There are a number of myths and outright lies that have been perpetuated in Hip Hop Kulture that poison the minds of novices and old-timers alike. Some of these lies have mistakenly become part of the false identity ascribed to Hiphoppas.
Lie #2 Ignorance is Cool
Rap music, video and film has had a unique way of making ignorant shit look cool. Rap icons like Tupac somehow made grabbing your dick, saying “Fuck all yall!” and then spitting at a cameraman, look fly. It’s easy to sing along to a song proclaiming “Fuck the World, don’t ask me for shit!” when your favorite rapper is saying it. Yet, is that the kind of sentiment we want young Hiphoppas to embrace? Even though we pride ourselves on being ‘street-smart’ and having a hard edge lifestyle, what impact does this uncivilized mentality bring to our communities? In some circumstances anything would seem justified at the time…”Fuck the Police”, “I want to party and bullshit and party and bullshit and…”, or “Here is something you can’t understand, how I could just kill a man.” At one point any of these statements could feel true in one’s heart, at the time. But just like words in anger, do we really mean everything we say?
Hip Hop has a special way of making a middle finger and a twisted up smirk look hot. But it’s really not hot. Negativity has a sweet taste going down and a bitter taste coming back up. ‘Fuck the World’, doesn’t ever really make sense when there’s no other place to go. That is just something people say in the heat of the moment, but don’t really mean. There is a lot of that in rap music. People say a lot of dumb shit that sounds cool at the time or over a hot beat. The thing that gets lost in the constant, radio-programmed repetition of that moment in time, is that people listening to it, start to believe it. They start to embrace what is being said like a mantra in their head, never realizing they are actually being brainwashed. The artist who conceived the message is not even in control of how the brainwashing takes place, though. The brainwashing happens because of the principles of repetition. Studies show that anything will begin to sound truthful once it is heard more than three times.
Ignorance is not cool. It’s uncivilized behavior. People who have any knowledge of self, try to civilize the uncivilized, speak wise words and act righteously. That’s the truth, even though it might not sound as cool as;
Now she want a photo, you already know, though
You only live once: that’s the motto, nigga, YOLO
And we bout it every day, every day, every day
Like we sittin on the bench, nigga, we don’t really play
Every day, every day, fuck what anybody say
Can’t see ’em cause the money in the way, real nigga, what’s up? – Drake
Some people accept this small bit of ignorance as if its the honest truth. On some level, some people will hold on to the idea that it’s some sort of mantra to live by. If so, they have been fooled by one of the lies Hip Hop told them, because ignorance is not cool. And the truth is that most of these rappers know it. They just say what gets them the most attention.
On the Shades of Hip Hop Roundtable Cypher video, Mos Def said something that stuck with me. He said something like, “People don’t really believe the shit they be telling you. They just believe in the right for them to say it and have you believe it.”