Growing up as a kid in the 80's I was exposed to an art form of music called rap. I don't really remember the first rap song I heard but I do remember when it really clicked with me.
I was flipping through channels when I ran across BET and they were playing KRS-One's My Philosophy and then DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince's Parent's Just Don't Understand. two extremely different songs but they still hit home with and 8 year old me.
Maybe being introduced to the music by two songs that are so different (social-political to pop) that when I got older and gangsta rap became extremely popular in the media, I was always trying to defend rap by pointing out that it is so much more then just gangsta rap.
But then after watching a number of documentaries about old singers, I realized something...old people always hate the music of the youth.
so after that I basically learned how to ignore most of the complaints about rap music.
But then I got older and noticed a number of the complaints people had/have about rap are true about many of the songs that get heavy air play. A lot of rap songs that get heavy rotation on radio and on TV is full of sexism/misogyny, violence and materialism and they do have some effects on the youth.
But the thing is that these issues are problems we have across the board in society. So in fact the problems that people have with hip-hop are really the problems that they have with America.
or at least the problems that they should have with America.
is there really much difference between kids wanting to be gangsters in the past because they saw it on the movies and kids wanting to be gangstas today because they hear it on the radio?
is it really any more sexist to have a video full of Black women with big booties in bikinis compared to having of video of White women with large breast in bikinis?
what does more to increase gun violence? Westerns, rap or Rambo? Or is it that we have live in a society that glorifies guns, that's the problem?
I thank the reason that people dog pile on rap and hip-hop is because as I noted early the older generation always hates on the youngster's taste in music. But also because this music is mostly brought to you by...Black people and if you look at the past every time a new form of music that comes from the African-American community becomes popular it's dismissed and looked down on.
even though the music reflects problems that we have in society, those two facts makes theme stuck out more for some people.
In no way do I want to excuse hip-hop on these problems but I just think that before (or while) people want to deal with the problems of hip-hop we have to fix the the problems we have across the board. Because if we don't it won't matter if we fix rap because it will only get infected again because rap in part of American society and what ails it also ails hip-hop.