Bullets flying, students screaming and teachers running for their lives. Another emotionally insecure kid has brought his daddy's pistol to school and taken his anger out on anyone and everyone who has given him a hard time. After pumping bullets into his class mates and teachers he proceeds to aim the gun to his forehead and blow his brains out.
A media frenzy then attaches itself to the case. Interviews with students and teachers who knew the suicidal school shooter are conducted and the shooters life story is written and talked about in magazines, newspapers, TV shows and on the radio. In the midst of all this happening, the shooters pass times, interests and hobbies are investigated as the media hurry to find a scapegoat in an attempt to explain what caused such a fucked up event to take place.
If they are lucky they will find out that the kid had a huge collection of horror movies or that he listened to Eminem or Marilyn Manson. Convinently enough, they always seem to find a 'reason' for his psychotic actions. It is far easier to point the finger at the entertainment industry than it is to blame the education system or unfair social conditions, so the media run with it. Not to mention the fact that newspapers sell a whole lot faster when stories are glamorized.
Parent groups, religious groups, womens rights groups etc all then come out of the woodwork calling for horror movies, death metal or hip hop (whatever the kid was into) to be banned as it causes people to go out and commit mass murders. Unintentionally this pushes record or movie sales through the roof, after all, controversy sells ( just look at NWA and the 2 Live Crew). So in the end of the day the only real winners are the movie studios, record labels and the artists/directors themselves. So after all the unfair negative press, justice wins out.
The case that made me think of writing this article is the one that took place at a Minnesota school on March 21stf 2005. Jeff Weise, a sixteen year old Native American who attended Red Lake High School in north Minnesota turned up to school one day and shot and killed seven people (after killing his grandfathers partner and his grandfather that same morning). This massacre was the worst America had seen since the notorious Columbine Massacre that took place on the 20th of April 1999.
It soon became apparent that Weise, who was nicknamed the "towering loner", was a fan of old horror movies and horror rap. In particular, Weise was a fanatic fan of bay area horrorcore artist Mars, CEO of 'Mad Insanity Records'. The media made a huge deal out of the fact that Mars' upcoming album title was 'Some Girls Deserve to Die', a title inspired by the Hillside Strangler police interrogation tapes.
Due to this case, Mars' name spread like wild fire and the 'negative press' just enabled Mars to reach an even larger audience. I have even read, although only on an internet forum and most probably complete bullshit, that someone in the Mad Insanity camp spread the word to the media in attempt to gain some free publicity. Who knows what really happened, all that is for certain is that Mars' music was used as a scapegoat to explain why Weise pulled the gun on his victims. As a result Mars gained alot of attention and no doubt it increased his record sales. Another win for hip hop and artistic expression.
Up for download are a few tracks that came to mind on the topic of school shootings. They are all pretty much on topic and fairly recent, although the Gregory D track is alot older and talks about a gangsta shooting up a school so it's a bit different, but it's a sick track so I added it anyway.
Rest in peace to all who have passed away in these senseless massacres.
Apathy - School
Gregory D - Hi-School Hoodlums
Ill Bill - Anatomy Of A School Shooting
Insane Poetry - Any Given Monday (Intro)
Insane Poetry - Any Given Monday
MaddWest - Johnny Rage
Q Strange - Nothing
*Thanks to Prime for the Apathy track and Marcus for tracking down the Ill Bill mp3.