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”