Hip Hop just got done celebrating it’s 30th birthday. And like a disappointed parent who’s now middle-aged child has produced a disgraceful legacy of drugs, sex and violence; I am left with disappointment as to what it could have been.
In his commentary“Hip Hop Turns 30; Whatcha Celebratin for?” Greg Tate discusses the frustrations that many of us Gen X, Hip Hop listeners share. “How did an art form that we grew up with and loved so much, go so wrong?”
As lover of rap and Hip Hop (yes, some conservatives do listen to rap) I grew up listening to the carefree lyrics of the Sugar Hill Gang, Run D MC and Kurtis Blow. There were even those like KRS 1 and Public Enemy who used rap for social and political commentary. Since coming to know the Lord, I have enjoyed positive and uplifting messages from Christian rap artists like T-Bone, the Gospel Gangstas & Kirk Franklin. As a matter of fact, former Hip Hop Bad Boy turned Preacher, Mase recently returned to mainstream commercial rap music. And he has chosen to serve as a positive light in what otherwise has become a dark abyss of negativity.
The fact is that Hip Hop, like country western, rock and classical is a form of music; a way of communicating a message. Hip Hop in and of itself is not the problem. What we must question is the message that is communicated by those artists who have chosen to appeal to the worst in our society. Furthermore, we must ask why we have allowed commercialization to turn rap into a never-ending borage of filth; polluting the public airwaves, all so that a few record executives and wannabe gangsters can line their pockets.
While my politics may be clearly different from Mr. Tates, I have to admit that his choice of words hit the nail on the head when he states that instead of using his mass popularity to uplift society and intellectual discussion the average rap artist choses “…to take his emancipated motor mouth and stuck it up a stripper’s a** because it turned out there really was gold in them thar hills.”
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