[Update -- Gangsta Rap, Dying in the Street.]
So, I was unwinding, relaxing after a long day and decided to turn to BET. Yes, BET.
Our channel that was ours -- "For Us, By Us" as they say. Well it goes without saying that things have changed. Clearly I know I sound like my mama, but even at 25, I must say that I feel hip hop, however more popular than ever, has changed --and not for the better. Remember when it was "real", when it was fun, when it wasn't about rim's and ice?
My problem is this. I'm not really sure hip hop has evolved into this negative beast, or whether I've just matured. It's no longer "cool" to listen to songs degrading women or talking about who has more ice. It's no longer "gangsta" to glamorize getting shot 5 times but then turn around and record pop music with JT. [sorry, I really despise "fiddy"]
I understand it's easy to sell out when a majority of people who buy your records are underaged white teenagers craving those explicit lyrics of the "colored" community [jokey joke], but when are we going to get some backbone? It's a little overdue, so lets raise our standards just a bit...shall we?
I don't think we need to keep defending these hip hop artists. Everything is not poetry. Everything is not art. Not that I don't believe a majority of these "artists" are genuine poets and creative geniuses, I think they are clearly just selling out to the masses. I love crunk music, but on an album with 12-15 tracks, shouldn't they have something to say on at least one track?
There are still GREAT artists out there, don't get me wrong (Common, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, The Roots, Killarmy, Dead Prez, etc.), but lets discuss why these artists don't get the record sales of Lil Mama and Soulja Boy? I like to have fun too and bob my head to the beat, but watching the same blackface routines on "our" channel gets a little old.
I found a really good article that basically sums up what I'm trying to say here - "Who Killed Hip Hop on some JFK shit?" ----> ok, won't mention I read the article while bobbing my head to the Soulja Boy beat....the shit is catchy, damn.
Parting quote: "I'm fascinated by rap and by hip-hop. I think there's a lot of poetry in it. There's a lot of anger, a lot of social energy in it. And I think you'd better listen to it pretty carefully, 'cause it's important. " - John F. Kerry