Loosely based on a once legitimate expression of prowess and entertainment, it has now became an over-exaggerated farce of its original form. Despite how it overtly plays to the highly stimulating and foregoes content, its fan base is expanding beyond its original audience and into new legions that know nothing of its true essence. It now thrives on drama and will manipulate and exploit its own originators for the sake of raising stock in its infamous notoriety and capitalizing on its commercialism.
No – the industry of which I speak is not the WWE (formally the WWF); its Hip Hop. Yeah, Im on it again. The interesting thing is that when a person criticizes something or someone, said person is automatically branded as a hater; when, in fact, this assumption couldnt be anything further from the truth. Some of the most fervent criticism often comes from the biggest fans. Our parents are that way. They see the potential we have and what weve been able to accomplish; but when they see that potential misused and misappropriated, the rod comes out to chasten us to help straighten us out.
Well, my rod has been whipped out against Hip Hop for quite some time now and although I am nowhere near its parent, I am an advocate of it grafted into its lineage by choice. When I speak of the ills of Hip Hop, I speak as a family member affected by its current status and pained at the thought that I have to chastise or possibly abandon it.
I am affected because even at its best (anything before an overdose on drug metaphors and blatant lack of content), Hip Hop may be stifling my own growth as I seek to strengthen my relationship with God. And as I seek to make sense of it all in my life, I also cant help but be concerned about how its affecting both my own and neighboring communities.
I stopped watching wrestling a long time ago because I grew tired of the plots and twists that happened outside of the ring that distracted from and devalued what used to be enjoyable to watch in the ring. All it took was one unique antagonist to draw a crowd and ruin the game; as his anti-hero blueprint became infringed upon and reproduced by others with an obvious malice towards their own ability for creative thought.
And as I struggle to come to terms with whether to turn my back on Hip Hop in search of my own fulfilled purpose, I can only hope that Hip Hop does the same to itself in order to rediscover what made it so great in the first place.
Kweli knew and dubbed it best
Hip Hops the new WWF.
Like Doug E. Fresh, its been beaten
and boxed into a corner.
But this isnt about Hip Hop per say
Its about one fans flip flopped survey
One fan who both disses and jocks the
wordplay of its top performers.
Instilled in my letters and entrenched in vents,
Raps a source of guilty pleasure and innocent discontent.
Im vehemently rent between
The Rock and hard-bassed Blues.
And as its publicized in publications,
Raps republic eyes utter a guise of repugnant hatred
As its numbest patrons snub my statements
unable to spot that their hearts ache, too.
With my pen as a monolith
To both model and topple it,
Ive been pinned by the dogged grip of rap music.
So like a fickle fan wholl promptly switch
From sycophant to taunting quips
Ive moved from astonishment to
admonishment of its wack usage.
Yet despite its focal platform,
Theres a light that totally surpasses raps norms.
Holy Hip Hop is an active forum thats truly redemptive.
Christian rappers are taking a stand
With christened rap words without atheist strands
As theyre making a brand full of
Biblical base and useful delivrance.
But in this music business,
some say such clichés are oxymorons
They say beats with bass debase God in distorted song.
But from laws in the Torah to Psalms,
musical praise is prevalent.
To me, its not Hip Hop thats morally wrong
Like Christianity, it only takes a few proxies
to knock its course off
Its those whom I squash with my forearm
those who deface whats at stake with decadence.
But theyre not who Im wrestlin
What I fights in the air and indefinite.
Within fleshs residence, my spirits imprisoned
and labors to birth freedom.
Like diamond bezels and necklaces
Imbedded and bedeviled with recklessness
Within conflicted messages, do the lyrics I
listen to favor accursed treason?
This is the battle I wage
This is what rattles my cage.
Like cattle in gates, is what Ive heard
herding me in return?
Is Holy Hip Hop a mockery?
Can I be holy and love Hip Hop honestly?!!…
Or is it all hypocrisy prompting and haunting me
merclessly to turn to the Word?
Psychologically, the snares and flares of the issue
Wears and tears my mental sinew.
When aware, I dare to issue challenges
for a championed cause.
But when I get hype in the stands
and toss my hat in the ring,
Every mindless fan and spineless Stan
chimes in aghast to tag the king
Attackin me like gnats and fleas for a stance
that disagrees with their pantheon gods.
Whether they laugh, applaud or mock my gestures,
Not even the brashest blog will stop my efforts.
To battle man or God
which is better for me to come out from?!!
Thats the easiest question to answer
I may get queasy, but Ill wreck any brandisher
I havent yet met a blasphemer where
I couldnt control the outcome.
Besides, I know what happens when
youre at odds with the Creator.
You may gain favor, but youll
pay at large for it later.
Look at God and Jacob
Israel prevailed but it cost him his swagger.
For me, Jacob wrestlin with God
Has the same make up as whether to heckle Hip Hop
It wrecks my vessel as my
hip socket gets popped over the matter.
So as I struggle with God my pain IS RAEL.
As I wrestle my flesh, whats at stake is revealed.
Like Triple Hs appeal, can Holy Hip Hop
split me away from D (Gen) X?
Like an H3 climbs the grounds
of rough terrains uranium*,
Can it place me on higher grounds
from the subterranean?…
Or will it remain tough for me to reign
restrained in stints like DMX?
Until I break free of its sleeper hold,
The break I need to free my leaping soul
Is a step of faith away from keeping me
whole thanks to my favorite songs.
So if raps break beats and frequent tones
Are keeping me from reaping whats sown
I need to release whats seeped in my mold
until my break has dawned.
Jacob was left there alone. Then some man wrestled with him until the break of dawn. When the man saw that he could not prevail over him, he struck Jacobs hip at its socket, so that the hip socket was wrenched as they wrestled. The man then said, Let me go, for it is daybreak. But Jacob said, I will not let you go until you bless me. What is your name? the man asked. He answered, Jacob. The man said, You shall no longer be spoken of as Jacob, but as Israel, because you have contended with divine and human beings and have prevailed.
Genesis 32: 24-29
* Poets Prerogative:
Uranium is a naturally occurring element that can be found in low levels within all rock, soil, and water.
© 2007 Reggie Legend
Steel Waters, Inc.