Posted by Robert
Rap News Network
3/20/2004 11:53:59 AM
Tags and topics realted to this article include Ice-T, Ice Cube, 2Pac, Chuck D, Public Enemy, Damon Dash and Russell Simmons.
One of these days my voice will be silent, never to be heard again. One dawn will come without me, so I feel I must speak now that I have a chance.
In days past we had voices to speak to the 'masses'. We had Malcolm, Martin, Huey, NWA, Public Enemy and even Tupac. All spoke on social issues and making people aware of the 'real' world and it's woes.
That has all given way to today's 'bling bling' and semi-porn music videos.
Now I am not a prud or some straight dude from the burbs but I do know what is 'real' and what is not.
When those with the power to speak out had testicals bigger than peas, people knew and were made aware of many of the social problems we have and have had for years. Amerika was introduced to the 'new generation' of rebels thru rap music. Ice T, took flack. Ice Cube and NWA took flack. Public Enemy and Chuck D took flack. Tupac took flack and the list goes on.
So today the 'headlines' tell us rap and hip hop music is the biggest thing since the invasion of rock and roll. Rap has grown into a billon dollar industry. Not Really. Commercialized rap and hip hop has sold out and in exchange it is being accepted.
Todays rap is bling bling and 40oz.'s, Cristal and rides with spinners. No social issues, not a 'F**k the Police' or a 'Straight Out Of Compton.' No mention what drives the murder rate in the inner city up. No mention of aids killing off what is left of a generation of gun shot wounds and crack.
Many in the past used their popularity and influence for enrichment of the black race and the socially under privileged.
Sports 'stars' like Jim Brown, Mohammad Ali and others used their position to speak out and to try to make a difference. To risk it all for the struggle, the struggle some call life.
Then there are the 'OJ's', who only relate themselves to the problems of the culture when they themselves have a problem. OJ played the race card - and he didn't even deserve a deck to play it from. He distanced himself far from the community of color and then ran 'home' when he was in trouble - much like the little kid who breaks a window. And many rallied behind him.
I see the same with the rap and hip hop artists we have today.
They have sold out all of the inner city - the place a lot of them claim to come from. They rap about bling bling and $100.00 gym shoes and other real important 'issues'.
The strong black woman has been replaced with a hoe and bitch, the strong black man is reduced to a pimp and a hoe dogg, or is it club rat?
We don't see any social committment, except from a few. And those few are not mentioned for that. Clap Back and 'this guy said this about that guy' is more important to main stream media.
Keeping it real is supposed to be a big part of the hip hop culture. Whats so real about a $90,000 Hummer with 24's in an inner city neighborhood? Well at least not here, I haven't seen any. People without enough to eat or even a roof over their head - yea I have seen that. But thru bottles of Cristal, expensive gym shoes and $100,000 rides you are given the impression that life in the hood is all good.
We are 'feeding ' this stupidity to ourselves. This is not George Bush or one of his clowns or some other power-that-be telling us it is not as bad as it is. This is the 'Keepin it real' hip hop culture telling us it is not what it appears in 3-D.
So you tell me - Has Rap Sold Out? I say they have. There are those that try to be outspoken. And for their trouble they are rewarded with shunning from the major labels. Is that because there is no money in what they have to say?
If Damon Dash or Russell Simmons wants us to vote and they are truly concerned about the society - they have record labels and finances to help socially minded artists, don't they? They could help alot but putting artists out that have a positive message or artists that promote the real so
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