The documentary we watched in class got me thinking about the lyrics of hip-hop. Do people actually listen to the lyrics of a song, or do they just sing along because of the beat? Jay-Z’s song “Minority Report” is about the suffering and destruction of Hurricane Katrina. Did people really dissect this song and realize it’s significance more than one of 2 Chainz songs?
Some of the men interviewed in the documentary said that the only thing that sells and will get them signed is violence in their lyrics. If this is true, how come artists like Lauren Hill and Lupe Fiasco have sold so many albums? “Muhammad Walks” by Lupe Fiasco is about religion and religious stereotypes of Muslims. He is talking about acceptance instead of shooting everyone up just for the hell of it.
Violence is not the only thing that sells. I believe that personally experience sells as well. Lupe Fiasco talks about personal beliefs and experiences in “Muhammad Walks,” and Jay-Z’s “Minority Report” reveals the truth about a tragic hurricane that affected the entire nation in one way or another.
One of my professors made an interesting point the other day in class. When listening to a song like “Laffy Taffy,” by D4L, do you listen to the lyrics or just the beat? If a girl is dancing to or singing along with this song, does that automatically mean that they believe they are the equivalent to a ten-cent piece of candy? I would hope not. I would hope that people are simply listening to the beat and the catchy tune instead of agreeing that they are worth the same as a piece of Willy Wonka’s Laffy Taffy.
This got me wondering, should people really take offense to derogatory lyrics when they are simply meant to make money? I have my own feelings on the matter, but I do understand people wanting to make money and doing anything to make sure that happens. However, the people making money off these lyrics are influential to their fans. Even if they don’t believe something that they rap about, their fans will simply because they said it. Is making money off of something really worth the possibility of sending society on a downward spiral? Artists should thing about what they write and rap. They should not simply record a song because it will make them money. They should release it because they believe in it. I am tired of meaningless lyrics trashing our radios and TVs.