G’s, Us, and Peace: Questioning the Journey of Hip Hop Culture

by Herb T.

As a middle-aged emcee and proponent of Hip Hop culture, I often find myself trying to be objective as a fan, when listening to the views exhibited by the youth (and not-so- youthful) in today’s Hip Hop and R&B. Though censorship may indeed be one of the most malevolent forms of mainstream hegemony, one should be conscientious in how one disseminates one’s materials.  In other words, the lifestyle that one lives by or claims to live by in one’s music, can and will be denounced by critics, viewed favorably fans, and be wholly dismissed by the unaffected alike.

In the 2007 article, Hip Hop is Now:  An Evolving Youth Culture, Mr. Carl and Virgil Taylor state, “Throughout urban America, Hip Hop has become the standard that many young people live by.” On the other hand, one may also wonder if today’s Hip Hop is also the standard that countless youth (and the not-so-young) die by?  Are the purveyors of the culture fully responsible for what is portrayed to the world? Or are we merely pawns of a cynical system, which continues to take advantage of poor, albeit talented, people who face generational issues and perpetuate those issues in an art form that has the capability to awaken and positively inspire?

Taylor and Taylor (2007) state that, “Once upon a time in America, young men and women held to a belief that no matter what their circumstance, there was a way to move up.”  To borrow a slogan from Mr. Obama’s campaign, forward, for those in Hip Hop would be a better direction.  As middle-aged emcees, the challenge for us is not our abilities. The challenge, is engaging and perhaps educating, those whose focus in on the priors, not the prize.

 

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2 Responses to G’s, Us, and Peace: Questioning the Journey of Hip Hop Culture

  1. Hula December 14, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    With the genaral state of sub-cultures in the US is and should hip hop a lions share of the blame for the decay of our values/

    Reply
  2. Rasheed7 January 26, 2013 at 9:58 am

    Hip hop is soo popular mostly BECAUSE it is violent and destructive. If you notice.. Hip hop used to be much more multi-faceted with other sides to explore, but since this America, we love money, power, sex and violence. To that end, hip-hop was stripped of its other angles to focus more on those base aspects of the music.

    Now, thug music is the main form of hip hop and the genre is identified this way. It used to be fallacy that hip hop was violent in nature back when Run DMC had some violence at the opening of a movie or a concert.. but nowadays it is the truth

    We must stop simply blaming the artists (not saying this author is doing that) and have some perspective… This is America… We thrive and live off of violence and destruction..

    the music is currently pimpin itself out as a shock fest.. Rappers openly talk about how they dont care about rap they just wanna make money.. This is what kids (black and white) wanna hear. Crazy thug tales to fill their violent imaginations..

    American society is sick… Look around at some of the current issues and it becomes obvious

    Reply

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