United States China and elsewhere — gives governments enormous power to track and control their citizens. And high-tech weaponry provides militaries with unprecedented tools for waging war. Poohder P understands: "Imagine that technology didn't threaten our fate/No AI, machine learning or surveillance state … Imagine that technology didn't threaten our fate/No precision-guided missiles to further man's hate." 
 
In addition to imagining the world as it could be, Poohder P condemns the world as it is. His song "Feastis a political anthem for underprivileged communities — a segment of society both used and neglected by America's political and economic elite. In the last several decades, the wealth of the Forbes 400 (the richest people in America) has multiplied to well over ten trillion dollars. Yet, at the same time, underprivileged communities have struggled to achieve even modest gains in standard of living. "While you" — the wealthiest Americans — "feast on American pie,” Poohder P sings, those in underprivileged communities are “left to die." 
 
But he doesn’t just take aim at the rich. He also condemns the dishonesty of politicians who promise change from the stump but don’t follow through with concrete action: “While you feast on American pie/We are spoon fed a hollow lie." The hypocrisy of these hollow lies — politicians' empty promises to deliver change — motivates Poohder P’s searing condemnations. "We are stats for fat cats/To rattle off in their campaign hats,” he explains. “We are plans for also-rans/To boast about to their adoring fans.” 
 
But people in the inner city are not just statistics. They are individual human beings. They are "brothers and sisters and mommas and dads" — even though, to the politicians, "all we are is one of your fads." 
 
As Poohder P highlights, these wealthy and powerful Americans — in Silicon Valley, Wall Street and Washington — reflexively fixate on and react to markets and polls, ignoring the less-fortunate people suffering in the very country that enabled their success: "Brutes in suits/You're like snakes before flutes/Upon our necks we can feel your boots.” 
 
Poohder P can make a point. His lyrics are rooted in a broad and insightful understanding of American society. He can sing, too. His tight rhymes accentuate the potency of his message. His vocals are powerful. Energetic. Captivating. And his style is an eccentric blend of modern rap and age-old rock and roll. 
 
But Poohder P is much more than a singer. He is a fearless social critic with a pointed message. And, above all, he is an emerging voice for millions of young people who typically go unheard. 
 
William Cooper is an attorney who has written for The Wall Street Journal, New York Daily News, Baltimore Sun, Orlando Sentinel and USA Today, among others.

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(1) comment

Seymour Trout

Poohder P is not a fearless social critic. Radicals are free to say any silly thing they please in America without fear of retribution. He’s not much of a social critic since he does not know what he’s talking about. He does not understand how the world works. He comes across as a whiney, ignorant punk, which is to say, a typical American teenager.

It’s hardly something new and bold to be against war. Everyone is against war. Nobody wakes up hoping they can drive to work over a road full of IEDs so they can be burned, dismembered, or killed. Nobody wants artillery to shell their neighborhood.

Nobody wants to carpet bomb a city.

High tech weaponry stops wars. If you will recall, the Muslim terrorists of Sep 11 did not start the Global War On Terror with high tech weapons, but with low tech box cutters. We crushed them with smart bombs and drones, stopping further attacks. High tech atom bombs stopped WWII on a dime, preempting a wildly bloody invasion of Japan, and have kept the world from fighting a Third World War.

Long before high tech weapons, when humans fought with knives and spears in antiquity, about a third of all males were killed in combat. Without the organized military with high tech weapons of the modern world, you would be fighting the neighboring villagers with pointy sticks, suffering wounds and death in the process.

The complaints about economic inequality, LGBTQ rights, mass incarceration, and global warming are boob bait for lofo liberal knuckleheads. Economic inequality exists largely because bad and negligent parents don’t make their kids hit the books in school. LGBTQ folks have the same rights everyone else does. There is no place in the Bill of Rights that excludes LGBTQ folks. People in prison deserve to be there. In general, you must commit many crimes, work through many alternate programs, to land yourself a prison cell. Global warming is a popular delusion which has no basis in science.

 

Poohder P‘s opposition to artificial intelligence is just plain weird and Luddite. AI makes people more powerful and productive. Eventually, AI is one of the technologies which will make all of us crazy rich in the future. This is just plain stupid hatred of the future, like some crazy Muslim mullah raging against locomotives.

“Underprivileged” communities are really communities with bad morality. They are full of kids running wild, lacking fathers, full of women with seven kids by four fathers, living on welfare for multiple generations. Poohder P is one of the many dishonest liberals who want to pass the buck for the bad individual decisions of welfare women who placed themselves and their children into dismal circumstances onto people who made the right decisions to succeed and worked hard to do so. It is the politics of the envious, lazy poor who will not do the obvious things to help themselves.

Education is the golden ticket out of poverty. America serves kids a free education on a silver platter. And ghetto kids reject it, remaining illiterate, then claiming discrimination because they don’t succeed.

And, really, poor Americans on welfare have a standard of living that is the envy of poor around the world. To reach the top one percent of income earners in the world requires you to earn $29,000. American welfare recipients make that much in some cases in benefits. America has the fattest poor people in the world, who enjoy TV and air conditioning and even cars. I recommend that the ignorant Poohder P take a trip to any undeveloped nation of the world and educate himself on how great America is by comparison. He’ll find skinny poor people living in thatched huts eating weeds they forage in the forest.

Poohder P‘s claim that the “underprivileged” are left to die is the most false and overwrought shriek of all. American poor get free food, free welfare benefits, and the education to lift them out of poverty. Rich people in the top third of income earners provide two thirds of the income tax that funds all of this. The greatest threats to people living in the ghetto are not the rich, but their neighbors shooting them or perpetrating other violent crimes against them.

Poohder P has a point about politicians, who are mostly liars and crooks. Just look at social security, which has been plundered by generations of politicians who lied to cover it up. When the current college kids reach retirement, there will be nothing left of social security but an empty bag. Even when social security actually pays its full benefits, you get a much lower return on your payments than had you invested it in the stock market. There is hardly a public works project performed by the government where there there has been no money skimmed off the top and paid out in sweetheart deals.

 

Yes, wealthy people watch the markets and polls carefully and react to them because that is how people in America communicate their needs and wants. If Beanie Babies suddenly come in demand, it sets off an entire chain of events to deliver them. Companies like Walmart note the uptick and send commands through their supply chain to make more Beanie Babies and truck them to the stores where people are buying them the most. It takes about two weeks for the cycle to work. This is the opposite of ignoring people.

Poohder P, like most teenagers and twenty-somethings, doesn’t know how the world works, so he rages at things that work to actually place the goods and services he wants in his hands the fastest. He is like an idiot in a rage, shaking his fist at the sky, yelling at the clouds.

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