- Reaction score
In Michael Eric Dyson's book entitled Know What I mean?, Jay-Z says the following in the introduction:
"Yes, our rhymes can contain violence and hatred. Yes, our songs can detail the drug business and our choruses can bounce with lustful intent. However, those things did not spring from inferior imaginations or deficient morals; these things came from our lives. They came from America. The folks from the suburbs and the private schools so concerned with putting warning labels on my records missed the point. They never stopped to worry about the realities in this country that spread poverty and racism and gun violence and hatred of women and drug use and unemployment. People can act like rappers spread these things, but that is not true."The last sentence really caught my attention. I wanted to ask for your opinions on something: Do you believe rappers spread violence and negativity? To me, Jay-Z is saying it is the conditions in which the artist is raised that produces their expression of the art form, so this is why there is a promotion of violence and degradation of women in lyrics. Don't blame the rapper; if you do, your just flat out wrong. Yet, many people my age and in my area grew up listening to their lyrics, and I disagree. Since current tv is currently on my mind, anybody can take a look at the result television has on the youth in Bhutan. For example, weed is all over Bhutan, and, while it was always used to feed livestock, young people now use it due to the influence of the media. How do I know? Before television, the residents of the country said marijuana use was unheard of and that violence escalated with its introduction. Rappers spread that influence to young adults in that area of the world. Just look at how the gangs there dress. I know what your thinking, though. Maybe Jay-Z is taking a Tupac and Martin Luther King Jr. stance. Tupac and Martin Luther King Jr. said they were going to publicize the wrongs upon black people. It is the chance for those who have been victimized to shame the victimizer. Maybe rappers are just publicizing wrongs that they have to live with daily. However, I am confused as to why Jay-Z is defending rappers glorying in hustling and grinding (even if it involves armed robbery and drug selling) by saying that they do not spread violence. What the hell is up with that? How about artist like Theory Hazit? He grew up in the ghetto too, but you don't see him glorifying that kind of lifestyle. By the way, I am not from the ghetto, but I have family members who are involved in the gangsta lifestyle, and, yes, I think some rappers do spread death and destruction to them, thankyou.