Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Reponse to Hip-hop Documentary

            After watching the video on hip-hop music this week in class, I felt conflicted. As an African American and a lover of music, I immediately wanted to defend my culture. It was not until I was forced to analyze the elements of hip-hop that I saw the exactly how it portrays the men and women of the African American community. If I had not experienced life as an African American, I would have thought that African Americans were violent people that only aspire to kill, sell drugs, and put down others.

            What happened to hip-hop? Why must we feel the need to overpower the next man instead of uplift him. After viewing the film, it is clear that basically no one wants to hear positivity in hip-hop. The only thing that the audience wants to hear is violence, sex, money, and drugs. But who is this audience aimed at?

Seventy percent of the fans of hip-hop are White people. My intent is not to sound racist or against White people. However, I find it ironic that this predominately White audience would rather hear violence in music than stories of African Americans empowering themselves. If you look further into hip-hop, you will notice that there is never talk of White supremacy. It sounds to me that this audience desires to see the African American community as a violent race instead of people who are attempting to find a better life.

In regards to the question of whether or not hip-hop music is overcoming homophobia, I think that it is not. This could be due to the need that African American men feel to demonstrate their manhood. Whether African American men are trying to uphold their manhood or hide their own homoerotic tendencies, the fact remains that you will not find a homosexual man openly in hip-hop. You hear of all these stories of different rappers being gay, but you will not see a successful homosexual rapper in hip-hop.

I really fear for the future generation. The children today are so engulfed in the media that it seems to be their only mode of learning about life. Although there are parents who educate their children, there are young African American men who idolize the men in the hip-hop videos. These naïve young men see a “man” as the guy who is masculine, aggressive, violent, and degrading his women. If hip-hop does not change soon, I fear that we will have a generation full of violent, unsuccessful young African American men.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you in terms of wanting to defend the hip-hop culture because of being such a huge fan of the music. I think as African Americans, we become desensitized to the severity of the music, because we have heard it for so long and so many times that it does not affect us. Majority of the young black community cannot recognize that there is a problem with the severity of lyrics because it has become a cultural norm. And I agree if I was an outsider to the African American community I would they think that they were all about the money, drugs, and violence.
    It was no surprise to me that 70% of hip-hop consumers were whites. Having gone to a private school in which blacks were the minority, I knew some white kids that knew lyrics better than I did. I was intrigued by what one girl that was interviewed in the video, she mentioned something along the lines of the talk of violence being interesting to them. Could it be that to the white audience Hip-Hop serves as a true form of artistic expression?
    I really like your last point. With the path that music continues to take, there is no telling the messages that are going to be put out by the time our generation becomes the parents.