Why I Gave up on Hip-Hop

Wow, I am really feeling this editorial in today’s Washington Post.  I think she is doing the right thing by monitoring what her dauhgter listens to.  But I think mom needs to listen to the music of today so that she can explain to her daughters why she is not allowing them to listen to it.  And I am sure she knows her child will hear this music at her friend’s house and on the street, but the message mom is making is “not in my house and not for you to listen.”  This type of parenting is missing in a lot of households.  There is a new breed of parent who feels that since their child will be exposed to things outside of the house, its ok to let them listen and watch anything.  There was a time when we rapped about struggle, racial oppression and self pride.  But something went wrong.

Frustration and anger set in and the music changed; lyrics became violent.  Lyrics about Bitches and ho’s replaced pride and encouragement.  Tormented rappers such as Tupac emerged and people were instantly attracted to him because he was complex and you could see his internal struggle.  He represented something that some people could relate to; a hard life.  Even though I sympathized with Tupac’s internal struggles, he was no way an influence in my life.  If anything he served as an example of how not to live.  But so many of my people consider him a Hip-Hop Prophet; keeping it real and raw is what  use to hear about him.  There were dozen of other rappers that I would turn to for inspiration before Tupac.

Now in 2006, the handfull of socially conscience Hip Hop artist we have, don’t get main stream attention, at least not nearly as much attention like Lil John and other artist who make music that glorify things that have nothing to do with or true culture.

I am not saying that all music has to be socially positive, but Hip-Hop is over saturated by materialism.  That’s great if we lived and worked in a club 24/7, but with the man social ills we face as a people today, you would think that the focus of Hip Hop lyrics would shift to what our people not need; encouragement and social and economic empowerment.  But the main focus still remains to be pimping, spending money, looking for big booty bitches and sipping on some expensive wine.   

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