“Is the Music Our Problem?”
By Ronel XBey
With the popularity of Hip-Hop, its commercial and worldwide success, and its close relationship to the black community I decided to take a look at its current state. Music is so intertwined in our lives sometimes we forget that what we listen to has an effect on our lives. Hip-Hop was originated to give underprivileged youth an opportunity to vent their frustrations on the issues that they felt were being ignored by society and the government. So the MESSAGE was direct, energized by the pain of experiencing what the emcees expressed. This had an immediate impact on the neighborhoods of the black community. The point was to establish strength to take some type of control of their lives as a whole, so they all could benefit.
With times changing and the appearance of a better life, the music now reflects no base or purpose. This has our youth in a daze at a very crucial time. I don’t knock anyone for what they do, however you should always be considerate of the affect you have over someone when they are listening to you.
When Hip-Hop hit the mainstream and corporate America saw how profitable it could be the purpose behind the MESSAGE began to change. In the beginning you had artist with purpose that stood for something, and their music reflected it. Some refer to this as The Golden Era (Public Enemy, Tribe Called Quest, NWA, etc.).
With the opportunity for popularity and big checks came the BLING Era, which in my opinion is where it shifted. The MESSAGE began to be watered down and more of a party lifestyle was implemented, and in turn that affected our community. The imagery changed from US to I, and everybody wanted to stand out as an individual rather than be UNITED or work as a group.
Then, in my opinion the actual downfall of the whole thing is when they began to promote the SOUTH as Hip-Hop and allowed them to change the rhythm and tone of the music, which again had an effect on the listener and our community. This was a detrimental change. Anytime you lower your standards and take away the substance of a thing it’s not the same. This is where my argument HIP HOP VS RAP comes from.
Corporate America is setting the tone, with the music now basically being commercials. It’s obvious to those who know what HIP HOP is, that this isn’t it. And the affects that it’s having on our youth and communities is now at an alarming rate. We as the people have to demand that we get better content from artists and corporations. There is not a fair balance of music being heard or distributed to compete with the Mumble Rap Era. That’s why we at Kapital Magazine make it a point to keep it real and that’s the MESSAGE.
We need a few more JOURNALISTS that love HIP HOP! Writing samples to: email@example.com
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