I read an interesting article by Manny Faces of the NY Hip Hop Report and Birthplace Magazine about a report by CNN anchor Don Lemon.
The problem with the main stream media is that they are not competent enough to discuss a topic as intricate as race on TV. Forget mainstream media the answers will never be there. That’s meant for sensationalism, not solving problems. What Lemon said was sort of correct but very simplistic. Skolnik made some relevant points as well, but like you said Manny, he benefits off of the negative part of the culture that true Hiphoppas hate. The overall problem here is that rap music is confused with Hip Hop Kulture. The culture of Hip Hop is more than just rappers, it’s graf artists, B-boys/girls, music producers, beatboxers, fashion designers, entrepreneurs and those who seek to explore more than just entertainment. The negativity we see in rap music is the increasing glorification of MAINSTREAM ideals, like materialism, greed, selfishness, and “the rebel without a cause” mentality that made Rock n Roll popular. That’s the American way. Those are American mainstream ideals. Hip Hop was founded on Peace, Love, Unity and safely having fun before it became materialistic. Hip Hop was founded with the 5% ideology of each one teach one embedded in its core. Gettin rich or die tryin is an American mainstream ideal which rappers embraced at all cost since the new millennium began.
There is something to say about being more responsible for the images our culture portrays but as you can see we have no control over that. The sources which feed off of negativity get too much publicity. We have not been able to stop that. The thing Don Lemon and Larry Elder have to understand is that the topic they are discussing is not simplistic. It’s not about sagging pants. Glorifying gangsterism and negativity is the American way., not something Hip Hop came up with.
Sound-bite journalism will never solve the problems of society. They just use them as talking points to inflame opposing sides of the argument. Hip Hop Kulture is not “Black” culture first off, so equating the two is the first fallacy. Justin Bieber sags, is he “Black” or Hip Hop? Fashion is not the problem. Does mainstream rap glorify negativity, yes. True school Hiphoppas like most ppl reading this hate that crap. Can we control what ppl promote? No. Can we control what ppl watch? Of course not. Do most Hiphoppas hate the fact that WorldStar calls itself Hip Hop? Hell yes! Can we do anything about that? Probably not. So the only real answer to the questions Don Lemon posed is to say we agree that negativity exists in rap music but that is not the same as Hip Hop Kulture. That part of rap is mainstream culture.
Also that crime stat is way off. So-called Blacks and Latinos are overly prosecuted for crime. The same offenses so-called Blacks commit are the same ones so-called Whites commit without punishment. Theft is much more prevalent in the “White” community. Think about Bernie Madoff, Enron and the housing loan scandal or the theft of the North American continent. Are “Whites” more violent? Think about the Civil War where 640,000 “white” ppl killed each other in 4 years, or the random mass murders which occur every year. There is an overemphasis on petty crime and not true crime, which is done with a business suit on, not saggy pants.
Lastly, the violence in the inner city is over reported anyway. There are around 15,000 homicides per year, for all races combined out of 300 million ppl. That percentage is less than .001%. Even if it was all “Black” ppl which number around 42 million, the number would still be small. Compare 15,000 homicides with 32,000 suicides another 33,000 drug overdoses and 22,000 ppl per year who die falling in just the “White” community each year. What is more sensational? The homicides? Over 80,000 self-inflicted deaths in the “white” community versus 15,000 homicides in the total population. The stats are a red herring to keep us going at each other over bullshit while the elite rob, pillage and plunder our country and the rest of the World.