What is up with “Insecurities” in Milwaukee?

Posted: January 17, 2007 in Reflections

 Yesterday, I was reading an article in the Shepherd Express about a local rap artist. Strick is his name, and hip hop is game. I read some of the comments that he felt towards Milwaukee’s Music Scene. Ongoing, he feels that his joints couldn’t get to launch in Milwaukee. Why? because the brew city has a hard time discovering creativity. When I think about, why is Milwaukee is like this? Is it because of the "segregation status", the population shrink, lack of jobs, crime waves, behind on technology(I’m far ahead by using a PDA) previous encounter with summerfest not putting up with urban acts? Come on, please what is the deal? Here’s Strick’s point of view: "Milwaukee has a bucket of crabs mentality," Strick explains. "When they see someone local that’s doing good, they pull them back down with the other crabs. New Orleans and Atlanta support their local groups, but in Milwaukee, if they find out you’re local, you’re always on the bottom of the list. I don’t know what it is about this city," he said. "There’s just something in the air that won’t allow anything big to happen. I love my hometown but I had to go elsewhere in order to further my career." Some in the local hip-hop scene have grumbled about how Strick turned his back on Milwaukee, but DJ Aaron Wade, who spends his Tuesday nights promoting local hip-hop on WMSE’s influential "Late Night Hype Show," says Strick’s decision was a wise one.

"He’s smart in surrounding himself with people who can take him further," Wade said. "To really get somewhere in the industry, you have to get out of Milwaukee.

"I wish him the best," Wade added. "I think he’s definitely the best rapper to come from Milwaukee … he’s crazy talented, witty and has a good voice."

Another local, Randall Flann described his belief about the Milwaukee’s beef:"People move away from Milwaukee to be successful. This is not a place for it. Everybody knows that Milwaukee is Chicago’s b****. I could have probably had a better, more successful time if I went to Chicago or New York or California. If you’re creative in Milwaukee, you’ll never be discovered, and you’ll die here. You have no idea how much I hate this city. How I’m angry at the cultural ignorance of these people."
After reading these articles, I think my hometown has insecurity issues. Just as like if a person is being insecure of being jealous of another person, or another. Which brings me back to those statements "There you go comparing Milwaukee to other cities." Well the brew city must wake up.  SERIOUSLY! There is nothing wrong "taking notes" and learning from what Atlanta, New York, LA, Chicago, Detroit and other cities are doing with Music and Entertainment.  Remember when the NAACP came here? They were somewhat concerned with Milwaukee’s "Image Problem". I just read Eugene Kane’s chatlog about that Baird Company will not hire blacks for higher positions and to put accordingly, not the "good" jobs as out there. If this keeps up negatively, Milwaukee will become a black eye in the United States. I hate to put to comment that I am ashamed of my home city. I am not including my family, friends, church members in this. But as a christian, I will pray for this city to rise up, open up, and resurrect from this firery hell.
Let me put this way, in my last blog, I made a "concern" that the city may not have the jobs I am looking for, and yes I am a UW-Grad. And yes, UW-Grads usually go to other states after Graduation for employment. Will I be one of those people? My ambition was that when I graduate, I want to give back to the city by working in the city. Now, with the checkered concerns of the city looks like I may need to add out of city, state jobs to my list for careers. If it takes me to Illinois, NY, MSP, Detroit, Madison, Racine, Kenosha, Menomoine, Madison, Mequon, Waukesha, or maybe other cities or states, Then so be it. I’ll just do what is just.
I know that the statement will also make me realize that I need to abandon my Milwaukee surroundings for a job. But for this, a mission of purpose is coming.
"Milwaukee, you have become a city that is put on notice.  I didn’t do it. You notified yourself." – Bill Cosby, 2004

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