The 1988 Song About Television Addiction Is More Relevant Now Than Ever Before
From the second chief and rapper Chuck D, fellow rappers Flavor Flav and Professor Griff, team DJ Terminator X and the S1W team (aka Security of the First World) started off the Def Jam listing label’s stage in 1987, their intense sociopolitical presence lurks during hip hop culture and much beyond.
Bum Rush The Show (1987), it was obvious that Chuck D’s lyrical strain has been destined to face racism, destitution and many other problems linked with African American lifestyle.
On the other hand, the tune I’d love to talk here is your lesser-celebrated “She Watch Channel Zero?!” In their 1988 sophomore record, “It Requires a Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back”. Handling the subject of TV dependence, Chuck D reaches beyond the world of their African American and to many of westernized existence.
The Ills of TV
The track looks instant on side two, following the calm yet curt non-rap “Show’Em Whatcha Got”, also follows Flav’s intro address:
You are blind baby, you are blind from the truth
Oh, y’are’cause you are seeing that garbage.
And therefore, sequential into a short five minutes of white noise, a metal-laden foray strikes the ills of television.
The girl gets the guys all pause
And if you have a girl she could make you forget yours
However, her brains have been washed by means of an actor.
Chuck D constructs a story about a girl who’s addicted to soap operas. She’s wholly obsessed with particular characters in the displays. This obsession hurts her capacity to differentiate between real life and television celebrity. As she becomes overcome by “osmosis” throughout her TV screen, desperation sets in as she channel-surfs “chilly lookin’ for this hero”.
As broadcasts across stations delve to one, she is seeing any station. And therefore she does really “watch channel zero”, amplifying the emptiness of television stations. The song’s message is that the TV watcher, under the illusion which the heroes she attempts don’t exist in fact,” she ostracises herself in the temptations of life, like her loved ones:
However, her kids
Do not mean as far as the series, I mean
Watch her worship the display.
She steps her desires from this “best” world:
And she expects that the soaps are for actual
She learns it AI not accurate, nope…
However, she denies the actual and continues her futile diversion.
Following Chuck’s initial verse, Flav reappears, now carrying the conventional role of the male spouse:
Yo baby, you have to cut off that crap
Yo! I Would like to watch the match
An’ then I am gonna hang’em onto a rope.
The man antagonist here also longs to see tv, resorting to risks if he also can not consume his inaugural ball match.
Repeated no less than 24 times during the tune, the term “she see” morphs into the music’s repetitive yet hostile drone, echoing the experience of TV addiction. It is a metaphor for the practice of hyper reality. This story obviously, is emblematic of wider as well as present society. Whilst the song’s components are standard, the dialogues and sonics show the ominousness of display dependency, the next aspect of this song’s message.
Within the framework of hyper reality, the concept of this simulacra or likenesses replaces that of truth. Characters on TV shows, or really, point sets, movie locations and at times the celebrities themselves become signals that may consume and distort the sense of truth.
Whenever these signals become more significant than the actual, one’s actual relationships break down. Evidence and truth are no more juxtaposed; instead the signal supplants the actual. When the actual fades, positioning the fanciful against the regular becomes impossible, resulting in problematic social participation.
After the explosion of screen-based private devices like tablets and smartphones, now perceived as crucial elements of modern life, the danger of users slipping into hyper reality has escalated enormously because the television era.
But we must keep in mind that the simulacra which have led in this manner of life began way before the introduction of the smartphone. Is more applicable today than ever, and not just for young men and women.