Alex Constantine - September 9, 2008
" ... Sample verse: “Michelle [Malkin] girl, I don’t want to confuse you/I know you’re off O’Reilly’s show, that don’t excuse you/from being a conservative, neo-Nazi hack of a journalist that’s wrong all the time and don’t deserve to live. ... ”
By Chris Faraone
August 27, 2008
There’s nothing surreptitious about the message of Boston rap trio East Coast Avengers’ new single. In “Kill Bill O’Reilly,” the lyrics call for the Fox News star to “be hanged like Benito Mussolini and otherwise killed.”
The song is causing outrage - and not just among admirers of right-wing personality O’Reilly. The lyrics are so extreme that even O’Reilly’s fiercest media enemy, TV pundit Keith Olbermann, has condemned the East Coast Avengers.
“Gentlemen, I’m the last person to disagree with you on the chicken hawk, lying coward, sexist, racist, needs a face-lift, whore stuff, but you really need to re-cut this track,” Olbermann said addressing the Avengers last week on his MSNBC show “Countdown.” “Nobody’s life should be threatened, not even in the hyperbole of the moment. Beside, you are rappers. You have better ethics than Bill O’Reilly does. Live up to them. Don’t live down to him. Word to your mother.”
Olbermann was relatively friendly compared to conservative columnist Michelle Malkin, who is also threatened in the song. She came out swinging on her blog.
“Do they have anything better to do?” she wrote. “Rides to pimp? Hos to diss? Bling to steal?”
The East Coast Avengers - Esoteric, DC the Midi Alien and trademarc - are taking the criticism in stride.
“My e-mail and MySpace [website] have been getting frequent death threats,” Esoteric said in his first interview since the controversy erupted, “and they all get about a D-minus in grammar and spelling.
“A lot of the conservatives reacting have us pegged as black, and they’re talking about how we shouldn’t get reparations,” he said, noting that the three Avengers are all white. “I find it frightening that a song like this can bring out that stereotypical reaction to hip-hop.”
Rather than back down, the Avengers are, well, avenging. Soon after Malkin insulted them, the group cut a response dart titled “Dear Michelle.”
Sample verse: “Michelle girl, I don’t want to confuse you/I know you’re off O’Reilly’s show, that don’t excuse you/from being a conservative, neo-Nazi hack of a journalist that’s wrong all the time and don’t deserve to live.”
So far, O’Reilly has yet to acknowledge the song, but the Avengers believe Fox News was responsible for getting the X-rated “Kill Bill O’Reilly” removed from the group’s MySpace page. MySpace and Fox are both owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. [NWS]
The newly formed Avengers, who adapted their name from a Marvel comic, rap about a variety of topics, often focusing on politically charged issues. The group’s upcoming October release, “Prison Planet,” targets everyone from Dick Cheney to WTKK-FM personality Jay Severin.
Esoteric, who over the past decade has sold tens of thousands of CDs and toured the world extensively, says that “Kill Bill O’Reilly” has attracted more attention than any of his prevous rhymes. In today’s world, that may be all the justification needed for recording such a deliberate provocation.
“If we made a song called ‘Shut Up Bill O’Reilly’ nobody would be talking about this,” Esoteric said. “Naturally we have no plot to infiltrate his house and kill him. But the lies and filth he feathers his nest with need to die a horrible death.”