Horror Classics: If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It!

March 11, 2009 § Leave a comment

Hollywood continues to recycle horror classics

horror-articleRemaking horror classics is nothing new in Hollywood. Each year you can expect to see a slew of them. The rationale is pretty simple. First, a formula already exists, which in the 21st century means that if re-imagined correctly, it will inevitably draw a new, younger audience–resulting in a guaranteed (but not always) payoff for studios. Second, die-hard fans of these horror staples may flock to the theaters just to see if the re-tooled versions of their beloved flicks pay homage to the original while simultaneously adding a bit of innovation. Personally, I think the trend has more to do with studios running out of original ideas.

Nevertheless, with the new version of Friday the 13th grossing $43 million (pretty impressive when you consider the $19 million budget!) last month in its opening weekend and igniting talks of renewing the Friday the 13th franchise, there are several more remakes of horror cult classics on the horizon. Here, a few remakes in the coming years that you may have already seen coming and some that may surprise you!

The Last House on the Left (1972)
Release Date: March 13, 2009

If the 70s were before your time or you aren’t a horror junkie with a fixation on the cinema of the 70s, you may not be familiar with The Last House on the Left, Wes Craven’s 1972 directorial debut. The original film centers around two teenage girls who travel to the big city to score some pot before going to a concert and find themselves kidnapped and brutally murdered by a trio of escaped convicts. The irony comes later when the murderers stumble across “the last house on the left,” which is the home of one of their victims. It is then that a revenge tale is born, as the parents’ of the slain girl seek retribution in a grisly fashion. The film, inspired by the Academy Award-winning (relax…it was for Best Foreign Language Film) 1960 Swedish film, The Virgin Spring was criticized and even banned in some places for its shocking and gratuitous violence. I saw the original film awhile back and never dared to revisit it. The uneasiness of it all was too much, as if I myself were being violated. Although the remake is being produced by Craven, which will definitely give it its authenticity, I’m sure it will be have to be watered down a little to stay within the MPAA rating guidelines.

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
Release Date: 2010 a-nightmare-on-elm-street-poster

One…two….Freddy’s….I think we all know the rest. Another Wes Craven horror classic is set for a revival. The premise is the same: child murderer Freddy Krueger invades teens’ dreams blurring the line between fantasy and reality. Death tolls will climb as Freddy finds novel ways to slay his victims. Unfortunately, Robert Englund, who starred as Freddy in the original and sequels is rumored not to be surprising his role. Let’s hope whoever fills Freddy’s shoes (I’m hoping for Jackie Earle Haley) for this update will do the film justice. Nevertheless, one of the most celebrated horror franchises created, A Nightmare on Elm Street will be sure to frighten a new generation of moviegoers almost two decades later.

Child’s Play (1988)
Release Date: 2010 childs-play

Along with the Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street franchises, there was another horror cult classic that was born in the 80s and continued well into the millennium, spawning four sequels, (Child’s Play 2, Child’s Play 3, The Bride of Chucky, and The Seed of Chucky) with the last three being questionable. Despite the missteps of the sequels, fans of the horror franchise have never stopped wanting to be afraid of Chucky, the red-haired Good Guy doll with a foul mouth and the soul of a crazed killer.

Hellraiser (1987)
Release Date: 2009 hellraiser

Clive Barker’s Hellraiser, based on his novella, “The Hellbound Heart,” had a huge following, producing seven subsequent sequels. The British horror film tells the story of an unfaithful wife who tries to help her dead lover escape from Hell. Like Wes Craven, who has played a major role in the remakes of his horror films, Barker will also be influential in the remake of his own film. He is expected to produce and write the screenplay for the remake.

The Stepfather (1987)
Release Date: October 16, 2009 the-stepfather1

While this suspense thriller wasn’t as popular as some of the other films coming out of the 80s, it definitely had enough of a following to birth two sequels. In the film, a troubled teenage girl butts heads with her mother’s new husband (played by Terry O’Quinn, who brings sociopath to a whole new level–effortlessly), who she suspects is hiding something. Her suspicions are apparently accurate, as her stepfather is a lunatic who murdered his previous family and is now operating under a new identity to conceal his past. As she tries to convince her mother and anyone else who will listen (her psychiatrist included) that something is terribly wrong with her stepfather, the young teen does some sleuthing of her own to uncover the truth. I feel like there’s really no point in remaking this one because I feel like O’Quinn’s performance was the only thing that made the original watchable. And it’s not like he’s reprising his role–he’s too busy being John Locke on LOST. I wish this remake all the best sans O’Quinn (really, I do).

The Wolf Man (1941)
Release Date: November 6, 2009 the-wolf-man2

One of the older horror classics getting a reboot is The Wolf Man, which will feature Benicio Del Toro in the title role and Anthony Hopkins and Emily Blunt in supporting roles. While Universal Studios, which is distributing the film, is sticking to the film’s original story, the film will include additional characters and new plot points that will employ modern visual effects. Afterall, visual effects like CGI were unheard of in the 40s. The best part about this film will probably be how it is conveyed visually (especially the Wolf Man himself), which will make for one entertaining frightfest.

The Birds (1963)
Release Date: 2010 or 2011 the-birds

NOTE: Proceed with caution and absolutely NO expectations…you may be disappointed in the end.

Some classic suspense thrillers shouldn’t be touched. But that hasn’t stopped Hollywood from remaking the Hitchcock masterpiece, The Birds. Let’s hope that this remake, currently in production, will not make Hitchcock turn over in his grave. Moreover, let’s hope it pays homage to the original short story by Daphne du Maurier, of which the original film was based. It looks like the film is off to an “okay” start, including Naomi Watts in the lead role of Melanie Daniels and Michael Bay as a producer. The film is also rumored to star George Clooney as Mitch Brenner and could be in 3-D! As promising as this may all seem, I’m still convinced that Hitchcock classics should be left alone. They’re classics for a reason!


Hello, Mr. President!

January 20, 2009 § Leave a comment

As almost 2 million people (a record high for an inauguration ceremony) watched from The National Mall in Washington, D.C., and millions more watched on television, Barack Obama was sworn-in today–becoming the 44th President of The United States.

Barack Obama is sworn-in as the 44th President of the United States, as his wife Michelle and daughters Sasha and Malia look on.

Barack Obama is sworn-in, as his wife Michelle and daughters Sasha and Malia look on.

While I was not there to witness this historical moment up close and personal (I thought about it, but opted to stay put. Frigid temperatures and large crowds aren’t my thing), I was delighted to watch history unfold from the comfort of my home. So I managed to watch the Inauguration coverage and simultaneously get some work done (working from home is great!)

In President Obama’s speech, he asked Americans to “pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America,” stressing collective action and self-responsibility. At times there was a sense in his demeanor and prose that he understood that the task he has signed on for will not be a quick or easy one to accomplish. But, there was also a confident and hopeful sensibility that he exuded.

At any rate, I’m not going to go into the significance of what this moment in time means. I already gave my two cents in November on victory day and I’m sure the internet is full of assorted sentiments and commentary. So, I’ll refrain from overdoing it and just leave you with a full clip of his inauguration speech for those of you who may not have been able to catch it!

Late Registration

January 4, 2009 § 5 Comments

late-bloomerAs we slip into a new year, we flip out our journals or kindly note to ourselves and our friends what we will do better this year. A new five-year plan becomes a Constitution that cannot be amended. And if we don’t live up to our dreams in the year we’ve outlined for ourselves, we sulk and in worst case scenarios we give up on all of them. We live in a society that registers a successful life based upon instant gratification. What about throwing away the timelines and just living? Is it really such a terrible thing to be a “late bloomer?”

I was talking with a friend the other day and something she said hit me. “Am I pursuing a fool’s dream?” she asked. I wanted to tell her a fool is someone who doesn’t dare to dream for fear of failing. The only reason I didn’t was because I know when I’m feeling blue the last thing I want to hear is something scripted out of an after school special. The friend in question is a talented writer on the cusp of completing a novel. Her conundrum is that she recently hit a crossroads and fears she may be unable to finish her novel within the timeline she set for herself. When she realized she might not finish her book, she thought about the other things she hadn’t accomplished in her life. “I feel old. I’m almost 25 and still nothing. What have I accomplished?” she asked.

This wasn’t the first time I’d heard about the inner-workings of a self-declared quarter-life crisis. Self-doubt and fear has at times clouded my own judgment, leaving me to miss out on a lot of wonderful opportunities and people. In the past, fleshing out timelines for myself has left me feeling tinges of failure when I’ve noticed that certain things have yet to transpire. When will I ever [insert feeling here]? What if I never [insert action here]? Why do we allow age and timelines to dictate how we feel about ourselves, our capabilities, and what we can accomplish now and in the future?

Late bloomers, lend me your ears! Don’t let society and inner negativity stop you from making your dreams a reality. There are many people out there who have accomplished extraordinary things in what many would consider “late in life.” A few months ago, I read “Late Bloomers,” an interesting piece from The New Yorker that shed some light on the question of whether precocity in terms of creativity is the be all, end all for artists. Do late bloomers stand a chance in creative pursuits in a sea filled with prodigies? In the article, Malcolm Gladwell references several people who hit the mark in their careers late in the game. Two of my favorites he mentioned, Alfred Hitchcock, who made some of his masterpieces, including my personal favorites North by Northwest and Vertigo between his 44th and 61st birthdays and Daniel Defoe who wrote Robinson Crusoe at 58. There are probably many others who are unknown to us but have done amazing things when others thought their time was over. There’s something to be said about exploring and truly living life before we find what we’re truly looking for and create masterpieces in our own lives. Whether your dream is big or minuscule, writing a future classic, finding a job you love, meeting your soulmate or anything else under the sun, time is not your enemy.

Yes, WE CAN!

November 5, 2008 § 1 Comment

President-elect Barack Obama gives his acceptance speech at Grant Park in Chicago Tuesday night, Nov. 4, 2008.(AP Photo/Morry Gash)

President-elect Barack Obama gives his acceptance speech at Grant Park in Chicago Tuesday night, Nov. 4, 2008.(AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Once upon a time, the idea of an African-American even visiting The White House was unheard of. Last night history was made. Barack Obama became the first African-American President-elect of the United States in a landslide victory. Come January 20, he will enter the gates of The White House on Pennyslvania Ave, not as a guest, but as America’s new leader.

As I watched the news unfold on my television throughout the night, as so many others around the world did, I couldn’t help but feel anxious to see the final results. And at 11pm when the words flashed across the screen, revealing who our new president would be, I rejoiced! In no other election, had I felt so inspired by a candidate.

His inspiring nature is what ultimately sailed him to victory in a sea full of doubters.

Obama joins his thousands of supporters at one of his many rallies.

Obama joins his thousands of supporters at one of his many rallies.

Yes, there were always doubters. And not just the ones that you’d expect offhand, such as those plagued by an unyielding fear of embracing the Other and a reluctance to acknowledge the ever-changing world.

I myself, an African-American female was a doubter–at first. Not because I didn’t believe that Obama had the intelligence, tenacity, resourcefulness and passion to lead a successful campaign. He did exactly that by leading a grassroots campaign that started from nothing and emerged into one of history’s most strategic, organized, far-reaching, fruitful and passionate campaigns.

Spreading his “change message” throughout the country, state-by-state, he inspired millions to see that each one of their votes could make a difference.

But, would this be enough?

I asked myself this question several times. History had shown me that the cynicism I held when it came to the politics of my country was warranted. So, it wasn’t my lack of faith in Obama that kept me a doubter for a while. Unfortunately, it was my lack of faith in Americans and the political system as a whole.

The flawed results of the 2000 Presidential election gave rise to this films exploring the controversy, such as <i>Uncounted.</i>

The flawed results of the 2000 Presidential election gave rise to films exploring the controversy, such as Uncounted.

Flash backward to the election of 2000 where our political system failed us miserably.

Voting fraud. The Florida recount. Even now, no one knows for sure exactly what happened and how it happened. We just know that the results of that election were questionable.  The idea that we couldn’t trust our political system  was forever etched into the back of our minds, so much that many of us began to question if there was even a reason to go to the polls again. That apathy is what got us another Bush term in 2004. That was the first election I was eligible to vote in and I was passionate about the issues. Hence, I voted. Unfortunately, that year the voter turn out wasn’t good and despite what seemed to be an overwhelming disdain for our current President, his reelection was a breeze.

While I knew that I would continue to exercise my right to vote in this 2008 election no matter what, would others?

I feared that some of the people in support of Obama, especially African-Americans still might not bother to vote because they felt like their voices weren’t large enough to carry him to victory.  I feared that racial bigotry would win and sadly there would be many people in our country that wouldn’t vote him into office at all because of his skin color. My biggest fear was that the political system would fail us again like in 2000.

It was during the Democratic National Convention that I shed all doubt and started to become a believer.

Obama delivered his 44-minute acceptance speech with confidence and passion in front of an audience unmatched in size, filled with hope.

“But I stand before you tonight because all across America something is stirring. What the nay-sayers don’t understand is that this election has never been about me. It’s been about you,” he said.

In that moment, it all clicked.

This was about us. The power was in our hands, and ours alone. I, like so many, had forgotten that power. But, racial bigotry from a few could not startle the collective power of many this time. Bigotry could no longer win when I saw the magnitude of the crowd–consisting of all colors and ethnicities cheering with fervor.

This rainbow coalition was proof  that there were millions of Americans out there that were no longer fazed by race. Finally, the majority was ready and willing to support a man because he was a formidable candidate for our country, despite his skin color. The majority was ready to put the welfare of the country before racial politics.

Hence, electing Obama was essentially for “the greater good,” during a time in our country where the economy is falling apart and our leaders are constantly failing the people.

It was in that defining moment that I realized this man would win this race.

michelle_and_barackMy eyes filled with an overwhelming amount of tears as I watched him finish his convention speech and saw the soon-to-be First Lady approach the podium beaming with joy to embrace her husband. The tears were in hopes that the struggles of our ancestors were not in vain.

From then on I was confident that change would come. I was a believer.

Today I let the events of last night soak in completely. And as I did, another believer of change came to mind. One of my favorite historians and civil rights activists, W.E.B. Dubois, spoke of “the Veil” and the feeling of double-consciousness that exists within all blacks in America in his book, The Souls of Black Folk.

“One ever feels his twoness-an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.”

I have felt the presence of double consciousness in my life, yet I, like so many others, have found the strength to lift “the Veil” and strive for success despite inevitable adversity. Actually, I guess I’d have to say I have a feeling of triple consciousness, for I am a woman, yet I am also black and an American.

Where and to whom does my duty lie? Can all three spirits dwell in truth?

That’s when I realized that despite this historical victory, America will never be truly colorblind. One would think that racism can be eliminated as as we become a more progressive nation. However, the idea of race is a socially-constructed faucet of our society that has been instilled in us for hundreds of years, from the time our ancestors from The Motherland were sold into American slavery up until today.

We will always see race. Yet, with Obama’s presidential win we have proof that “the greater good” can at least trumph race, which means a change has come. The best part about this change is that it has inspired and brought together millions of people with a common goal to move this country forward.

“Not in my lifetime will we ever have a black president,” has been a recurring thought in the minds of  people like my parents and grandparents who endured more racial struggles than I will ever truly know. Now, a new mindset has emerged. It is one of confidence and hope that says, “Yes, we can!”

Indeed, we can and have.

The Artistry of “No Place”

September 25, 2008 § 2 Comments

Still photos from "Ethnography of No Place" video by Saya Woolfalk and Rachel Lears

Still photos from "Ethnography of No Place" video.

One look at contemporary artist Saya Woolfalk’s work, now showing at The Studio Museum of Harlem’s “New Intuitions” exhibit, and you’ll find yourself enchanted by beauty that at first glance seems lively, as her imagery is full of color with an almost child-like allure.

But this isn’t child’s play in the slightest. A closer look at Woolfalk’s art and you’ll discover that she has constructed an otherwordly universe paired with an imagined culture of her own in an arbitrary attempt to challenge the foundation of what we consider to be reality.

She calls her world, “No Place” and asks us to rethink our assumptions on race, sexuality, nationality, identity, and cultural specifity. How is this knowledge formed? How do our perceptions influence the way we understand ourselves and different cultures? How do our cultural norms subject a sense of “Otherness” to members of a society who aren’t us? How does one break free from the “culture industry,” as Woolfalk puts it?

Create your own world, your own culture.

The aesthetic of “No Place” lies in its ability to appear surreal and yet real at the same time. Faceless, mysterious figures traverse a multicolored verdant wonderland that stretches beyond our imagination through an array of portals, such as paintings, sculptures, installations and a video.

The brightly colored landscape that these figures inhabit is much like our world. There are flowers, rivers, trees, buildings, as well as natural fixtures that have yet to be discovered. Each figure is an individual at best. No two figures are alike in outward appearance although all are sculpted from the same recycled plastic bottles, cardboard boxes, and newspapers–materials the artist borrows from our world. Each character has something that distinguishes their personage.

Painting entitled, "Cartography of No Place."

Painting entitled,"Cartography of No Place."

Woolfalk’s lifeforms and the world she’s created for them convey more meaning in her video, “Ethnography of No Place,” which is shown on a loop at the exhibit among her myriad of paintings, installations, and sculptures that tell the same story. The video, which she created with cultural anthropologist Rachel Lears is the most interesting part of her whole exhibit because it is within this video representation of “No Place,” that we can see her subjects come to life as they are documented in daily routines. The feature is split into six segments: Diary of a Phantom Ride, Self and Landscape, Death and Kin, The Emptiness of Equivalence, Meeting, and Empathy.

The video plays like a documentary at some points as the female narrator’s voice is monotone. At other times it seems like a read along storybook offering little substance. The presentation is whimsically weird. But as you watch the participants outfitted in faceless bodysuits adorned with colorful foliage (identical to the figures in the paintings and sculptors at the exhibit) interact with each other, realism prevails as they dance, mate, engage in rituals, nurse their young, and lay the deceased to rest. The manner in which some of these acts are performed in the video are inspired by cultural forms from places as close as New York and as far away as Brazil, Japan, and Africa.

One of the main themes parlayed throughout the video is sexuality, which is another culturally constructed concept that Woolfalk attempts to expose. The figures in the video reproduce using sex organs that are implanted in their heads. In one scene, a female figure kneels on the ground with her legs partially open as she slowly removes a sex organ from inside her head and inserts it between her legs, simulating sex.

Painting entitled, "No Placean Anatomy"

Painting entitled,"No Placean Anatomy."

Woolfalk’s exhibit at best is an experiment that exposes how the ways in which we comprehend cultures that aren’t our own can lose their authenticity as a result of the assumptions of the outsider’s perspective. By creating a fantasy-like world she is able to use her creativity to promote awareness of this dialogue and, of course craft unique and visually stunning imagery in several formats.

Woolfalk’s work is just one of three other installations from “The New Intuitions” exhibit at The Studio Museum of Harlem now through October 26th.

Class is In Session…And So Are Stereotypes

October 29, 2007 § Leave a comment


I’ve been enrolled at courses at the University of Ghana for over two months now and as expected I’ve noticed some differences between higher education here and higher education at my home institution back in America. The workload is not as heavy and many of the classes are pretty laid-back, meaning that some students can still successfully pass their classes without always coming to class. The teaching style relies heavily on the lecture. Students take notes, many times writing down the professors’ lecture word-for-word. Class discussions are minimal and at times nonexistent.

Usually one will find his or herself listening to the professor lecture every week and then at the culmination of the semester a final exam will be administered. However, even I have enough sense to recognize that each professor is different and that what is expected of students in one class differs from the next. Which is why I was absolutely appalled by the generalizations one of my African-American literature professors made who is a visiting professor from an Ivy League institution in the U.S.

Before getting to what she said, I’ll explain the dynamics of the class on that Monday afternoon. The class was assigned several texts to read from Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes. Unlike most of my courses, this particular course is comprised of mostly international students. Now I’m not sure whether or not my colleagues were unaware there was an assignment or if they just assumed they could wing it. Whatever the case was, as soon as the professor announced that we would be having a class discussion on the readings that day, about 5 or 6 American students abruptly left the classroom. Their excuse: they didn’t read and therefore weren’t prepared to participate in the discussion. Now of course, my professor had briefly left the room so she did not see them leave.

When the professor returned to the classroom to begin class she asked the remaining handful of students, “where is everyone today? It looks like there are a lot of American students out today.” No one said a word. I for one wasn’t going to because I’ve never been one to rat anyone out.

We started class and the professor asked a Ghanaian male student a question about Hurston’s work. The student looked puzzled and couldn’t answer the question. “Have you done the reading?” the professor asked the student. Still no response from the student. “Look, it’s a yes or no question. Have you read or not?” the professor said in a condescending tone. The student finally responded, saying he hadn’t read the assignment. “You see how easy that was. Now you’re not wasting our time,” she said crossly. Embarrassed, the student sulked in his seat and was silent for the remainder of the class. She continued calling on different students to see if they had read. In this particular case it turned out that most of the American students had read and the Ghanaian students hadn’t.

Clearly the professor was annoyed that so many of her students weren’t prepared for her class, which is understandable. But, the statements she made next were what I had a problem with. “So have any of you actually done the reading? I know what the problem is. I know the Ghanaian students aren’t used to actually being expected to do their assignments. You’re used to having the lecturer lecture and that is all. Well, in America we are expected to complete our reading assignments and as a matter of fact we have something in America called pop quizzes and if I want to, I can give the class one next time to make sure that you’re reading. That’s true isn’t it that Ghanaian professors don’t ever call on students because they don’t expect them to have read, is that right.”

Clearly the professor was implying that it wasn’t a coincidence that all the Ghanaian students weren’t prepared for class that day. Apparently, Ghanaian students are used to having lower academic expectations. They’re not expected to work hard, the professor thought.

As the class continued, she referred Changes, by Ama Ata Aidoo, a Ghanaian author. She asked if anyone had read the novel before. I was the only one in the class that had read the book. And this was in my opinion an coincidence. I had only read the book because I had taken a global women writer’s literature course back in America. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have come across it otherwise. Some of the Ghanaian students told the professor that they were familiar with some of Aidoo’s poetry, but not the novels. The professor made it seem as if they should have read the book, especially since they are Ghanaian. “How could you have not read that novel. I’m really surprised at that! So when will you get to that,” she said in a sarcastic tone.

In reading this one may not think what the professor said was bad at all, but if one thinks about it one will realize that she was making generalizations about Ghanaian students, which is unacceptable and offensive. Imagine I am a student from an HBCU who is studying for a semester a predominantly white college. I am the only student who hasn’t read the assignment and the professor decides to attribute that to my HBCU education for which I’ve always been given low expectations (which isn’t true of course, but nevertheless what some people assume). I feel as though many people, my professor included would cry racism if this scenario unfolded. And they’d be right, wouldn’t they?

The professor insinuated that Ghanaian students were used to lower expectations in the classroom, which is definitely a generalization. What bothered me the most about the situation was that the professor had no idea that just minutes before her tirade, American students cut the class because they weren’t prepared. So this whole time she is putting American students on a pedestal and talking down to Ghanaian students as if they are somehow naturally used to not taking the classroom seriously. If the American students who were unprepared had stayed in the class, instead of cutting, the professor would have realized that being unprepared for class is not a Ghanaian thing at all. It’s a personal thing. Some students choose to do their work, some don’t. Some don’t show up for class at all. It’s that simple. It really is.

Now I’m pretty sure the professor didn’t think even for a second that she was out of line with the statements she made. Not only were her comments hurtful to Ghanaian students, but they also placed American students in a superior light, which should not be the case. American students are no more studious or conscientious than Ghanaian students.

Students no matter where they hail are all different and should be judged individually, not as a group. Generalizing groups of people should never be tolerated, especially in an academic environment. And this particular generalization coming from an American just further confirms the stereotype that Americans think they are better than everyone else, which is a stereotype we as Americans shouldn’t want to fulfill.

Snitching–Not An Option for Cam’ron

April 21, 2007 § Leave a comment


Rapper Cam’ron has said some pretty ignorant things in his day, but needless to say his most recent round of ignorance isn’t anything new at all, considering the fact that what he revealed to Anderson Cooper on this week’s edition of 60 Minutes is apparently how many of today’s mainstream rappers feel about snitching. In Cooper’s 60 Minutes report on how hip-hop culture’s “street code of ethics” undermines the law enforcement’s ability to solve murders across the country, Cam’ron said he couldn’t think of any situation where he’d resort to snitching because it would hurt his record sales and violate his “code of ethics.” Cooper’s report airs Sunday, April 22 at 7 p.m.

In the interview, Cooper asks Cam’ron what he would do if he knew a serial killer lived next door to him. Would he notify authorities? Not a chance. “I wouldn’t call and tell anybody on him — but I’d probably move. But I’m not going to call and be like, ‘The serial killer’s in 4E,’ ” Cam’ron said. So in this hypothetical situation, instead of preventing murders, Cam’ron would move away. Unfortunately, this is a far better option for him than snitching.

Like so many other rappers in the game, snitching hurts their street credibility, which in turn, negatively affects record sales. Many rappers, like Cam’ron will refrain from helping law enforcement solve crimes, even if the crime was committed against them.

Nearly two years ago, Cam’ron was shot and hospitalized during a failed carjacking attempt outside H2O nightclub. According to an MTV News report, Cam’ron was leaving the nightclub in his blue Lamborghini when an unspecified number of men pulled up to his vechicle and demanded that he give up his car. Cam’ron refused to comply and was shot as a result.

Since the shooting, Cam’ron has been adamant about not cooperating with law enforcement. For Cam’ron, his reasoning is quite simple. “Because … it would definitely hurt my business, and the way I was raised, I just don’t do that,” Cam’ron said.

The fact that a rappers’ “street credibility” and album sales are more important than the loss of life–even their own, is disappointing, but really not that all surprising. In that case, I hope Cam’s clan, (his Dipset crew of Jim Jones, Juelz Santana, & Co.) are aware that street honor shall prevail if one of them (God forbid) catches a bullet. There will be no “eye for an eye,” if it means getting police involved, that’s for sure. But, I’m sure the members of Dipset and most of the other rappers in the game who hold this “street credibility” above everything else wouldn’t have it any other way.

Read more at CBSnews.com

Tune into 60 Minutes on CBS at 7 p.m. Sunday, April 22, 2007 to watch Cooper’s interview with Cam’ron.

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