Monday, March 18, 2013

Does Hip Hop Injure the Black Community?

Hip Hop Concert in Boston, MA
Hip hop writer Sebastian Elkouby asks "Is Hip Hop Destroying Black America?" in his article published this week.  Commercialized hip hop is castigated by Elkouby as he responds to the common refrain from some quarters that hip hop positively injures African American youth and communities.  Elkouby writes:

"Is Hip Hop Destroying Black America? To answer this question fairly, we must first discard the distorted image of Hip Hop that mainstream media has passed off for the past 20 years. Hip Hop is a movement consisting of 4 main artistic elements: DJ’ing, Rapping, Breaking and Graffiti. But at its core, it is a philosophy based on the idea that self expression is an integral part of the pursuit of peace, love and unity. It was created by young visionaries who tapped into their greatest potential and gave birth to one of the most important cultural phenomenon the world has ever seen."

Elkouby rightly asks why critics so expressly point to artists for perpetuating negative stereotypes, glorification of violence, and disrespect of women, while ignoring the record executives, the "adults" in the room, who fill the nation's airwaves with banal messages and low-brow fare. "It’s easy to blame talentless top 40 rappers for dominating the airwaves of so called hip hop radio stations like L.A.’s Power 106 or New York’s Hot 97 while Rick Cummings, president of programming for Emmis Communications, which owns both stations, isn’t held accountable for his part in broadcasting filth to millions of listeners.  Time and time again, the real decision makers get away with murder while rap artists are projected as the embodiment of everything that is wrong with Hip Hop and young Black males.  Kind of how gangs are perceived as the lone cause of urban violence while those who bring guns and drugs into the community remain anonymous." 

Further, Interscope President Jimmy Iovine gets called out as the real "gangster" in gangsta rap music, for propagating ridiculousness in hip hop, particularly after signing Chicago 16-year old Chief Keef, who does little more than extol the virtue of blunt smoking and snitch killing in his music.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.