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C.R.E.A.M. Do you recognize that term? Those letters have nothing to do with cool whip, butter, or icing on a cake. The meaning comes from Wu-Tang Clan. Cash… Rules…Everything… Around… Me. That is, to date, the best definition of neoliberalism that you can get! Profit and money-making are all that really matter. As the Wu put, it rules everything around you! (Click here for the video.) The specific issues examined on this subpage will include immigration/ globalization, eco-consciousnes, and global capitalism and these issues will be contextualized within Wu’s politics of C.R.E.A.M.
Here’s the hook to the C.R.E.A.M., maybe one of the most famous hooks of Hip Hop culture: “Cash rules everything around me/C.R.E.A.M./ get the money/Dollar, dollar bill yall.” Some people, we OldHeadz maybe, still refer to money and all of its evils as C.R.E.A.M. because when you say “CREAM,” you mean more than just having or getting some “cash,” you mean the system, values, and oppressions that come with it. If you want a line-by-line analysis of these lyrics, you should click here (you will hear about the complexity of these lyrics, especially how issues related to urban poverty, racism, and capitalism all collide). Those who do not really know or value Hip Hop and the Wu make the mistake that this rhyme (or everything in Hip Hop culture) is about glorifying money, things, and violence. The point of this rhyme is that wealth is power in the world and the value and humanity of peoples, communities, and nations are ranked in value to wealth. Acquiring wealth and how we understand and value wealth shape the ways we think and the ways we act. What makes the song distinct is that the Wu is giving you the perspective of those who don’t have wealth and the destruction that causes.
Here are the global trends related to wealth and poverty:
- The number of “least developed”/poor countries has doubled since 1970 who must spend most of their money, up to 23 billion dollars,importing food.
- Bill Gates has a net worth of about 50 billion dollars (that’s what we can tell at least). 140 different nations have less money that Bill Gates alone has.
- A study by the World Institute for Development Economics Research shows that in 2005, 1.4 billion people lived on less than $1.25 per day. More than 3 billion people, close to half the world’s population, live on less than 2 dollar a day. The report argues that, at best, these numbers are conservative and should be significantly higher.
- The wealthiest 2 percent own more than half the globe’s assets.
- According to Gallup, 33 percent of the people in the world say that they do not have enough money for food.
- The wealthiest 0.5% control over 35% of the wealth of the world.
- The United States alone owns approximately 25 percent of the total wealth of the world.
- There are 2.2 billion children in the world; 1 billion of them live in poverty.
- Of 1.9 billion children from the so-called “developing world,” there are: 640 million without adequate shelter (1 in 3); 400 million with no access to safe water (1 in 5); 270 million with no access to health services (1 in 7).
- The poorest 40% of the world’s population accounts for 5% of global income. The richest 20% accounts for 3/4 of world income. The three richest people in the world have more wealth than 600 million people living in the world’s poorest countries.
- Women produce half of the world’s food, work two-thirds of the world’s working hours, earn only 10 percent of the world’s income, and own less than 1 percent of the world’s property.
If you listen closely to Hip Hop and the way it acknowledges and names C.R.E.A.M., then none of these statistics or the stories in this module surprise you. The question is: what are you going to do? How are you going to name this world you are part of? Choose any ONE article or video below and comment to it using your homework/syllabus guidelines.
|Choose any one Article below (click on title)|
|Poverty Stats and Facts|
|Global Financial Crisis|
Watch any ONE VIDEO below. Use your homework/syllabus assignment to see what you need to write after you have made your selection.
What is Neoliberalism? What is Globalization? See Below...
What is Food Justice? Look Here...
|You can also choose your own online article or video that illuminates the negative and/or positive possibilties with new media and technologies. Please write about that choice and include the URL. Your choice will be included on this page.|