Posted by: ethosworld | August 8, 2010

It’s Bigger Than Hip-Hop

It’s Bigger Than Hip-Hop

My love and passion for hip-hop and RnB started when I was about 6/7…Naughty By Nature, NWO, TLC, Aaliyah, Brandi, Tupac to name a few.  I loved them purely because I could relate to the music and the beats, they made me move and as I got older I just knew this genre was for me.  Just like many young black people, hip-hop wasn’t just about the way we felt about the music it was a way of life.  I believe that black people like hip-hop because we didn’t like Rock n Roll so when hip-hop started the whole race grabbed a hold of it.

As the music got bigger, so did the audience and today most young people of all races listen to hip-hop.  The reason I listened to hip-hop was because the elders around me did and I could also relate to the problems in the lyrics and I won’t lie, I loved the drama behind it all.  I mean who had beef with whom, who got shot, arrested, all these elements attracted me and as I got older, my friends around me took to it too.

When Tupac got shot and killed I was shocked like most people.  I was only 11 at the time so I didn’t really understand the loss the industry had suffered but my dad was a huge fan of Tupac’s so I knew his music and the drama around him.  Another famous rapper of the 90s, Notorious BIG, also got shot and killed 6months after Tupac’s death and any fool can relate the two as these two rappers had the most famous beef in hip-hop history.  That was the East Coast/West Coast beef and to this day no one has been held responsible for either murder.

The Music

Hip-Hop got bigger and the trend stuck…everyone has a beef with someone else, taking pride in being shot, glorifying gang culture.  It’s not only society that has changed in the last 10years, hip-hop has changed and this is affecting us today.  When hip-hop started it was about freedom from oppression, helping each other out of the ‘ghetto’ building communities.  That message has changed.  Today in hip-hop it is about money, disrespect for women, guns, drugs and gangs.

We as a society fail to respect music.  Music when listened to has the ability to change our emotions and state of mind.  Love songs for example can make us cry or happy, can make us depressed and even take us out of depression.  So now the question I’m asking myself and I hope you ask yourself is: if music has the ability to change our emotions, what’s hip-hop doing to the mass audience that listens to it?

People complain about the youths, saying how they are out of control, which I agree with.  But the fact of the matter is YOU, the parents, let your kids listen to hip-hop and dress as they see in the music videos.  So why does it surprise you that they are getting out of control?  Like DMX said ‘F$#k the beat, listen to the words in the damn song.’

Listen to the words

Once I started listening to the words, I stopped listening to what I once loved.  These so-called ‘rappers’ lying to me and the music was definitely not what I thought it was and I keep asking myself, why?  The energy this music vibrates is not good for society but yet it’s the number 1 music most young people will listen to.  The characteristic of what I believe is hip-hop today are five things:

Money

Money is the root of all evil and yet most rappers talk about how much they got.  Telling us about their bling blings and yet people are dying in Africa over diamonds.  These guys shove it in our faces, some even go as far as having bling bling in their mouths.  What a joke!  Selling the ideas that money will make you happy when the fact is you can have all the money in the world, but if you are not happy inside that money is of no use.

De-grading of women

This is the most upsetting aspect for me.  As a young female myself I often wonder why the industry has let this happen.  Calling females Ho’s, Bitches, and any other name they can think of to disrespect the female is used and there is hardly any respect left.  Women were once considered highly but since hip-hop that respect is slowly being eroded and when there is no respect left for females there is no hope for the future.  I now understand why Kim Mathers tried to kill herself.  After Eminem made a record where he killed her explicitly and we let Eminem carry on…what kind of a message is that?

Guns

We all know that in America it’s their constitutional right to own a firearm.  Hip-hop glorifies guns, most of them talk about shoot ups, gunning men down, and even shooting the police.  When the rapper 50cent emerged it was all about ’50cent got shot 9 times’ – he even had a song titled my buddy and the video shows him with his pistol shooting people.  With the rising problem of knife and gun crimes in the UK, it is only fair to say that hip-hop music may have something to do with that.  We hear more gun fx on rap songs, skits about shoot ups etc. and it’s now time to say this is a problem.

Drugs

The use of cannabis amongst young people is at an all time high but also more importantly many young people are turning to drugs-dealing as a job.  Rappers constantly talk about moving X amount of illegal drugs across borders and how in the ‘hood’ they handle their ‘business’ and so on.  Why doesn’t anybody, and I mean governments, do something about this?  These guys are idols in most people’s eyes and yet they claim in their songs they push illegal drugs.  I don’t know whether it’s the industry or the system that’s a joke here.

Gangs

In the last few years the gang culture in the UK has become a hot topic.  Postcode gangs! This is the most ridiculous thing I believe to have hit our young people.  Killing each other over a lifestyle that even the rappers don’t live and they needn’t be in anyway.  Gangs are created for all kinds of different social reasons and some may say the reasons they are started are justifiable.  As in when the Hispanics moved to LA they created gangs so that they could stick together and help each other out.  But that idea slowly changed to whose clique was stronger, who controlled more areas and as we know today, gang culture all over the world is ruthless.

Dont get me wrong, I’m not blaming hip-hop, PR, or the rappers for the decline in society.  There are many other factors such as violent video games and there are a lot more single mothers working hard to pay bills.  But we need to look at the music and the effects on a young person’s state of mind.

Last time that music had a profound change on society was with Rock n Roll.  We all know that this music gave us Sex & Drugs and before Rock n Roll males didn’t have long hair.  All that changed when The Beatles entered the scene and the term ‘teenagers’ also came along with The Beatles.  Hip-hop has given us individuals who glorify Crime & Materialism.

Most young people aspire to be famous rappers and no one wants a real job anymore when the reality is the same people, whose lifestyles they want, their idols, don’t live like that.  In fact 99%of them never go back to the ‘hood’ but yet in their raps you’ll think that’s a daily life for them.  Its only YOU who lives this lifestyle – these guys have mansions on the hill and they fly by private jet to luxury locations.

What they need to do is: Stop lying and YOU need to stop listening to the beat and listen to the words.  I also find it ridiculous that most rappers use the excuse that it’s ‘entertainment and ‘times are changing.’

I say to their excuses: Yes it’s entertainment but you should be responsible for what you are saying and times don’t change because time is a just a physical reality, a clock on the wall.  Times are made to change.

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