|In the Wake of Don Imus Will Hip Hop Change or Ride It Out|
|Written by Robert ID3611|
|Thursday, 19 April 2007 23:51|
After the Don Imus comments, the Hip Hop community did their best to handle ‘damage control’ and spin things to make it seem there would be some kind of change, but who is kidding who.
The meetings of record executives and entrepreneurs came up with nothing, but some radio stations have taken a stand on what they will play and what they will not play; but what about the ones who are spinning the tracks? Some of them are as bad as Imus, just wrapped differently.
Most in the hip hop community could tell, after the Oprah Winfrey debacle that nothing was going to change. We must face it, there is too much money in hip hop and rap for there to be to much of a change. Those who are making millions are not going to sacrifice their ‘cash cow’, that would be bad for business – and face it hip hop is more of a business now than a culture.
Some artists, and some of the worst offenders against women, have been unusually quiet during the last 2 weeks. Either artists have voiced an opinion or they have sought ‘shelter’ until this all dies down.
Some in the hip hop community seen that this was all ‘hype’ when Russell Simmons tried to defend some of this hip hop and rap artists as ‘poets’.
There are some great performers in hip hop who are indeed poets but the worse offenders against women and those who promote violence, drugs and other things that go against ‘true hip hop’ are far from ‘poets’, most of them should be classified prisoners or want a be prisoners.
Hip hop artists who repeatedly get in to legal trouble and seem to be handled differently than mainstream society should be held accountable also. Don Imus, as wrong as what he did was, did not shoot up a club or ride around with guns and drugs. If that was the case he would still have a job and we all could say his ‘rants’ were just ‘poetry’.
It is morally wrong to be a racist or to make racist or off color jokes but it is not illegal; drugs and guns are and be it racism or illegal activity – all the above is not only bad for hip hop they are also bad for society.
Even though it was dubbed a forum to "discuss issues challenging the hip hop industry in the wake of controversy surrounding hip-hop and the First Amendment," nothing came of it, or appears to have come from it.
Imagine the ‘scrambling’ that went on at that ‘forum’. Sales were already down pre-Don Imus and now all the negative publicity is surely not helpful.
The web is full of forums and message boards filled with ideas and with hip hoppers showing their disgust in the direction of hip hop and the real state of hip hop.
As a culture rap music is a very big part of hip hop. Rappers need to be aware of the power of the tongue and the impact they have on youth. That is what the Simmons, Kevin Liles, L.A. Reid, Sylvia Rhone, Mitch Bainwol, Damon Dash and others should have been addressing; instead of trying to making some of these performers seem like ‘poets’.
We, as the community of hip hop would like answers not excuses and the main stream is watching and waiting to see what we do as a community about all of this.
Our so called ‘leaders’ are not taking a stand. It seems they will ‘ride out the storm’ in silence and wait for it all to pass. I hope that we as a community and those who are truly concerned about the survival of hip hop don’t let this die. Hip hop and rap has needed an ‘over haul’ for sometime and now the time has come – so the true leaders need to stand up and lead in a direction that will let hip hop prosper and not be seen as a dreadful extension of the mainstream society.