If you have started reading this article you are probably a fan of our culture or at least acknowledge it. I know it seems difficult to advocate the heading of this article with artists such as Iggy Azalea, Lil Wayne, 2 ChainZ and Young Thug and India has it’s very own rap superstar who promotes 4 bottles of Vodka but for our sake and for the love of hiphop I will give it my best shot.
I am a music enthusiast and do not border my tastes by genre, in fact I make it a point to check out different gigs covering various genres all around the year. Believe me going to an EDM festival is like going to a rave party there is barely anyone who might not be tripping and most of the people who go to EDM fest are youngsters or predominantly teenagers but EDM music is not discouraged to them. It is a funny world we are living in.
Not all rap music is bad, however a few artist as mentioned above make cheesy, corny and hip sounding music to sell it to the teenage kids and in the process throw the entire genre of HipHop under the bus. It is this fan following who make these wack rappers famous and give our genre a whole different perspective. Applying the same analogy as “all terrorists are Muslims but not all Muslims are terrorists”, please understand not all rappers promote sex. The Radio and T.V will give those wack artists more spin because they help him in getting the money back.
The origins of Hip-Hop music had the objective to become a medium for the black Americans to convey of what is going on in their society. A genre which had such noble roots is now being targeted on only because of a few wack mainstream artists. There are several Hip hop music artist that do not promote violence or send misogynistic messages such as Macklemore who came into the limelight after speaking his mind naked about accepting same sex marriage, Kendrick Lamar who has been given the key to the city of Compton as he is looked upon by the youth as a positive role model. This list is endless, have a look at how Macklemore and Kendrick Lamar are influencing the various masses.
Kendrick Lamar Flows With Students at Bethel High School
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Mary Lambert & Madonna performing at The Grammy’s 2014 ‘ Same Love’
Hip-hop has given the world several role model’s. There are so many rappers who did not have a affluent background but proved that hardwork and determination can help you achieve any goal. Read the struggles of any of your favorite rappers including Eminem, 50 Cent, JAY Z, Kanye West or anyone and you will be humbled by their grind.
Hip hop history begins in the early 1970s in New York City. This means that today’s children have parents and even grandparents that grew up on hip hop. Hip hop evolves like any other art form, and this changing art form connects modern hip hop to older roots, which establishes a sense of community and artistic history. This is a positive effect for today’s youth who can turn to older hip hop to see what issues previous generations have dealt with and then think about what has change, what has not and their own role in social change.
There are tons of examples hip hop lyrics exist that promote political awareness about topics from racial inequality, gender inequality, police abuse, voting, education, family and more. Listen to the lyrics in Lupe Fiaso’s song “Baba Says Cool for Thought,” which discusses the fallout from Hurricane Katrina and is a plea to stop the type of violence that happened at Virginia Tech and Columbine.
Other hip hop artists that are known for positive and political messages are Common, De La Soul, Digable Planets, Dead Prez, Mos Def and Talib Kwali.
To summarize, I would not say that all Hip-hop music is meaningful but majority of it is, this majority consists of mature listeners who still pay attention to every syllable coming out of the artists mouth. However there are still a few artists who make the genre look bad by making floozy, cheesy and annoying tracks for radio and other mainstream service plays and in the process stereotype the genre as mentioned in the critical article.