|Rap - Is The Message Missing|
|Written by Robert ID41|
|Sunday, 07 November 2004 04:37|
One of these days my voice will be silent, never to be heard again. One dawn will come without me, so I feel I must speak now that I have a chance.
In days past we had voices to speak to the ''masses''. We had Malcolm, Martin, Huey, NWA, Public Enemy and even Tupac. All spoke on social issues and making people aware of the ''real'' world and it's woes.
That has all given way to today's ''bling bling'' and semi-porn music videos.
Now I am not a prud or some straight dude from the burbs but I do know what is ''real'' and what is not.
When those with the power to speak out had testicals bigger than peas, people knew and were made aware of many of the social problems we have and have had for years. Amerika was introduced to the ''new generation'' of rebels thru rap music. Ice T, took flack. Ice Cube and NWA took flack. Public Enemy and Chuck D took flack. Tupac took flack and the list goes on.
So today the ''headlines'' tell us rap and hip hop music is the biggest thing since the invasion of rock and roll. Rap has grown into a billon dollar industry. Not Really. Commercialized rap and hip hop has sold out and in exchange it is being accepted.
Todays rap is bling bling and 40oz.'s, Cristal and rides with spinners. No social issues, not a ''F**k the Police'' or a 'straight Out Of Compton.'' No mention what drives the murder rate in the inner city up. No mention of aids killing off what is left of a generation of gun shot wounds and crack.
Many in the past used their popularity and influence for enrichment of the black race and the socially under privileged.
Sports 'stars'' like Jim Brown, Mohammad Ali and others used their position to speak out and to try to make a difference. To risk it all for the struggle, the struggle some call life.
Then there are the ''OJ's'', who only relate themselves to the problems of the culture when they themselves have a problem. OJ played the race card - and he didn''t even deserve a deck to play it from. He distanced himself far from the community of color and then ran ''home'' when he was in trouble - much like the little kid who breaks a window. And many rallied behind him.
I see the same with the rap and hip hop artists we have today.
They have sold out all of the inner city - the place a lot of them claim to come from. They rap about bling bling and $100.00 gym shoes and other real important ''issues''.
The strong black woman has been replaced with a hoe and bitch, the strong black man is reduced to a pimp and a hoe dogg, or is it club rat?
We don''t see any social committment, except from a few. And those few are not mentioned for that. Clap Back and ''this guy said this about that guy'' is more important to main stream media.
Keeping it real is supposed to be a big part of the hip hop culture. Whats so real about a $90,000 Hummer with 24's in an inner city neighborhood? Well at least not here, I haven''t seen any. People without enough to eat or even a roof over their head - yea I have seen that. But thru bottles of Cristal, expensive gym shoes and $100,000 rides you are given the impression that life in the hood is all good.
We are ''feeding '' this stupidity to ourselves. This is not George Bush or one of his clowns or some other power-that-be telling us it is not as bad as it is. This is the ''Keepin it real'' hip hop culture telling us it is not what it appears in 3-D.
So you tell me - Has Rap Sold Out? I say they have. There are those that try to be outspoken. And for their trouble they are rewarded with shunning from the major labels. Is that because there is no money in what they have to say?
If Damon Dash or Russell Simmons wants us to vote and they are truly concerned about the society - they have record labels and finances to help socially minded artists, don''t they? They could help alot but putting artists out that have a positive message or artists that promote the real social problems in this country.
So as some of the major rap and hip hop artists venture into XXX ventures and relating it to hip hop, and as the continual disgrace of the women - our future - demoralizing them into hoe's and bitch's and just sex items, and our youth are steered toward Cristal, spinners and the art of being a ''pimp'' - Hip Hop culture will take the blame for the out come.
I would like to see the old days back. Don''t tell me or us that rap is as big as rock''n''roll, unless you add rap has sold itself out and you realize there are very few ''true'' rappers left. There may be a lot of peep's spitting, but they are not saying anything relevant. And before you twist this into a black thing - there are hungry and homeless whites, latinos, mexicans, orientals, too. All are represented in the culture of hip hop.
If a woman; any woman is just a hoe or a bitch and a man is just a pimp - what is the future? And the ones doing the destruction don''t and won''t care; because they will have theirs. They got theirs from us and it is the old saying - ''use ya till they use ya up'', and then they move on - sorta like the pimp they are trying hard to sell ya.
And we will be left to live the ''real'' life in the waste land they are creating. The only difference is for us it will be ''real''. There will still be the hungry, the homeless, and what then? We are all reduced to hoes and pimps. And mainstream society will ask "what is wrong with those people"?
Now some will say I am taking all this to seriously. But the money that is involved makes it serious. If you support the current rap/hip hop scene you are contributing to the problem. You are partly responsible for our youth and all of the hip hop culture to be looked at in a bad light. You are partly responsible for the young man doing 25 wiff a L because he thought ''poppin a cap'' was the right way to handle a problem.
This effects all of us as a society. We are headed down the wrong path and it should be easy to see. It seems the thing now is to intwine porn into rap and hip hop. Life is more serious than what they portray to us. So if you want to call yourself a rapper or a hip hop artist, remember it is supposed to be about keepin it real. If you can''t do that then just consider yourself a wanna be rapper or hip hop artist. Along with that good beat there should be some kind of message - hopefully an uplifting one.
Just because this is all they are offering, doesn''t mean we have to buy it. They are force feeding this garbage to us. If we do not buy it, things would change. Rap and hip hop today is just glorified R''n''B and funk. It will take more than a summit to heal the wounds that are being inflicted on the culture. We can help end this madness by not buying it and by demanding that what artists are presenting will enrich the community instead of destroying it............Written from the world of Night Train and Thunderbird in paper cups, and not even a Cristal bottle near......