What Happened to H.E.R. (Hip Hop in its Essence and Real)?

By Thomas Moody II

Hip-Hop is in a state of emergency. There is a rise in rappers without substance in what they rap about. Listening to the radio, once enjoyable, has become a horrific experience. Turning the dial is like playing Russian roulette with a handgun. You will be blown away by how ignorant and ridiculous today’s lyrics are.

Personally, I cannot stand that Soulja Boy passes his dance songs off as hip-hop. Songs on his debut album include “Booty Meat” and “Donk”. Both of which instruct women to, “shake dat booty meat” and to “bend it, get it.” There is no meaning to this mindless gyration. I believe that people should not support such fake hip-hop, the artists who make it, the corporations that sell it, nor the mediums by which it reaches the masses.

The state of hip-hop today is destructive and needs to be corrected immediately. What happened to the days where real lyricist made great, innovative, and respected hip-hop? What happened to telling stories about real life? What happened to the artists who wrote their own music? What happened to H.E.R.?

Hip-hop is a culture that began in the 1970s and continues on to today. Artists in the beginning told rhymes about their lives and were usually about having fun. There is no better example of this than the Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight.” It was purely about partying and stories about themselves.

The messages in some of today’s hip-hop are destructive. There are some who represent drug use in a positive light and suggests that the listeners should also participate in the use of drugs. There is an endless supply of songs degrading and dehumanizing woman as “bitches or hoes.”

I’m tired of it. Like Lupe Fiasco said at a recent concert in Chicago, “Wake the FUCK UP!” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aYR6pFbNWOc

In 1994, Common Sense, released a song that personified hip-hop as a woman. He spoke of how he and this woman who grew up together and went through different phases. There were good and bad times but they ended well. It was titled “I Used to Love H.E.R.”

If Common wrote a sequel to the song it would be a tragic addition: the woman would have been pimped out by large corporations exploiting her body for monetary gain. Others had forced her to turn to drugs and alcohol, as she became an advocate for them. She turned into a fake whore with no substance or reason to live. As my father would say she was in “a state of crisis.”

How can she be saved? It is really simple. If everyone would stop buying this sad excuse for music, the corporations would no longer waste their time or money pushing it onto the world. It only survives because people keep supporting it like a drug habit. Who am I talking about? Soulja Boy, Lil Wayne, 50 Cent, Ace Hood, Hurricane Chris, Gucci Mane, Bow Wow, Lil Boosie, Flo Rida, Camron, Plies. Don’t buy another one of their albums. I listened to these artists and those like them when I was younger and did not understand what the music was saying, but it was catchy and I fell for it. Let all the nonsense stop now. Support real artists like Common, Kanye West, Talib Kwali, Mos Def, The Roots, Nas, Lupe Fiasco, De La Soul, Andre 3000, Lauren Hill, Dead Prez, Rhymefest, Consequence, Gem Stones and Kid Cudi. All of these artists have positive messages and are not exactly Christian hip-hop artists, but they best represent H.E.R. for what she should be.

Why write this? Nas expresses why perfectly in this verse from his song “Hip-Hop is Dead.”

“Everybody sound the same, commercialize the game
Reminiscin’ when it wasn’t all business
If it got where it started
So we all gather here for the dearly departed
Hip hopper since a toddler
One homeboy became a man then a mobster
If the guys let me get my last swig of Vodka
R.I.P., we’ll donate your lungs to a rasta
Went from turntables to mp3s
From “Beat Street” to commercials on Mickey D’s
From gold cables to Jacobs
From plain facials to Botox and face lifts”
-Nas

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7 Responses to “What Happened to H.E.R. (Hip Hop in its Essence and Real)?”

  1. Ashley Says:

    I agree with u 50%. Fake artists should not be supported. Hip Hop is what some aritists call their music but another genre. I cant speak for other people but I know that I listen to most of the music for the beat and not really the words. I know that is not the right, but on the other hand music is very derogatory to women and I do not prove that. but in all everyone one is different.

  2. thekid Says:

    i think we should question society wen we sacrifice content for a good beat. but people like wat they like regardless.

  3. Tony Says:

    All we gotta do to bring the Real back is support each other.. Find some good tunes post em.. Check out these Cats “V.E.R.A Clique” their name means Very Essence of Real Artist.. I think they got a great thing going and they should be heard more.. Much Love to The people that Run “Rock the Bells” Too!! Best show I have ever seen…. Keep Real hip hop Alive… Fuck the Greed.. Fuck the B.S. Go To Good Shows.. Turn off the Radio and find a dope underground Radio…

    Thats my take…
    Thanks…
    Tony The Tonester…

  4. Po3tical Says:

    I am 18 years old, and I have recently discovered the music from the 90′s. Where music was lyrical, poetical. and contained a message within the song. I love all the Lyrical geniuses ranging from Tupac, Nas, Common, Immortal Technique, Black Star (my top five) It seems as if when artists were trying to get known, they poured out there soul into their music going to the 3rd mile in what they did. Now, it seems that whenever they reach stardom and fame and become commercialised they stop doing what they did. And now the people of my generation calls the music of today true hip-hop. I shake my head in shame and raise the volume of my mp3. I believe that the genre of Conscious rap is returning to underground as people forget the truth and the message of the lovely lady of hip-hop. People forget that RAP stands for Rhythm And Poetry. This is my perception of the topic.

  5. Lavern Malnar Says:

    Fantastic to see the love being spread here! Hip-hop for life!

  6. Jake Says:

    I am 17 years old and i am sitting in a advanced creative writing class in a suburb of gary indiana called Crown Point. I am happy to see people truly understand what Hip Hop is and why it was created. I am young but my opinion has allways been that Hip Hop is true artists telling a story.Be it an adventure or just a crazy night with their friends. Christopher Wallace(Notorious B.I.G.), Tupac Shakur and Lupe personify what it means to rap and tell storys. When Biggies mom asked what her son did in an interview she would say that he was a poet, and he told storys that were heard round’ the world. that allways kind of inspired me and made me respect the true artists and not some bogus punk like Gucci Mane

  7. Anjellica Figueroa Says:

    OMG SO CORRECT! I have completely turned my radio from the hiphop station to the old jazz and old hip-hop. O yea, RIP to Heavy D a good soul, and good music lost! He will remind me of when rappers actually danced while they rapped, entertained! It’s sad because our music use to be socially and economically conscious about the world, we saw more of the world because we didn’t have much because we was trying to get there in life. Today, our music needs to go back that way, there’s so much evilness going on with jobs, politics and mishandling of money THAT we need to talk about that because the greater blacks society dont have cars, jewelry, or money. It takes much more than just repping our town, or the rappers per say. I mean it’s sad when it’s stated that a white man (eminem) is the proclaimed best rapper in the business. And frankly i kinda agree, when i listen to his music i hear a story about his life, feelings. I mean who has listened to his music and feel like they KNOW his daughter HALEY, and thats how his music is i feel like i know him and why he does what he does, that its not ALL ABOUT THE MONEY. Beyonce i hope she never goes no where i feel like thats the only r&b singer besides mary j blidge, missy elliott and a few others (not nicki minaj) that doesnt objectify girls, doesn’t distort us for crazy ass humans who wanna smash out windows (jazmine sullivan) or have his baby even when he cheats (melonie fieona). Music, Hip Hop come back

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