The Case For Hip Hop4/03/2011
When people say unfounded blanketed statements like; Hip hop is dead or hip hop isn’t what it used ...
When people say unfounded blanketed statements like; Hip hop is dead or hip hop isn’t what it used to be, it baffles me. Assuming that these people were ever hip hop fans, it makes absolutely no sense.
I’ve also noticed people in my demographic (late 20’s to early 30’s) saying that they’ve outgrown hip hop music and that the music that is being played on the radio and on popular video shows is whack, materialistic, disrespectful to women, etc. But, how can you give up on a whole art form because of a few artists that offend you and how one outgrows a type of music, I will never understand.
In this digital world we live in it is easier than ever to search and find amazing music. With the click of your mouse you can download (free) music right onto your lap top or home PC and now you can even put it in an online digital music locker (word to Amazon Cloud). You can also just listen to the radio and download some top 40 hits from iTunes. The choice is all yours.
I’m sticking by hip hop. I grew up on it. I love it (queue I Used to Love H.E.R.). As I grow and change I just find more and more hip hop music that I like. Whereas when I was younger I trusted television and the radio to introduce me to new artist, now I have discovered the wide world of independent hip hop via the internet and I am amazed at all the great diverse hip hop music that is being made available to the masses right now. The internet truly has opened doors for so many artists to shine (OFWGKTA) and for us to get to enjoy their sounds.
Yes, some rap/music is misogynist, violent and sexually exploitive but it’s always been that way. Luckily, we live in a society where we can choose what we listen to and before someone starts touting the greatness and positive nature of hip hop of yore; stop and check your facts. There has always been hip hop music that was negative, yep even in the 80’s and 90’s which most refer to as the golden age. I guess y’all don’t remember NWA? What about Too Short or Bitches With Problems, who lyrically sang about the annoyance of guys who could not last more than two minutes in the sack?
And of course on the flip side there was Tribe Called Quest, Poor Righteous Teachers, Brand Nubian, etc.
Hip hop, just like any other art form, it has a variety of messages, tones, and interpretations.
We should give hip hop music room to grow, change and make mistakes. We should support an art form that was created and continues to be dominated by young black lyricist whose dreams and sometimes nightmares are being poured out over beats and sampled tracks.
I recognize that everything isn’t for everybody but I challenge you ex hip hop heads to pull out your back packs, rediscover and take witness to what is going on with hip hop today.
Candace Tyler is a writer and social media enthusiast. She writes short stories, trade magazine article, and flash fiction She has lived all over the United States but calls the Washington DC area home. Her works has been featured in the Just Like A Girl, Woman's Work, Urban Code, and other online and print publications. Candace is very imaginative and enjoys reading, yoga and occaisionally updating her blog: www.chocolatemilkdc.com.