How to Ruin the Career You Never Had, a book by Sister Souljah

Lisa Williamson, or more famously known as Sister Souljah, began her career by being a featured guest for the famously rebellious group, Public Enemy. She then joined Public Enemy after one of their other members left. Eventually she began her solo career and released her first and only album in 1992. It was titled,  “360 Degrees of Power”. The songs and the videos that went along with them were very rebellious in fact, two of the videos were banned on MTV because of their strong imagery. Because she didn’t get exposure, made some super bad comments after the beating of Rodney king, and really have a name for herself at all her album didn’t sell and her producer dropped.

After reading more about her, I think what most people remember her for is this quote made in May of 1992. “If black people kill black people every day, why not have a week and kill white people?”This statement that she gave during an interview became big news really quick. For having come out of a mouth that was so unknown by the public eye, she sure did receive a lot of attention from this comment. At the time, Bill Clinton was running for president, and criticized this quote publicly.

After hearing her song “Afrikan Scaredy Kats in a One-Exit Maze”, and seeing this quotation i was not surprised. My mind first went to, she is probably just an under educated, upset member of society who just so happens to have a spec of media attention at the wrong time. Then I saw that she had a Ivy League education from Cornell, was a double major at Rutgers. That really made me wonder what kind of students those two well known schools produce. I was shocked and quite honestly in disbelief that a person with that caliper of education, would make that uneducated of a comment. It made me think that perhaps she did everything she did musically, and through her interviews on purpose, and made these comments that weren’t necessary educated or throughout in order to provoke conversation, and potentially change. This is seen for sure in her music as a solo artist and with Public Enemy. However monumental she thought she was being I found her comments and words to be offensive. Even though Clinton got a lot of crap for saying what he said about Souljah’s “racist” comments, I can’t help but agree with him, what she said seemed to be completely against everything that America stands for. I think she dramatized and played up events for the sake of media attention and potentially a ‘revolution’. This act limited her audience, and probably ended her career.



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