Juvenile's Reality Check on the Current State of New Orleans
The day after last August’s devastating Hurricane tore through New Orleans, Juvenile was immediately on the scene trying to help out. This was in spite of the fact that he along with many of his family and friends suffered horrific loses in the Crescent City’s 9th Ward.
Juve sat a BET press conference and pledged to do concerts to raise money and use his celebrity status to bring attention to those who had no voice. During that press conference Juvenile refrained from overtly criticizing the government even though it was painfully obvious that FEMA was asleep on the job.
Fast forward to February 2006, Juvenile is pulling no punches. He’s doing more than just putting the government on blast for being negligent, he’s gone so far as to do a video for a his new song Rodeo that was shot in the 9th Ward where he shows caricatures of George Bush, Dick Cheney and New Orleans’s Mayor Ray Nagin as the bad guys who contributed to all the devastation.
Juve swung through the Bay Area this past weekend and spoke passionately about all the neglect that is going on in his city. He explained that he and his crew went through a lot of red tape just to shoot the video. Apparently city officials weren’t too keen on him showing the world what’s really going on. They cited chemical dangers and the threat of contamination as the reasons he could not shoot the video. Juvenile got around that hurdle.
It will be interesting to see if Juve gets any sort of airplay for his video without the faces of Bush, Cheney and Nagin being etched out. Juve was very clear about the statement he wants to make. Those three men need to be held accountable for the slow response and the current exploitation that is taking place in NO.
Juve noted that the government has been quick to repair all the tourist areas. He said the French Quarter and the Superdome are repaired or on their way to being completely fixed up. In the meantime places like the 9th Ward where the majority of the city’s population resided has been left to rot. Juve was clear that this has to do with the racial make up of the city’s residents.
He pointed out that as a Black man, he could relate to fellow rapper Kanye West’s remarks about Bush not caring about Black people. He said he waited and waited for the president to prove Kanye wrong. A quick look at the lack of repair in the 9th Ward is proof positive that Kanye was absolutely right.
Juvenile told the crowd who showed for his album release party that land developers like Donald Trump have been allowed free access into New Orleans and he his one of many rich land grabbers who is quickly buying up property.
Juve also explained that a lot of the money that has been sent to NO has NOT been reaching the community. He urged people to directly get a hold of folks and make sure they are given what’s needed. He cited the work that people like Ludacris has been doing where he has brought up houses and personally seen to it that families are housed and taken care of Juvenile also noted that we should be making sure folks get a right to return home and be given the opportunity to rebuild. Currently the city has been playing the racial games by pitting Blacks against Mexicans. He said that they been busing in Mexicans to work in the devastated Black areas even though NO has been a Black and white city. He said it’s a slap in the face for both races as they are being played by white folks who are trying to control everything.
Juvenile saved his harshest criticism for the media. He called out everyone including MTV, BET, ABC, CBS and FOX News. He talked about their lack of coverage from the perspective of those most victimized. He also talked about how these news agencies would fly helicopters over the ravaged areas where victims were stranded on roof tops and would only film the horrors and not use their resources to drop food supplies and survival kits. Juve was really upset with the racist coverage from Fox News and says he is currently on a ‘F*** Fox Campaign’
By Davey D.