Saturday, August 22, 2009

#297. Toto's "Africa"

The sudden and tragic of passing of John Hughes has sparked a renewed interest in his films and the decade that he immortalized - the 1980s.

Black people came into their own in the 1980s, thanks to MTV, The Cosby Show and most importantly Michael Jackson.

Although they were completely absolved from the casting decisions of Hughes' films, the 1980s were the foundation for the coming Black dominance of popular culture in the 1990s and 2000s. Eddie Murphy and the films he starred in opened up a new era for Black comedians and Black athletes were worshipped as never before, with his Airness, Michael Jordan, assuming the throne of white adulation.

However, the 1980s gave birth to a befuddling song - a Number One Billboard hit - that still garners airplay today and continues to gain in popularity: Toto's Africa.

It is hard to imagine what was going through the bands collective minds when they sat down to pen Africa, as the band Toto is comprised of a bunch of white people. What gives white people the right to sing about Africa, as Black people have been trying to force white people from their ancestral homeland for decades? More importantly, what in the world is the song about?:
"The initial idea for the song came from David Paich, playing on his piano. Jeff explains the idea behind the song: "... a white boy is trying to write a song on Africa, but since he's never been there, he can only tell what he's seen on TV or remembers in the past."
Hmm, if what a white boy sees on TV was the basis for the song Africa, then the lyrics to that song would be entirely different. Black people have done everything in their power to consolidate power into their hands, at the expense of the white people who created the nations they graciously allowed to live in.

Rhodesia? What was once the breadbasket of Africa is gone, replaced with Zimbabwe and widespread corruption. South Africa? No more, the subject of fascinating new movie called District 9. Before white people arrived in Africa, what is now South Africa was just land. After whites cultivated the land, they built a thriving First-World nation - the envy of the world - that Black people could only dream of replicating.

Now under Black rule since 1994, South Africa is like Detroit, Jefferson County or Clayton County, a nation crumbling and nearing dystopian levels of degradation and violence that even the most macabre mind couldn't imagine.

Is this what Toto was singing about?

Toto wrote a song that is ostensibly about the love of a woman and "blessed the rain down in Africa"(lyrics to song):
"Its gonna take a lot to drag me away from you
Theres nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do
I bless the rains down in africa
Gonna take some time to do the things we never had"

The lyrics to this classic song discuss Africa, but not in the disingenuous white liberal manner in which Black people would like to have a song named after their home continent should. Take "We are the World", another 1980s song that discusses Africa in the only way Black people want the continent discussed: with pity and white paternalistic hope of saving everyone:

"We Are the World" is a song and charity single recorded by the supergroup USA for Africa. It was written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, and co-produced by Quincy Jones and Michael Omartian for the 1985 album of the same name. The idea for the creation of a benefit single for African famine relief had initially come from activist Harry Belafonte, who, along with fundraiser Ken Kragen, was instrumental in bringing the vision to reality.
"Several musicians were contacted by the pair, before Jackson and Richie were assigned the task of writing the song. Following several months of working together, the duo completed the writing of "We Are the World" one night before the anthem's first recording session, in early 1985. The last recording session for the song was held on January 28, 1985. The historic event brought together some of the biggest artists in the music industry at the time."
"We are the World" deals with Black suffering, poverty, starvation and famine in Africa, all byproducts of Black people and peculiar characteristics that follow Black people to wherever they migrate or are found around the world, whether it be in Europe, the United States or in South America. Crusading white pedagogues use this song as their anthem when trying to show how much they care about Black people.

Toto's Africa is a song that brings a smile to the face of anyone who hears it, whereas "We are the World" brings about a look of a disgust of one the persons face who hears it embodies the ultimate disingenuous white liberal fantasy: creating a vast one-world that resembles Africa as it currently is, in all its glory!

Stuff Black People Don't Like includes Toto's Africa, a song sung by white people that has nothing to do with famine, colonialism or white racism toward the indigenous people in Africa or the evils of Apartheid - or for that matter Black people.

It's a happy song about Africa and in Africa, only misery can be glamorized.


Anonymous said...

I used to believe in a Christian God that made everything, one of the reasons why I disbelieve in the God of the bible is because why would a sane "GOD" create such a beautiful place, like Africa, full of resources, animals, land, etc. and dump loads of Black people in it? Comic relief for a schizophrenic creator? I don't know but is pretty sad. BTW, I want to see that movie now.

Lola Gets said...

Well, Im Black and Ive always liked this song, lol. No, its not about the "real" Africa, but hey, what white piece of art is ever about what "really" transpires there? No, Totos song is a romanticized ideal, a perfect background for a mystical romance. For Gods sake man, its TOTO! What more did you expect??


Anonymous said...

Devastatingly brilliant!

Anonymous said...

Have you ever seen African art? One of the most popular items is the carved black man with an erect donkey dong. I think that sums up African culture quite well. Why waste time on stupid things like dams and such. You can ensure your seed survives the famine by mating as many times as possible.

Anonymous said...

What amazes me is how many black people seem to be following this garbage site. Do they not realize they are the butt of this person's jokes? I assumed to author to be non-black but now it's obvious that this person is white. "Black people have done everything in their power to consolidate power into their hands, at the expense of the white people who created the nations they graciously allowed to live in." and "Before white people arrived in Africa, what is now South Africa was just land. After whites cultivated the land, they built a thriving First-World nation - the envy of the world - that Black people could only dream of replicating." You people have to be the dumbest assholes ever.

Anonymous said...

It is not understood widely, but here is the fate of Africa: bio-engineered death via China.
Don't think so? Guess again. What country could stop them?
The US Army? Please be serious.
China purely and simply put is going to get African land and resources because they must have them. We want to help Africa because we think it is the right thing to do. Which seems the more primal motivation? China wants to build an economic presence in Africa that will last a thousand years. All they need to do is get rid of the natives.

Anonymous said...

But they will never get rid of the Natives. Why did God give America so much power to the point that they fucked it up. Yeah theres is a great reason why Africa has all of those resources. They need something. We got it all and don't even know how to handle it. Don't worry about africa and the Natives of Africa... Worry about yourself!