[...] But that disciplined musician's demeanor instantly deteriorated into wild screaming as soon as rap star Twista entered the South Side school's auditorium to serve as Principal for a Day.

 

  [...] "Ever since I first saw the children's choir, they just blew me away," said Twista, who performed with the students in April at a meeting of the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences. "These kids are just really inspirational, because they sing, and I can only rap. I like what they're teaching these kids here. I'm always down to help this school."

 

  [...] Twista's publicist, Tracy Nguyen, dismissed the complaint Thursday.  "Although the music that his stage persona creates . . . for a mature audience may contain adult subject matters . . . Twista's message to our youth as a regular member of the community is universal and he should not . . . face scrutiny for wanting to give back," she said.

 

  1. - "Kids Thrill to Twista As Principal for a Day," Maudlyne Ihejirika, 28 October 2005

 

 

  1. http://www.suntimes.com/output/education/cst-nws-prin28.html

 


  1. NOTE: The Sun-Times did not archive this story - hence, the above link is now broken.  The Sun-Times has also scrubbed the archived Twista articles running several years back -- though a few of those were captured beforehand & referenced further below.

  [...] But it was Twista's appearance that drew the most attention. The 31-year-old West Side native sparked a bit of controversy because of the hard-core, sexually explicit lyrics of some of his songs--lyrics clearly not suitable for children. The mayor's office and reporters received long letters and e-mails from one individual who requested that the rap artist be denied the principal honor.


  Officials at the charter school fiercely defended his appearance, saying the rapper has contributed heavily toward helping the academy work its way out of a financial crisis. The academy fell $300,000 in debt and, over the summer, its executive board voted to relinquish control to a non-profit management group. Chicago school officials are examining whether to approve the management change.


  Twista first met the students during a joint appearance at a Grammy fundraiser in the spring. He said he was impressed with the school's mission to teach through music, and the school's treble choir then performed with Twista on his upbeat song, "Hope."


  Since then, Twista has helped the academy by arranging performances, including one this weekend for the Ronald McDonald Charities, and he is planning to organize a fundraiser for the school next summer.

 

  "We are not promoting his albums or what he says in his lyrics," said D'bora Rivers, the school's concert manager. "But the hip-hop world can do so much good if they want to. We've performed with national artists, and he was the only one who bothered to pick up the phone and call us when we were in trouble."


  Twista, whose given name is Carl Mitchell, told the children that their musical abilities are an awesome gift--and that they should use that gift to its fullest potential. He also promised that his interest in the school is not ephemeral.


  All you got to do is believe in yourself and dig a little harder, and you can pull anything off," he said. "I'm just a Chicago homie letting you know that you can make it. ... Twista is here for y'all. I got your back. Peace."

shit making money is the mission

I'ma glistenin killin off the competition

steady tipping cause of how I be pimpin hoes

now I know just how to treat em cause I need em

I dont really got to beat em so we cool

as long as they bring me my money.

got em walkin survin ass with a passion while I'm talkin better never see you laughin

know I gotta show em aint a damn thing funny

twista got game

 

  1. -- The Day After [Twista's (then) new release]: Holding Down the Game

FORWARD


October 24, 2005


This is an open letter to the Mayor of Chicago, the Honorable Richard M. Daley.


Re: 9th Annual Principal for a Day event at the Chicago Children's Choir Academy Charter School, Thursday, October 27, 2005 -- to be attended jointly by Mayor Daley [?] & "Hip-Hop Superstar" Twista, pictured above from his newly released CD cover.


This letter has been issued 3 times directly to Mayor Daley's Office.  I only became aware of the intention of having Twista play Principal for a Day at the Chicago Children's Choir Academy a little over a week ago, via an October the 13th article in the Chicago Tribune, which has given me only a two week window to work with.


I first e-mailed the Mayor's Office only with my letter of concern on October the 15th & then again on the 19th, -- the second time [the 19th], copying the Chicago Public Schools CEO Arne Duncan [I eventually spoke with the Special Assistant to the CPS CEO, Mr. Ron Raglin] and the Chicago Children's Choir Academy's President & CEO Christina Deaton, and finally, I sent the letter again on the 21st, the 3rd issue, copying an exhaustive list of political, religious, media, and music personae.  All of that, along with a number of up front & follow up telephone calls to all parties mentioned -- at all times clearly indicating, verbally & in writing, that, if necessary, I would escalate this issue to the general public.


There are a few corrections below from the October 15th version of the letter, most notably the fact that when AOL Time Warner sold off their Warner Music Group in 2004, control passed from Mr. Richard Parsons to Mr. Edgar Bronfman Jr. -- also, I've included my belated discovery that Twista had already performed with the Children's Choir last spring, and there is a quote from the Choir's CEO Ms. Deaton, following shortly -- otherwise, in essence, the letter is unchanged.


I did also speak with Ms. Sandra Cardenas of the Mayor's Office [education] on the afternoon of the 20th.  She indicated that the Mayor will participate somewhere for the Principal for a Day event, however, contrary to Ms. Emily Rosenbaum's October 13 Chicago Tribune article -- and I pointed out to Ms. Cardenas that she was contradicting Ms. Rosenbaum -- nonetheless, contrary to the article, Mayor Daley apparently WILL NOT be participating in the event with Twista at the Children's Choir Academy, specifically, but elsewhere.  Where, Ms. Cardenas could not say.

 

The Choir Academy's President & CEO Ms. Deaton, on Thursday afternoon, the 20th, did acknowledge having read the letter & article below as sent on the 19th.  She also acknowledged subsequently having discussions with her people and yet, regardless, remains comfortable with having Twista play Principal for a Day at the Children's Choir Academy on the 27th.

 

Ms. Deaton gave me permission to quote her thus:

 


  1. I [Children's Choir Academy President & CEO Ms. Christina Deaton] feel that Twista has been a positive spokesperson for Public Education and sends a positive message to children about staying in school and rejecting drugs & alcohol.

 


The following are but a few samples of Twista's more recent art.  BE FOREWARNED that what follows are "explicit" lyrics:

 

Just put my body in a room wit' the enemy and I got a grenade

I'ma pull the pin out the sum bitch

Pop 17 sins out the gun clip

Smoking dro [dope; strong marijuana, apparently from hy-DRO-ponic] so fire I was on 10 after 1 bligg

Nigga you have now entered the chainsaw massacre

Takin' more blood than a 2000 dracula

Slip the clip in the automatic and get to bustin'

Horrific hollows [hollow point bullets] while you prayin' to Jesus of Nazarus


  1. -- Twista, Kamikaze [2004]: Kill Us All

Throw it up if you get high, get blowed, get drunk

If you want what I'm on, come on and kick it

Let's ride, smoke dro, beat the trunk

All the bad ass bitches that want to party

Just shake it, great players get pumped

Me and my thugs, and hustlers in the party

Get money fuck hoes, get crunk [crazy drunk]

(Look out!) I put a little bit of hash on some motherfucking purple haze

I feel it all over my body, adrenaline with the Bacardi

Got me up and then rippng shit in a rage


  1. -- Kamikaze [2004]: Higher



 Honorable Mayor Richard M. Daley,



  A cordial hello and a hope that all is well.


  At this point in time, I can only let myself believe that with all of the things that a Mayor must concern himself with in a city such as Chicago, that you, sir, have not yet, nor has your staff -- not to mention school administrators -- had the opportunity to properly look into the person of "Hip-Hop Superstar" and Chicago native Carl Terrell Mitchell, aka "Twista," originally "Tung Twista," the 1992 Guinness World Records fastest rapper ... and considering what Twista's lyrics are, speed is a great asset indeed.


  Quickly, let's sample the so-called art of Twista. 


  BE FOREWARNED that what follows is not only disgusting, but truly only the tip of the iceberg:

Shots hit his face as he grabs his chest

Then we watch him bleed through his fingers

Now come one, come all, but if all come all fall, fuck all y'all


  1. -- Mobstability [1998]: Mob Up

Girl you know you get me so erotic

Especially when I be sippin Hypnotiq

Got me feelin like I'm smokin on chronic [slang for powerful marijuana, even possibly marijuana mixed with cocaine]

When we fuckin it be so exotic

Now I know that everything be on fire wit Mariah


  1. -- The Day After [Twista's new release]: So Lonely, featuring Mariah Carey

Chicago ain't a city it's a nation

It's all this my foundation within the mobster organization

 ... I can feel Killuminati lookin' over my shoulder

 

 ... For the last time I'm sent on the survivin' quest

From hustlin' 24-7 to makin' niggas get undressed

The mobster in me got to be obsessed

With lucci and success, so I can care less

If I gotta be lootin' and woopin'

 

 ... I'm gonna make it through this New World Order if I gotta be rappin' and robbin'


  1. -- Adrenaline Rush [1997]: Mobster's Anthem

Cops, I give 'em props, they cap men, mostly black men

Mouth will pack, then smack 'em like a Mack-10

Bop - another head flown like a frisbee, it is me


  1. -- Runnin' Off At the Mouth [1992]: Ratatattat


CC: [I attempted to send this letter, that is, the letter of the 21st -- essentially identical to this one -- I attempted to send it to the following people in the e-mail's CC: block when issueing it To: the Mayor's Office.  I say attempt because some of the e-mail addresses came back unsent.  Some that came back may have been sent back only after sending the letter a second time, when I was individually addressing people directly in the e-mail's subject/title line.  They were:] Warner Music Group [WMG] Chairman & CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr., WMG U.S. Recorded Music Chairman & CEO Lyor Cohen, Altantic Records Founding Chairman Ahmet Ertegun, Atlantic Records CEO Craig Kallman; Chairman & CEO of Viacom Sumner Redstone; Chicago Public Schools [CPS] CEO Arne Duncan; Special Assistant to the CPS CEO, Mr. Ron Raglin; Children's Choir Academy Charter School President & CEO Christina Deaton; Chicago Police Department; President George W. Bush; U.S. Marine General Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Vice President Richard Cheney; Governor Rod R. Blagojevich; Senator Barack Obama; Senator Richard Durbin; The Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago, Rt. Reverend William D. Persell; The Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Chicago, Rev. George J. Rassas; The Metropolitan Chicago Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America's Bishop, Paul R. Landahl; The Methodist Chicago Temple's Minister of Education, Dr. Cheri Magrini; The First Baptist Church of Chicago's Pastor, Jesse M. Brown; The First Unitarian Church of Chicago's Senior Minister, Rev. Nina D. Grey; The Greater Hindu Temple of Chicago; The Buddhist Temple of Chicago's Head Minister, Rev. Yukei Ashikaga; The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago's Chairperson, Abdul Malik Mujahid; Chicago Tribune Editor Ann Marie Lipinski and Journalist Emily Rosenbaum; Host of WGN Radio's Extension 720, Milt Rosenberg; Chicago Sun-Times Publisher John Cruickshank and Journalists Mary Mitchell, Jim Derogatis, David Jakubiak, & Susanna Homan; Executive Editor of the Chicago Defender Roland S. Martin; WLS Radio Hosts Tom Roeser of Political Shoot-Out, Bruce DuMont of Beyond the Beltway, David Jennings, Nate Clay, and Don Wade & Roma; Editor of the Chicago Reader; Chicago Public Radio WBEZ's Chicago Matters; Northwestern University Radio WNUR's General Manager Mike Corsa; Editor of Crain's Chicago Business; Executive Editor of the New York Times, Ombudsman of the Washington Post; Wall Street Journal Online; Editorial Offices of The American Conservative; Deputy Editor of Slate, David Plotz; National Radio & TV Hosts: Tony Snow, Sean Hannity, Alan Colmes, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, Bill O'Reilly, Chris Matthews; Chicago Local TV: CBS2 News Desk, NBC5 VP of News Frank Whittaker, ABC7 News Planning, WGN9 News; General Manager of the Vocal Division of IMG Artists, Jeffrey D. Vanderveen [for Mezzo-Soprano Denyce Graves]; The Lyric Opera's Education Dept Head Jean Kellogg & Media Relations Director Magda Krance; The Chicago Symphony Orchestra's VP of Education Charles Grode & VP of PR Synneve Carlino; Actor Charlton Heston [although Mr. Heston is reportedly in bad shape from Alzheimer's,


     UPDATE: Mr. Heston passed away April 5, 2008.

                          Requiescat in pace.


nonetheless, he is being copied on this letter as a token of gratitude for his 1992 battle against the filth that Warner Music Group continues to push, namely at the time, Ice-T's Cop Killer.]

 

  These days, Cop Killer Ice-T plays ... a cop ... on prime-time TV's Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

 

  Here from NBC's bio of Ice-T:

I got love for all niggas yelling out "fuck the police"


 ... For you niggas that hate now, better stay out my way now

Before you end up facedown

You motherfuckers don't know a thang about me


  1. -- Legit Ballin, Vol. 1 [1999]: Legit Ballaz

  As if it weren't bad enough that Twista is promoted & promulgated by the likes of Warner Music Group [WMG - Warner Bros, Atlantic Records], Viacom [MTV / VH1 / BET], the New York Times [futher below], and the Chicago Tribune [by Emily Rosenbaum, member of the Committee of Concerned Journalists?], a veritable chorus over at the Chicago Sun-Times, even Regis & Kelly [Viacom - CBS], among Others -- but as things stand, you, as Mayor, Mr. Daley, by teaming up with Twista are going to affect the innocent young at the Children's Choir Academy more profoundly still.



  1. NOTE: Ms. Sandra Cardenas of the Mayor's Office has now indicated only last Thursday, the 20th, on a follow up call that I made to her, and contrary to Ms. Emily Rosenbaum's Chicago Tribune article, that, although the Mayor will participate in Principal for a Day, it will not be with Twista at the Children's Choir Academy.  Again, where, Ms. Cardenas could not say.



  Mayor Daley, as a man who professes a belief in God & the Law of Men, would it be that you would have this vile, perverted freak -- nay, SELF-PROCLAIMED MONSTER -- would it be that you, sir, would have a hand in the unleashing of this SELF-PROCLAIMED BEAST Twista onto the impressionable young of the Choir Academy? ... Dragging them down into the drugged, violent cesspool of which Twista so proudly & perhaps tragically boasts to dwell?


  Below is a fairly exaustive look at Twista and the trainwreck of a tragedy that awaits the unsuspecting young at Children's Choir, not to mention all of the young everywhere who have the kind of poison that Twista spews -- and, most unfortunately, he almost seems more the rule than an exception -- poison that for all intents & purposes is forced on the young 24/7 from all manner of media, and more sadly, in many cases, in their innocence, the young absorb this poison almost gleefully -- surely to the detriment of all, themselves more than anyone.


  However, I have full confidence that should this letter reach you, Mayor Daley, or a responsible member of your staff, that Twista, tortured soul that he seems to be, as a representative of so-called artists, and any of his so-called art, will henceforth be firmly denied access to any school within the city limits of Chicago -- or anywhere else, for that matter -- being that the protection of the innocence of the young demands nothing more & nothing less.


  That said, the situation, of course, would differ if Twista was to suddenly & drastically change his tune.  Not likely to happen, so why at one of the only -- if not the only -- schools in town focusing specifically on teaching REAL MUSIC ... Why in the world have this Twista precisely there?


  You know, I'm only pushing 40, but I can't help but feel dated when I think of the youth of today and the additional hurdles that our society places in front of them in the quest for a healthy life, things that weren't here even 20 years ago.  It's simply frightening, what is out there, wouldn't you agree?



 Sincerely,

 David L. Wideman

 

  1.  civicfuror@yahoo.com

 

 

 P.S.  If nothing else, scroll all the way to the bottom of this e-mail and read the lyrics there from Twista's 2004 CD, Kamikaze.  Just incredible that a company like Warner Music Group [WMG] pushes this stuff! ... Of course, they're hardly alone.  God help us all.


   ... Question: Do you suppose the journalists of the Chicago Tribune & the Chicago Sun-Times, among others, Twista apologists all -- Do you suppose they should own up to their unprofessional & irresponsible promotions of Twista?  I do.

 

  How about the Choir Academy?  Should having already sanctioned the collaboration of their students in a public performance last spring with Twista -- not to mention the proposed upcoming encore -- should this be openly admitted as a mistake and discussed as such with the students?  I think so. 


  And, lastly, on what was [?] a potentially positive note: It just so happens that the star of the Lyric Opera's performance of Carmen, Denyce Graves, was [?] in town for her last performance of the fall season, Friday, October the 21st.


  Of course, during the busy Opera season, it's highly unlikely that this would be possible, but, what a blessing it would be if Ms. Graves was to still be in town on the 27th and could fill in for Twista as the Children's Choir Academy's Principal for a Day partner of Mayor Daley.

 

  Talk about right from wrong!


   ... Ice-T had apparently been gung-ho for his own Special Victim -



  1. HESTON: "And I shamed Time Warner, the largest entertainment conglomerate in the world, into firing Ice T and dropping the album. Now, he threatened to kill me. He hasn't done that yet."

  2.  

  3. [Columnist, Radio & TV Host, TONY] SNOW: "I believe your quote was something like 'Let him try.'"

  4.  

  5. HESTON: "Well, maybe I scared him. And I haven't gotten a job from Warner Brothers since or a good notice in Time, but I'm as proud of that as anything I've ever done."

^^ Cop Killer.


 Cop. >>

... Ice-T formed Rhyme Syndicate Records in 1989 and released a string of groundbreaking West Coast rap records. He subsequently formed the thrash metal band Body Count with close high school friend and guitarist Ernie C. Body Count’s 1991 self-titled debut contained the controversial single “Cop Killer.” Body Count was the most critically acclaimed act on the highly successful 1991 Lollapalooza tour, and continued to tour worldwide.

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"For Day, Rapper Is Kids' Principal Fan," David Mendell & Tracy Dell'Angela, 28 October 2005 -

 

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chicago/chi-0510280285oct28,1,5932674.story

NOTE: Above link also broken.  Trib archive also scrubbed.


  Neither paper ever contacted me.


  Naturally, Twista went on later to write for the Tribune Corporation’s Red Eye -

RedEye


Published August 8 2007


Last week, McDonald's dropped Chicago rapper Twista from its national summer concert series, saying in a statement, "Although we respect free speech and artistic expression, we do not condone or perpetuate derogatory language." The fast-food chain replaced him with Sean Kingston.


Twista‚ known more for his rapid-fire delivery than for raunchy lyrics—responded in his RedEye blog (redeyechicago.com/twista). Here is an excerpt from that posting:


When I rap about the things that I've seen growing up, I'm not telling people to do them, I'm just telling stories about what I've seen around me. That's what all musicians do, they tell stories about the things they've seen.


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