Hip hop, as a musical form, will always reign supreme in my world. It is the perfect amalgamation of other musical genres over a steady drum pattern with a mix of flowing poetry. As young as the musical genre is, it has spawn many success artists and even subgenres across the globe. As it stands, it is presently one of the most popular forms of music. In summation, hip hop is [all] music.
Yet, there is a part of hip hop that actually bothers me. You see, there is still that dark side about the music that tends to highlight the ills of humanity. I understand why it is done (hey, we are human after all). Still, it is the voracity of the messages given and the imagery that remains a cause for concern. For all the “freedom” that hip hop allows, some of the rap music tends to be bound by its own desires for the frivolous.
In short, hip hop can sometimes be “the new slavery”.
Hip Hop Slavery: The Materialism
Think about it from a materialistic level. Is it me or has the materialistic tastes of some of our artists “grown” directly with the acquisition of monetary gain? Year after year, a lot of our tastes have become more grandiose. Before Outkast gave “shout outs to foreign cars” for other purposes on the oft forgotten about “*Benz or Beamer”, many valued the Cadillac as car royalty. Nowadays, you will have rappers talk about cars that the vast majority of the US populace will never be able to afford. To be figurative, one of those shackles of slavery would be materialism.
Hip Hop Slavery: The Ignorance
The other shackle, I’m afraid, is ignorance. For too many people, that ignorance is bliss. That ignorance has many of us to believe that the “good life” is all about the “money, power, respect”. Simply put: get all the jewelry, nicest clothes, the money, the women and life will be great. Too bad that many of us don’t know any better.
Yet, one shouldn’t be surprised by these shackles when both have a grand influence on Western society. “Money, clothes, and hoes” has been a staple of America long before The Notorious B.I.G. rhymed about it. In fact, it has been a part of our landscape for the past few hundred years. It does fall right in line with capitalism. So, those desires for the “finer things” in life can’t be too surprising.
And this is what too many of our kids (and even grown people) take up time doing: emulating some of these gratuitous rap videos that exhibit a fantasy lifestyle that rivals anything in a porno or E.L. James novel.
Hip Hop Slavery: How It Works
The “slavery” happens when the materialism intertwines with the ignorance. All of that fantasy, mixed with the big bag of “lacking major label diversity” happening in hip hop, warps reality. The reality is that many of these rappers are not “rich”. The reality is that too much of the radio music uses dope-yet-redundant production to promote plenty of unrealistic and shaky ideals. The reality is that these shaky ideals contribute to the meandering misogynistic madness that pervades. We should all see that materialism and ignorance is a social chemical compound that should never mix.
To put it bluntly, hip hop in major media needs a reality check. Too much of the music is a run-of-the-mill commercial for high priced items and a delusional destination. Instead, there needs to be an inclusion of more different types of music to balance out the musical genre. Too many listeners have become ensnared by the simple minded mentality some of the music promotes. Now, it is time for them to realize that they have the key that gives them access to mental freedom.
‘Nuff Said and ‘Nuff Respect!!!