Hip-hop discussion

Ahanu

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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.
 
Yeah, look at where they live now. Look at the mansions and the cars and the bling... So why do they still rap violence, guns, and sex?
 
Hi,
No need to stop at hip- hop with the finger pointing. There's lots of public media that steers young people down the wrong road. What maybe started out as expression, is now nothing more than money. I would have to think that it's been this way forever. Nothing new fleecing the sheep. What about all the hot babes drinking the beer. It's all about SALES, if some fall for the fantasy and make it their reality, it just more money for the sellers. If it causes mayhem in the neighborhood it not the sellers problem.
So you want to turn the insanity around, the freedom of expression of some might have to be curtailed. Let's say it's for the good of the whole.
Joe
 
Its like instead of the hollywood dream perpetuating and percolating through the culture its the jamaican gangsta histori-mythology as a means of identification and affirmation for the originally deprived which has conjoined with the american super hero or rather anti hero and western ideals of money sex and power [or musically, sex drugs and rock and roll]. Is it responsible for the spread or a reflection of the response-ability of the lovers of this s### hot music?
 
Quite a few of the "wrongs agaisnt blacks" in these songs and in this culture is done by "blacks". You have lyrics like kill this ***** shoot this ***** jump this *****, i got a gat and im'a cap this £$^$%$£"%"£ And if it isn't about killing or thinking to kill (part of the gang warfare) It is to taunt/insult/'diss' rivals or people of another group or whatever. Which provokes hatred..... These are wrongs on blacks, and are caused by them.....

OH but we did this to them!! I don't really believe so.... Are you personally out there forcing/promoting gang war and so on? Doubt it. Sure history has been harsh to them :/ who hasn't it been to? Test of your mettle is how you pick up the peices?

I guess what I mean is race isn't an issue you should concentrate on... Oh I'm a victim! oh blame the aggressor for everything. It's seeing yourself as equal and being a better you. Accept responsibility for your own actions/behaviour.
 
Yeah, look at where they live now. Look at the mansions and the cars and the bling... So why do they still rap violence, guns, and sex?

Because that's what sells.
 
i think jay-z is being a leetle bit mealy-mouthed. ok, fair enough, you should write about what you know, particularly if people need to know what it's really like. but as for the "glorification" part, i think there are two points there. one is that people are undeniably influenced by music, but artists can only bear limited responsibility if any for holding the mirror up to life. on the other hand, i think jay-z ought to have more to say about it. you can be an excoriating social commentator, or a role model, but it is very difficult to do both. ice-t has done things the other way round and stuck with the social commentary (whilst not turning down the chance to make a big pile of cash) but the thing i like about him is he doesn't duck the responsibility. he says "this is really, really bad - this is how it is, this is how people think and act; you can either change or die; either live fast and die young, or get out and live." he's not telling people how to live, but he is talking about taking the consequences. i do find it a little bit rich that someone with his own line of designer clothes, who gets to go home and get it on with beyoncé, is making excuses.

b'shalom

bananabrain
 
Yeah, look at where they live now. Look at the mansions and the cars and the bling... So why do they still rap violence, guns, and sex?

Nothing wrong with speaking about these things. It is how you speak about it. Nothing wrong with putting the image of violence, guns, and sex out there to let people know what is going on. I just hate the way it is glorified. Once it is promoted in that way, I'm simply like, "booo!"

The rap state of mind is molded by the ghetto environment. Rappers leave, but they still take it with them mentally. It is the sales and the rap state of mind.
 
there is also they argument that the prevalence of gansta rap is the fault of white people who control the record industry and promote a negative image of African Americans because it sells, whether its true or not I have no idea really.
 
"I'm a self-made monster of the city streets." Ice T

17th angel, check this one out:

I am societies child, this is how they made me, and now im sayin what's on my mind and they dont want that. This is what you made me America.

Tupac Shakur

Some people argue hip-hop is a reflection of America.
 
its the jamaican gangsta histori-mythology as a means of identification and affirmation for the originally deprived which has conjoined with the american super hero or rather anti hero and western ideals of money sex and power

Why do you say jamaican?
 
I just don't get it when people say "you made me this".... You, made, me, do that..... I just, don't get it lol... It was his own choices that made him whatever he was.

Jamaican?

Troddin through san juan in the arms of america; Troddin through jamaica, a buffalo soldier Fighting on arrival, fighting for survival.

Perhaps he mentions Jamaica, as that is a real gang land place.... I have quite a few Jamaican contacts, and also in the army I had a few friends from Jamaica... And places say like kingston... Real big on 'tribe like' behaviour. Warriors clash, often. One friend Franco.... He was 18 when I met him... From the corner of his left side of his mouth right up passed his ear was this giant scar..... I was only 18 at the time to, only just got from basic to Infantry training, He was a great guy, used to cut my hair, I once just was so curious I asked how he got his scar, and he told me he was smacked in the left side of the head with a machete...

And he said it so calmly and it was so freaking strange, he shrugged like "**** happens" I asked him what he did (in meaning what done to deserve it) and he answered as in what he did in reaction and he smiled shruged again and said I killed him. And from that day on lol, I was cautious around Franklin lol! But from other Friends I have that have come from Kingston (mainly) and other areas in Jamaica They paint this image of a normality for violence and rival hatred.
 
one is that people are undeniably influenced by music
This seems to be true in many areas of life. In all the different popular culture music as well as religious, political and military drum beats. Not too much difference in how they are used, it "rallies the troops" sorta. So for the troops that want or are ignorant to being rallied, can we put them in a positive way. :eek:
but artists can only bear limited responsibility if any for holding the mirror up to life.
b'shalom
bananabrain
Art influences life or life influences art? I think that this is the cop out that artists use to ever expand their profit agenda, "it's just a mirror of life". There seems to be a point where the created thing needs to travel further from the hub to attract new onlookers and to build sales. The old becomes common place and unexciting so to keep the stream of profits, the new created thing gets further from the truth.
Keeping this on topic ( well close maybe) the problem is what happens when we are influenced by the beats that appeal to us (guilty here as well) . The op here is concerned that a certain type of music leads young folks down the wrong road in life. The thing that's been on my mind lately is what road would we like our young folks to travel on. Certainly not prisons, graves or drug addiction.
So where is the positive side to Hip-Hop? Empowerment, education, identification, direction, self esteem, fashion trend?
 
on the other hand, i think jay-z ought to have more to say about it . . . i do find it a little bit rich that someone with his own line of designer clothes, who gets to go home and get it on with beyoncé, is making excuses.

b'shalom

bananabrain

In Jay-Z's song Moment of Clarity on the black album, he said:
The music business hate me
Cause the industry ain't make me
Hustlers and boosters embrace me
And the music i be makin
I dumb down for my audience
And double my dollars
They criticize me for it
Yet they all yell "Holla"
If skills sold
Truth be told
I'd probably be
Lyricly
Talib Kweli
Truthfully
I wanna rhyme like Common Sense
(But i did five Mil)
I ain't been rhymin like Common since
When your sense got that much in common
And you been hustlin since
Your inception
F*** perception
Go with what makes sense
Since
I know what i'm up against
We as rappers must decide what's most impor-tant
And i can't help the poor if i'm one of them
So i got rich and gave back
To me that's the win,
Jay-Z argues that he makes commercial hip-hop music to bring in more money because he can then use it to "help the poor." He has programs like "Team Roc" to provide educational opportunities and services, and the annual Christmas toy drive is another example of him giving back. Rappers like "Common" or "Talib Kweli" would never make as much to help out the community; they don't do commercial rap, as Jay-Z clearly says here. Kweli and Common would represent the "intellectual MC." So this is how Jay-Z justifies commercial hip-hop.
 
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