HIP Hop as a musical genre has gone through much change not only In the content of the music, but the message conveyed and how many would say It has In some ways defined black culture in the last 20 years. A significant amount of hip hop music nowadays is geared towards painting this unrealistic image of hyper- materialism, sexism, and violence that ultimately assists in dragging black culture down, and the people as a whole. You look at hip hop artists like 50 Cent and Ill
Wayne who Is reinforcing this thuggish persona, making music revolved around money and drugs and It paints a bleak picture for young blacks. These young impressionable youth view this way of life as the “norm”, and the ghetto pathology seen as an authentic part of black culture, even though it does nothing more than demean a multitude of black people. To start at the roots of hip hop however you can clearly see that the message of the music was not to promote violence, but to help curb crime and show that it’s not glamorous.
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During the sass’s you had artists Like Grand Master Flash, and Public Enemy who preached black empowerment, and left Imparting lessons that didn’t hinder but allow black culture to grow, as well as morale. This leads people to pondering nowadays, what happened to this once positive, intelligent music that defined a race and culture? You have 12 year old children listening to vulgar raps about sex, and prostitution, and for black kids in poor ghetto neighborhoods this fantasy driven music clamoring crime, is seen as the sole “voice” for these children ultimately view that lifestyle as the true way they should be acting.
It Is as If hip hop music Is still attempting to sell this Image of the crime life, even when most of the artists have all the money in the world. Hip hop basically reversed the accomplishments of the black community, disguising itself as pertaining a strong message but just masked in ignorance and fraudulence. In order to fully understand how negatively hip hops embrace on the black culture has gotten you can look at great black entertainers before hip hop emerged and see the change In Integrity.
Black entertainers Like Louis Armstrong, and Nat King Cole emerged during the Jim Crow era, a time of strong racial segregation, and skyrocketing poverty rates in black neighborhoods. It was these musicians who were always on the forefront of the fight for desegregation, and they were able to be heroes in a fight for equality, that was apparent through their music. Now in a stark contrast to those influential musicians you have the hip hop artists of today who are exploiting the crime and violent lifestyles common In there old communities. So there ho are not Just rappers but directly related to this reinforcement of black stereotypes.
These rappers are not doing anything to give back to the community, in terms of teaching good morals and lessons to stay out of crime and go to school, but basking in the music filled with ignorant pimp stereotypes, and glorifying selling drugs. It would seem as if hip hop has taken black culture back 100 years in the impact that it is making on the black youth. The musical aesthetics of hip hop music do not seem to outweigh the outright vulgarity, and profanity laden lyrics that comprises cost hip hop songs. To look at a song in particular take Los Angles rapper Ice T song Cop Killer, where here raps got my black shirt on.
I got my black gloves on. I got my ski mask on. This chit’s been too long. I got my 12-gauge sawed-off. I got my headlights turned off. I’m ’bout to bust some shots off. I’m ’bout to dust some cops off.. What does this say about black people as a whole, that they enjoy talking about killing police officers, I would safely say no, but as a voice for black people and artist whose influence reigns supreme over black in other positions it would seem that way. The language used by Ice T in this song in particular, and many other rap songs, with vulgarity and threatening content towards police, rival gangs, or Just other people.
With this massive popularization of hip hop music on a world spectrum, with music videos of these rappers flashing diamond Jewelry, fancy cars, and scantily dress women, they are exploded into a super stardom. Even though there message through belligerent, profane lyrics sells best. Now it is not fair to say that all hip hop music portrays this same message that grades black culture, as there is positive hip hop. This positive hip hop went back to doing what musicians like Louis Armstrong, and Nat King Cole were trying to convey through their music and that was black empowerment.
Now you can ask yourself what went wrong, how did hip hop music become the embodiment of ignorance in black culture? The answer is very simple, when musicians in the ass’s and ass’s were putting songs out they were in a position of low status, and used positive cultured music to rise there stature up. Nowadays rap is doing the exact opposite, it is sectioning off what is a very small portion of the black population living in poverty, about one fourth percent of the total population.
Hip hop music has stooped the black people to this savage race of thugs and pimps and drug dealers solely because that is all people hear and most importantly see in the media. Now me being a hip hop fan makes this argument a much more fickle discussion, as I don’t listen to a lot of the profane rap glorifying gang lifestyle and violence. You have many hip hop enthusiasts, producers, and intellectuals who see hip hop lenience, and the misogyny towards women, as a revolutionary cry from a youth that went through hardships in the ghetto.
That partly make sense, as many hip hop artists feel that that the music is important to educate those on the tough life outreach to the youth in a way they can understand clearly. My thoughts however are strong on the foundation that hip hop being the authentic cry of blacks is an utter joke. Even as early as 40 years ago blacks were going through oppression much worse than today, and artists flaunting the mindset of an angry, violent, rebellious lack man.
Hip hop in my mind serves as the number one hindrance in the progress of African Americans socially, and politically. The many hardworking African Americans, who work as doctors and lawyers, are being held responsible for the overall image that people have of their people through music that they do not even necessarily find pleasant. In conclusion, looking at the state of hip hop you can see that it is as popular as ever, a lot of the time people want to hear what’s catchy, and not what has the most significance in positive reinforcement within the lyrics of music.
Hip hop music will continue to push this message of outright negligence of authority, and it is unfortunate to think that the idea of true “blackness” is defined by that genre of music. The only way that hip hop can move to a positive direction, is when black people take a stand and speak against the music and profane lyrics saying it is not what a majority of them promote. And until this is done, hip hop will continue to embarrass black people, and shoot there culture even more down the road until it’s completely too late.