Something To Think About...



"Rap is really funny...But if you don't see that its funny, it will scare the shit out of you."
- Ice T; Rolling Stone, August 1992

This lady I work with bum-rushed my desk today, militantly declaring that I needed to "delete all the rap music from my iPod because Hip Hop is going down!" She apparently watched Oprah's Hip Hop Townhall last week and feels all the "booty shakin'" and "b*tches" and "hoes" is "out of line" and "has gone too far" and "Hip Hop is to blame and should be shut down!"

"Word?"

Look, "bitches", "n*****", and "nappy-headed hoes" being common-place in today's society is not Hip Hop's fault.

FACT. Simple and plain.

Hip Hop itself is too vast to lump into one bucket. The 4 (primary) elements (B-Boying, Grafitti, DJing, and MCing) aside, rap music alone is too diverse to point a blame laced finger at. The problem is that the most controversial/offensive/destructive forms of rap music dominate the airwaves.

And Hip Hop doesn't control the airwaves. Media companies do.

Remember when there used to be a balance? Remember when Ice Cube, and Digable Planets, and Bone Thugs and A Tribe Called Quest would play back-to-back on your FM dial and it wasn't a big deal - it was the norm? Remember how C. Delores Tucker, Tipper Gore and the rest tried to shut down "Gangsta Rap" back the mid-90s (pioneering the same tactics Rev. Al Sharpton plans to use during his crusade), but failed because - Gangsta Rap included - Hip Hop's message was too apparent, too tangible...too relevant?

Now? There's too many "b*tches" and "hoes" - and subsequently (like Chris Rock said) "its too hard to defend."

There are thousands of different artists out there with thousands of different perspectives who aren't bangin' the on radio, or knockin' on Mtv, or BET. And the reason they aren't is because the industry (media companies, record labels, program directors, and the like) consciously selects what will and will not be heard.

Its not that people (overall) prefer b*tches and hoes and gang culture over their own relateable lives (Kanye and Outkast are testiments to that; both multi-platinum artists with largely positive messages). It is because in the end - like my boy Will says - people like what they know (as long as the beats hot). Everyday-people will continue to say what they want to say. You can't stop a regular cat walking down the Ave from objectifying women and degrading himself. Its a losing battle. But media companies can stop offensive behavior from appearing over public airwaves - just like they stopped Don Imus.

If rap on the radio is truly too vulgar, spin more Lupe Fiasco. If thre are too many b*tches and hoes in different area codes, rock some Little Brother. If there's too much ass-shakin' on the TV station, throw a Sean Price video into the rotation.

My point is, Hip Hop is too broad to pigeon-hole. A variety of options are out there - just like they were in the 80s and 90s. The real question is, why are they no longer on radio, and video?

Just something to think about.

Carry on...

5 comments:

Company-Man-Hater said...

WRONG!!! Little Brother and Lupe Fiasco are st8 WACK!!! Thats why they aint bumpin. Kanye is corny, only his beats are hot, thats it! The reason the souths taking over is because thats where the real hood shit is comin from. JEEZY, TI, LIL WAYNE, RICK ROSS, MIKE JONES ARE KEEPIN' IT HOOD. AND DIPSET GETS RESPECT BECAUSE THEY THE ONLY THING HOT OUTTA NY RIGHT NOW. CAM'RON KNOWS THE DEAL! YOU ST8 CORNY, COMPANY MAN!!

Anonymous said...

To the company man hater .That asshole train keeps running ova ya and ova ya. You seem to like shock value.Heres some shock value for ya ass.All the cats you mentioned are millionares such as Jeezy,Jones and dip but not naaaa one of them are willing to go mic to mic with Lupe ,Lil bro. or Kanye. Why because they know they would lose .Fact is it would be career ending.These cats you mentioned are not artists the're bussiness men,and good at living off of reps.
Ya Bwoy camron has has a nervous break down some where along the line Stating "that he bodied" the likes of Jayz ,Nas and 50 cent(WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN ???WHAT DID I MISS???) He's delusional and so are you if you look up to any of these cats you talkin bout in terms of lyrics.Did you happen to see camron on 60 minutes.It was the worst represantaion I have ever seen.This is where your keepin it hood goes wrong,These are the ideaologies of a dude that couldn't give a fuck if you or ya mother lives or dies.
Lets be foreal. He was chosen to take part in this discusion
(1)because of the rival with 50 (which was a publicity stunt on cams part,because 50cent did him dirty on the you tube endeavor .)
(2)Them cats on 60 minutes counld'nt waaait to catch some ignorant ass nigga (yeah I said nigga)in their crosshairs,and cam jump right in just like they wanted him to do.

Mike Jones ain't sayin shit except "miiike jooones"

Rick ross is trash.period

Jeezy is 10 times worst than he is.(Posibly the worst rapper ever)

There is not a member in Dipset really worth listen to.

but they all have one thing in common bringing forth: THE DEATH OF TRUE HIP HOP with thunderous applause.JEEZY,RICK ROSS, MIKE JONES are the true defintion of wack rappers.Let them Battle in the hood and watch them all get broke by some 12 yr old with a 7th grade vocabulary.Partial quote from JAYZ:
They dont deserve half a bar....FUCK DEM NIGGAS


"Lestat De'linceon"

Anonymous said...

Digable Planets???? Whatever happened to them???

"I'm cool like that...I'm cool like that."

LOL @ Company-man-hater said...

Ha! Ha! someone popped too many ambien and now they're actin' delirious! Ha! Ha!

Seriously though, I think the industry puts ignorance on radio and tv just to keep people dumb. Its bigger than music...look at all the bullshit tv shows - Flava of Love...Surreal Life....The Bachelor...the Bachelorette...Are you smarter than a 5th grader...Fox News....

it seems like everything is meant to keep distracted and asking bigger questions.

"Only approved questions get answered" - Brother Ali

The Company Man said...

Thanks for the comments Company-Man-Hater. They weren't constructive and actually proved my point - but much appreciated anyhow. Oh, and you're boy Cam'ron (who apparently "knows the deal") issued an apology for his "hood" comments on 60 minutes. Now thats gangsta - sayin' dumb ish and apologizing for it. You should take note.