In Honor Of Afro-Punk Weekend: The White Mandingos-The Ghetto Is Tryna To Kill Me (Music Review)



Review by:
Uther Blakwhel

The White Mandingos The Ghetto is Tryna Kill Me is the official debut of a Super Group which features iconic underground M.C. Murs with Bassist Daryl Jennifer from the legendary Bad Brains and guitarist Sacha Jenkins who is the founder of the critically acclaimed Ego Trip Magazine. The Ghetto Is Tryna To Kill Me is a concept album about a young black man named Tyrone White from the ghetto who happens to love rock and roll. The CD takes you into a day and the life of the young man as he tries to cope with sudden stardom and fame while trying to maintain his roots in his neighborhood. The song entitled “Warn A Brotha” expresses those frustrations and revelations. It’s also an open letter to the white racist American music industry which prefers their rock stars white and not Black. Tyrone White/Murs says,

“They treat Black rock bands like they unicorns!”

The White Mandingos also get their point across in the video for “Warn A Brotha” by choosing a white teenage male to perform the vocals for the song while he is skateboarding with his friends throughout the video. The song entitled, “Black –N-White” is a declaration of independence for any and every black kid who was considered a misfit because they went against the norm. It’s the sequel to Murs’s “Darkskinned White Girl.” The song also challenges prejudices from Black people and white people who have preconceived notions about what is allegedly Black music and what is allegedly white music. Murs states,

“I’m in a Black band, I’ve got a Black girl but I don’t make music for the Black world. I’m a Black man, Black as midnight I’m blacker than Flavor Flav and Fela in a fistfight! I get blackballed when Black rappers come around I’m too black for the mutherfuckin’ underground. The white fans barely tolerate my black ass if I embrace them I catch backlash from the black fans it’s so crazy yo. I sold out if I’m on the black radio well fuck them and fuck that shit y’all can all open up your white teeth and eat a black (you can figure what he says next). To the white black boys and the black white girls let’s fight back with this noise and attack this world!”

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(He also states later). “They say that rock is white They say I walk white they say a lot of shit they even say I talk white cause I like to say like stoked and dude I was wearing tight jeans way before the shit was cool. I like the Cure, I like Depeche Mode, I love Big Pun and of course I respect Hov! I’m a walking contradiction because I don’t speak ebonics or some contrived fiction. I speak in sentences I am literate sorry I don’t fit a category for you idiots. I am just me you should adjust you and if you can’t understand that then fuck you! Does this shit sound black? Does this shit sound white? Can it just be sound? Can that be alright? You should listen with your heart you shouldn’t listen with your eyes never listen with your ears because the heart never lies!”

The song called “I Don’t Understand” talks about the grass is greener syndrome in regards to romantic relationships and the origin of the band’s name White Mandingo. “My First White Girl” goes into the territory of racial stereotypes and expectations in regards to what an interracial relationship consists of and the resentment than can be felt from the black and white community. The surprising cover of Minor Threat’s “Guilty Of Being White” plays smoothly with Murs singing instead of rapping. What You Waitin’ On asks an important question to African American people in regards to how injustice is handled in America, and how will African American people proceed further when all false pretenses have been shattered in regards to how they have always been treated. The song also calls out the latent racism of certain musicians. “This muthafucka says he’s ‘waitin on the world to change’ wouldn’t date a black girl, kind of strange. Is he a racist or just fuckin’ lame, fuck John Mayer with a dick full of cocaine”!

“I Like You” talks about the infidelity and irresponsibility of Tyrone White as he finds out that he has gotten his girlfriend and mistress pregnant. He agrees to take both of the ladies to the abortion clinic so that the ladies can discuss their options. Tyrone White aka Murs gets into an argument with an older right-to-life gentleman and states, “You should have seen the look he was giving me then he started up his ministry he said that the embryos are not the enemy and that Jesus Christ is a friend to me. Well if Jesus Christ is a friend of mine then he understands that I’m in a bind but I’m not the one with the kid inside. Why do you act like the decision is mine these two women think for themselves’ honestly I’m just here to help to make sure that they are not assailed by a jackass just like yourself now he says I’m a go to hell my girl is holding me back so I don’t go to jail. I’m about to swing like oh well but this muthafucka he old as hell might have a fuckin stroke if I hit him but really I was only joking with him we just came to explore our options not to buy you could say we sort of window shopping now we might want to do it just to spite you makes me wonder if your god even likes you. See I may disagree with what she might do but it’s her choice and she should always have the right to. But you never heard of women’s lib Mr. right wing conservative bombs over the middle-east is the only time we should murder kids see you can preach and protest with your picket signs and get pushy but honestly your politics have no place in a woman’s pu**!”

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“Mandingo Rally” samples Bad Brains vocalist H.R. crooning while Tyrone White raps about self-hatred in the Black community as well as materialism and selling out just to have a hit rap song. “Race traitor call me a hater sell out your people for profit and paper there’s nothing sacred living in a state of supreme self – hatred. We doing it to ourselves without the white man’s help in and out of jail how the fuck you raise a son inside of a cell!” The production quality on the White Mandingos The Ghetto Is Tryna Kill Me is amazing. Daryl Jennifer’s Bass Playing and Sacha Jenkin’s guitar match perfectly with Murs. It’s as if the three have been playing together for years. This record is brutal with its honesty. It’s also in your face. A potently piercing confessional Hip-Hop masterpiece with punk rock overtones that weave in and out perfectly and fluidly!