Saturday, October 10, 2009

Hip Hop's Problems

I was one of the first generations raised with hip hop since birth. I love the medium of hip hop as a form of self expression, to tell stories and ideas. It is an incredible art form.

Over the years as I've gotten older I began to turn away from hip hop and the hip hop lifestyle. Mind you, everyone who listens to hip hop doesn't behave or act a certain way, but generally hip hop culture produces a certain mentality that I think promotes ignorance, and is self destructive.

Over 50% of inner city high school students are dropping out, this has been happening for quite some time. Rappers brag about dropping out of school to sell drugs, how they hated learning and cut class. How many rappers brag about getting straight A's and pursuing higher education? Exactly.

Rappers are almost obligated to get involved in some legal trouble, as it adds to their street credibility. Getting caught with a gun, beating up a girlfriend or someone else, getting caught with drugs, knocking up random girls and getting them pregnant, all are positive acts that help rappers get respect and provide subject matter in their material. Almost every rapper has knocked up a girl and got her pregnant.

The materialism in hip hop speaks for itself. This worship of money and materialism as if it is the most important thing in the world is ridiculous. There are so many hip hop videos that show rappers with wads of cash and jewelry, with a face that says "look what I got, bitch, aren't you jealous?"

What impression does this leave on the minds of the listeners? Let's face it, hip hop culture is all about instant gratification, jealousy, envy, showing off, and worse of all greed. It's kind of like Wall Street, only drugs and albums are the main sources of income.

The critics say positive hip hop doesn't sell. I understand this, it's the same reason why sex sells in the movies and violence does too. I just wish there was a more intellectual sub genre of hip hop that was positive and also commercially viable. And I wish that we didn't have this incredible ridiculously ignorant standard for which we judge our rappers and what rappers are to have done. I wish "ghetto credibility" was a thing of the past.

Don't get me wrong, I respect the format of hip hop as an art form, but I will not embrace the culture of ignorance.

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