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Graduating from Ghetto Scholarship: Has Hip-Hop Dumbed Us Down?


“Let Freedom ring with a buckshot/but not just yet/ First we have to understand/ the nature of the threat” – “Nature of the Threat”, Ras Kass

After 10 long years, the day had finally come. Juaquin Davis was finally graduating. As he swaggered across the commencement stage with his pants saggin’ just below his graduation robe, he took a moment to give a shout out to his homies in the audience. They returned the love by holding up a giant cardboard sign that said, “Kongrachulashunz!”

We have officially entered graduation season, the time of year when college seniors are taking their final exams and preparing to go out into the real world to make a difference, not only for themselves, but for their communities.

Well, that’s how it’s supposed to be. Unfortunately, in recent times there has been a decrease in the respect for knowledge, even among the college-educated.

There was a time in our history when knowledge was celebrated, and those who were fortunate enough to obtain a higher level of education saw it as their responsibility to uplift others. According to Lerone Bennett in his work, Before the Mayflower, the first Black college graduate, John B. Russwurm, used this intellect, not to open a strip club/rim shop, but to establish the first Black newspaper, Freedom’s Journal, on March 16, 1827.

So, what happened to our sense of communal responsibility?

In his 1903 essay, “The Talented Tenth”, Dr. WEB DuBois blamed the failure of “the educated and intelligent” to raise the level of consciousness of the masses on “slavery and race prejudice.”

However, Dr. E. Franklin Frazier in his 1957 book, Black Bourgeoisie, suggested that they merely, got their degrees, got hooked up with a nice j-o-b-, bought a fat Caddy and left the ‘hood and never looked back.

Perhaps this over emphasis on material wealth is why today’s college-educated rappers make music for kindergartners.

It must be remembered that 2 Chainz, Gucci Mane, Plies, and many others are said to have either graduated from or at least chilled for a semester at institutions of higher learning. Also, although Lil Wayne is said to have taken classes at the University of Houston, a 2009 Wall Street Journal article mentioned a study that alleged that peeps who listened to Weezy had lower SAT scores than those who listened to other types of music.

Really?

Unfortunately, these are the people who many high school kids look up to as models of success which carries over into college life.

You may remember the controversy that erupted back in 2009, when according to the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, prestigious Morehouse College, initiated a “get back to the legacy ” dress code that cracked down on such official Hip-Hop gear as saggin’ pants, caps, and hoodies.

The glorification of anti-intellectualism has not always been the case in Hip-Hop. Even during the pre-conscious era, Old School pioneers like The Disco 4 were rapping about the value of education on “School Beats” and Kool Moe Dee was droppin’ mad multi-syllabric words in his rhymes. Although not usually mentioned in the same breath with conscious rappers such as Mos Def or Talib Kweli, in ’96, Ras Kass released what remains possibly the hardest hitting, most in-depth “conscious” song ever, “Nature of the Threat,” on which he quoted Dr. Ishakamusa Barashango among others.

But in recent history, this has been the exception, not the rule.

Even today’s more politically conscious Hip-Hop artists rarely rise above the level of what can be called “ghetto scholarship.”

The term “ghetto scholarship,” was popularized a few years back by Dr. Wesley Muhammad, author of several books including, The Book of God. According to Dr. Muhammad, “Ghetto scholarship refers to a type of particularly poor scholarship; poor because the methodologies upon which this scholarship is based are poor” He goes on to say, “Ghetto scholarship has nothing to do with degrees or formal education, or the lack thereof…”

Of course , he was not really referring to Hip-Hop, but if the Jordans fit….

Even though, Nas gets an A for effort for rappin’ that Alexander the so-called Great blasted the nose off the Sphinx on his hit, “I Can” (even though scholars argue that it was Napoleon), I can only imagine how many kids failed their history exams for listening to a Hip-Hop CD instead of doing their own research.

Maybe rappers spent too much time “diggin’ in the crates,” instead of diggin’ in the books ?

With all the “Hip-Hop” courses being offered at universities, you would think that somebody would have started some remedial classes for rappers. Unfortunately, Professor Carlton “C-Money” Banks is more interested in teaching Skippy and Heather in his Wacka Flocka English 101 class the deeper esoteric meaning of “Round of Applause” than he is enlightening the aspiring young rappers who live in the ‘hood surrounding his campus.

This can not be separated from the overall emphasis of Hip-Hop to teach middle-aged, White people how to be hip – the low point being when Busta Rhymes taught Martha Stewart the proper way to pronounce “What-tha-deely-yo?” at the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards.

There may be other reasons for the dumbing down of Hip-Hop. Miami’s Tony Muhammad, a.k.a. “the Hip-Hop educator,” believes that Hip-Hop has been dumbed down by corporations to create “an unintelligent consumer base.” He said that the same companies that control the music industry also run the liquor companies and the prison industrial complex.”

As they say, “a fool and his money are soon parted.”

Back in the day, Public Enemy said it was their overall purpose to raise up 5,000 Black leaders. This should be our responsibility now more than ever. Even today, Hip-Hop still can play a major role in educating the masses.

So, as you get ready to grab your degrees, please remember your responsibilty to use your education to raise the consciousness of the Hip-Hop Nation. To remix a line from Dr. Dubois, your task is not to make men better Hip-Hop artists, but to make Hip-Hop artists better men.

In a time when popular opinion says that in order to reach this generation, you have to communicate on fifth grade level, you must stand your ground and yell, NONSENSE!

Lupe Fiasco said on “Dumb em Down”:

“They tell me I should come down, cousin/ But I flatly refused/ I ain’t dumb down nuthin'”

Neither should you.

TRUTH Minista Paul Scott’s weekly column is “This Ain’t Hip Hop,” a column for intelligent Hip Hop headz. He can be reached at info@nowarningshotsfired.com, on his website, www.NoWarningShotsFired.com, or on Twitter (@truthminista).

  • Tariq Nasir

    Great article!!

  • Oh…ya’ll didn’t know? Dumb is the new cool!  Like Chris Rock said, a nigga coming home from jail get more respect than a nigga who graduated from college! SMDH!

  • Great article.I was just telling some ppl how less intelligent ppl buy more stuff.It’s a fact

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  • True indeed but I think parents need to understand that they are their children’s primary educators. When I first came to the US I learned about David Walker, X, The Black Panther, Garvey, Assata…through listening to BDP, PE, X-Clan…

  • s0rethumb

    Professor Carlton “C-Money” Banks good one..lol. Pop culture celebrates and uplifts buffoonery and until the main culprits i.e. those who influence the masses with words, beats and visuals understand THEIR responsibility, “idiocracy” will continue to reign supreme…Educated dummies are funny for they know not what they do. Good write.

  • immackulate

    good article … now i understand when riding with my parents WHY they would cut the AL GREEN … all the way up in the car before saying “NOW THIS IS REAL MUSIC” because you got social commentary from most artists back then outside of their RADIO PLAYABLE SINGLE’S – lets face it niggahs been using the same exact excuse since NWA “oh im just rapping about what goes on in the hood” but that aint all that goes on in the hood – thats just all niggahs choose to rap about cuz rapping about popping the fire hydrant and playing the water aint as lucrative or respectable in the trap.  

    my mom never understood rap music until after PAC died … but its not her genre of music to completely understand HOWEVER it is mine … and thats the sole reason i give my son a well rounded outlook on BLACK music … he not only knows the ymcmb rappers of his genre, but he knows the jay-z, biggie, and pacs along with the classic r&b groups like THE ELEMENTS (ewf) so that he can make his own well informed decision if …

    ART IMITATES LIFE or are these ARTISTS JUST IMITATORS?!?!?!

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  • Q.

    When the writer asks “Has Hip-Hop Dumbed Us Down?”, the answer is NO.

    One reason: there’s a difference between Hip-Hop culture itself and Hip-Hop’s music, Rap. One precedes the other. The spirit of intelligence, creativity and upliftment has always been a cornerstone of Hip-Hop, although the music industry has done an excellent job of hiding that fact. There’s also a difference between the corporate-backed, corporate-controlled music flooding the airwaves and everything else that musical artists create. Most of the rap acts you see and hear on TV and radio are fully corporate-sponsored coons. We have a relative handful of authentic artists who’ve managed to slip through the cracks, but they are the exception, no doubt.

    Second, I wouldn’t say that “us” (Black people?) have been dumbed down anymore than the American population at large. This country has millions of watered-down, suppressed intellects. There are dummies and ignoramuses of all races, all colors, and all ethnicities. No one group has a monopoly on STUPID.

    With that said, Tony Muhammed was right in saying that corporations have played a major role in dumbing down society at large. In America, your value as a human being is virtually irrelevant if you are not in the possession of or in the act of purchasing a particular product. Black youth in particular have always been corporate targets, because TPTB understand that if they can keep us pre-occupied with satisfying our base desires on a 24-7 basis, we will be devoting less thought and energy to how to tear down Babylon. That’s why when you turn on Black radio, 95% of the R&B and Rap songs are literally about sex and/or some name-brand bullshit. If you think about it, no other genre of music has the same pre-occupation with sex that contemporary commercial R&B and Rap does. How you gonna get free when you’re a high school dropout raising three babies by yourself and fighting off an STD?

    Hip-Hop hasn’t dumbed down anyone. Poor education systems do more to hurt us than a Waka Flocka song could ever do. I will say that Black urban radio is equivalent to a musical concentration camp for a young Black mind.

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  • Edonus

    No hip hop isnt the reason. We live in a time where it is hard to turn knowledge and education in to a tangible asset. Once upon a time if you had a degree that meant you could just walk in to a place and get a job, but the way the corporate world has been streamlining and trimming the fat of the industry a lot of the knowledge people have is almost not need or hey need way fewer 
    I have met tons of smart poor people this is because being minorities we are the first to feel when something is being taken away. In urban America we have been feeling the stuff that the Occupy Wallstreet movement have been fighting against since the 70s. Thats where the emphasis on selling drugs came from since you have more direct control over doing that action than being at constant odds with a job market that could leave you kicked out tomorrow.
    Living in that type of system disconnects you from education and knowledge seeking because you cant see how it directly relates to you or how it can help you in the now. And thats sad because not having the education or knowledge then opens you up to be victimized by our very complex system. And despite the outlaw mentality and independent way people may see themselves you are a part of the system. As a community we need to reconnect with knowledge and we need to explain and show everyone how educations and knowledge is related to them. I used to go to school and BS around sometimes not doin my work not really applying myself and I wasnt even one of the worst. I didnt have that connection, I was told education was important but never explained why and I think thats because most people dont really know why they just know that its important. Thats OK for older generations but kids now are more interested in how something works as opposed to that it works.
    To sum it up…. hip hop is not responsible for dumbing us down. We are dumbed down because there is a cultural disconnection from knowledge and education (I could add perpetuated by certain groups of people, but thats another story).

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  • Pierre Elliott

    I SAID IT BEFORE AND IL SAY IT YET ONCE AGAIN:
    ALL FORMS OF MEDIA, PROTOCOL AND MONETARY GUIDELINES ARE CONTROLLED BY

    COMPANIES, SOCIETIES AND THE RICH. WHICH ARE THEN OVER SEEN BY BEINGS FROM ANOTHER DIMENSION….THINK WHAT IM SAYING IS FAIRYTAIL OR PARANOID BULLSHIT//.\….ITS NOT, YOU HAVE TO THINK BIGGER THAN THE AMERICAN EXP..
     we have to look at human society as a whole………

    Heres something to think about: On New Years eve, a thought hit me.
    With all the 0000s of kids and women missing, what happens to them?

    Then it hit me, when everyone is in their houses on xmas nyears, human bodies are being transported to a facility…And no one thinks of this, because we have been BLINDED
    and scared to look at a deeper truth…We as africans are the first, to have lived here..
    And the ones who make and have made significant contributions to society..

    It was black soul music that help lift this country during vietnam and the riots….
    How is it that that SOUL is no where to be seen, and when it rears its head its quickly shut down as soon as it appears…
    Because SOUl inspires, it defeats….It gives hope when nothing exists..
    Thats why TRUE music of the soul is fought against and ridiculed…

    • dominicancoke

      wow like damn ya’ll should work for allhiphop great thing you just wrote and it make’s a lot of  sense soul uplifts spirits they rather keep destructive tunes in rotation so our youth get brain washed into getting fast money and fill up their prison system

  • jamaicanbornanbreed

    wow…i agree but i disagree….i agree because these corporations that run the radio stations only play a certain kind of music…..you only hear those who are preeching a memtic virus to our young….you only hear wayne,manaj,drake,tyga,wacka,da baws,flo-rida etc..etc…those artists rap about materail and mundane things….artists dat are out the box get no light…its if you have substance in rap you dnt get a chance…you have to be as ignorant as possible….it’s because thats whut the coporations want us to listen too…and along with tv and there reality shows and commercial i do think it’s done for a dumb down affect..i also disagree because alot of this is our fault…if weezy was more about uplifting us black ppl he could but there paying him way too much too be an sellout….and da same goes to the puffies and simmons of the world….better yet how much of us with our finacial issues and offsprings that must be fed..how much of us would turn down being a token sellout for millions of dollars…i’m gonna personally plea the 5th on dat one…plus the writer wrote about how most blacks get rich and leave the hood never to return again…can u blame them…u ever heard of stack bundles or jam master jay who actually did it the right way…more times if you stay in the hood ppl you once knw will plot on ur head before they chop it off…..one might say if there dumbing down this culture dat it will spread to the whites….duh….there well aware of dat and i bet thats there exact plan….our culture is pretty much there culture…face it….just like rock n roll rap will no longer be dominated by us in the future….its’ becoming harder for your everyday black person to relate to this pop-rap….dats why others like myself stay to the underground….one of my favorites rapper is fred da godson…reason why son ain’t a bigger name yet is because everyone has said to dumb down his lyrics…..jay has dummed down his lyrics crazy in the latter part of his career….gaining a bunch of young white following but excluding his day one fans….like i said i agree and disagree…but whut i do know is this pop-rap is destroying the young black minds

    • dominicancoke

      damn my dude if you don’t get a job writing for a magazine or something you’re wasting you’re life you write excellent 

      • Ya heard , he need to holla at 4umf or me if you wanna get put on!

    • Bumpy Johnson

      make a video about wachu said…the world needs to hear this for real. peace brotha

  • Red

    The writing is on the wall!

    Only ten comments….
    Eleven if you count mine!

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  • Pierre Elliott

    REAL TALK…….ANd then you ask the question, whats up with us????
    Why is it that no one in the black community wants to hear anything of substance….
    I was just in N. Carolina and with my cousins, I was playing some ill musics, I dont know
    what I was playing but it wasnt the bullshit….And then my cousin puts on some ” down south”
    music….FIRST THING I HEARD: These are the actual lyrics:

    Niggas on my dick…Bitches actin like hoes, and then it repeats….

    EVERY SONG IS LIKE THIS…Same drum pattern. Same stupid lyrics about going to a club..
    Hip-Hop and even RAP wasnt about going to a club, it was talked about but never revered….

    To me PUFFY WHIP CREAM is the first to blame…..As well as others, who were just trying
    to make it….   Hip-Hop was never meant to be formatted…But yet we allowed it to be taken.

    Alot of us, only accept a message if it is packaged a certain way….
    And if it doesnt fit certain small guidelines such as: Typical Video.

    Video hoes.
    Expensive cars.
    Scenes of money being spent..

    Or some scene where the rapper is belittling a female…

    Same shit over and over again…

    Now you tell me what kind of effect is this going to have on the BLACK COMMUNITY
    in terms of self image and how we achieve OUR parts of the American Dream….

    Our music has been changed, and repackaged to make sure we STAY in OUR place….

    • immackulate

      you do know that NOT ALL “down south” music is …

      “Niggas on my dick…Bitches actin like hoes”

      im pretty sure you can go to any hood and here the same lyrics with less of a SOUTHERN DRAW to it

  • Deep article, deep comments + 1

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  • It’s some real good dialogue goin on here, I’m feelin that.  Let’s keep it all the way funky though fellas, Hip-Hop been used as a tool to dumb down the masses ever since Hustle Simmons hipped corporate America to just how much bread there was to be made off this here culture, this thing of OURS.  Think about it; the more money Hip-Hop started makin, the less shine intelligent rap got.  Professor Griff said it himself, they brought out NWA and the whole “gangsta rap” movement to neutralize Public Enemy and the conscious movement, and regardless of anyone’s personal opinion of Griff the man’s right.  Just like how they flooded the hood with cheap dope to kill the Panthers’ influence back in the day, that’s exactly what they did with the music to kill the traction artists like P.E., X-Clan, PRT, and Paris were gettin at the time.  And as we’ve all seen, intelligence and Hip-Hop–well, rap–have drifted farther and farther apart as time goes on, to the point they’re damn near polar opposites now.

    Dig this too, somethin I just thought about…..anyone else notice that once it became well known how universal Hip-Hop is and how much hold it had over not just poor Blacks and Latinos, but middle-upper class Whites as well, that’s when the messages started gettin EXTRA ridiculous with the materialism, sex, violence, etc.?  All of a sudden knowledge and bein smart was wack, it was all about partyin, playin the gangsta/dopeboy role and flat out actin like a fukkin buffoon.  It’s no coincidence y’all, shit like that don’t just happen by accident.  What they’re doin is dumbin us ALL down, while continuin to make Blacks look like Sambos in the process, for those in power it’s a win/win…..and we’re all fallin for it hook, line and mufukkin sinker.

    Like I said though Hip-Hop now is just one of many tools bein used to get at us…..I’m sure none of y’all will argue for the intellectual benefit of Jersey Shore or Real Housewives and all that ol bullshit, so y’all see my point…..LOL…..what worries me though is that it’s too late to wake mufukkas up and get em thinkin straight again, these fools are too far gone and automatically reject anything outside their level of ignorance…if I was to have this exact discussion with the average “hood nigga” in 2012, we all know what his response would be:  “Ahhh man you just hatin cuz none of them old niggas you used to fukk with got no paper now, ain’t no one tryin to hear that conspiracy theory bullshit……talkin bout mind control and mufukkin knowledge and shit……man gtfoh with that shit nigga……oh shit…..hold up nigga is that that Flocka?!?!?!  Ahhh man cut that shit up, real talk!!  Ohhlehdooooit, ohhlehdooooit…YEEEEAAAAAHHHH!!”  Goddamn shame…

    • Pierre Elliott

      sad thing is bro, youre right. its like we have 2 types of blacks in the AMERICAN
      experience/diaspora

    • jamaicanbornanbreed

      cosign like a muthafuka

  • Krychaurnt

    I totally enjoyed reading this article! As a black (born, bred and living in Africa, African) I can say that I agree that hip-hop has dumbed down our generation. It would be foolish to ignore the fact that media plays a huge role in information dissemination and hip-hop, being a primary influence in alot of young peoples’ minds therefore becomes a negative influence because it carries several negative connotations in its lyrics. I grew up in the 80s when it was still fairly ‘safe’ to let your kids listen to hip-hop but nowadays, the content is all about sex, reverence of material wealth and degrading my kind – females. I definitely would not like to have my daughter, when I eventually have kids, think her value lies in what’s between her legs, or how round her derriere is, or how many heads she can turn as she walks down the street. But hip-hop has influenced the way love-starved (often those who grew up without fathers) females behave in order to attract the opposite sex in the hopes of finding love – a very dumb mentality. In South Africa, Americanization began when American TV was introduced after the launch of television in 1976 and since then, our dresscode, speech/accents even, behavior, is mostly influenced by American culture and especially, hip-hop. We are generally a very educated people, but like States-side, those from less privileged backgrounds LITERALLY follow what American hip-hop music dictates. So the girls dress like ‘video hoes’, the guys join gangs and literally engage in shoot-outs, gang-banging and staying ‘strapped’ for the cool appeal. A dumb, sad reality attributed to ignorance regarding the bigger picture. However, there are those, myself included, who listen to conscious hip-hop and I have many friends who rap in any 1 of, or a melange of our official 11 languages, about the history associated with our own country (not so dumb). So what I’m saying is, being dumbed-down is a choice. One simply needs to look around (if you’ve grown up in an underprivileged community) and see that for years, following hip-hop music’s misguided mentally hasn’t worked, and therefore, trying to get educated and take ownership of your life is key. Instead, black people in general want to blame it on slavery(which died many moons ago – even though it still exists in many ways – and really therefore should no longer be an excuse), white man oppression, etc. There will always be discrimination, hate, racism. So get up and be the change you want to see. Why not go get those MANY scholorships aimed at minority groups(I was astounded when I was over there just how many scholarships/bursaries are aimed at black people), and get educated and stake your claim in corporate America instead of gun-runnin’, hangin’ around the block, hollerin’ at shorties or givin’ yourself up to any willing man, and chasing a mirage that is the short-lived career of many commercial hip-hop stars today. People need to stop blaming music, the system, their parents, etc, and get on with raising a strong black nation.

    • Pierre Elliott

      Uh I hate to sound like an asshole, but youre seeing it from it from a different perspective. yes it is about not blaming. Owning up and taking charge..
      But you dont understand that these people control ALL forms of media
      and to the people who SIT on their IPADs all goddamn day.
      Where black music is focused on a universal appeal. Its about self image here
      in America, and thats something that AMERICAN blacks have to deal with..
      And it is the system, you need to turn around and learn some more facts…

      You WERE a kid in the 80s. Were you a black male? Were you a Trayvon?
       In America?     Black people here have self image issues that my brothers and sisters in Africa dont have to deal with…You have your culture to fall back and guide you to some degree…We dont have that, we have a bunch of lies told to us and were are still 
      trying to find our blackness our place here in this country…Which in turn has always not treated us like HOME. Home embraces you, not rapes your family kill them..
      not sell them, HOME teaches you, embraces you….

      Just because you are black like me, does not mean you SHARE in my 
      AMERICAN experience..South Africa does not quantify, in some ways it does
      but its not the same…Yall should have killed the Dutch when you had the chance..

      What happened then? 

      I can tell you understand somethings but not all..

      • jamaicanbornanbreed

        and we should’ve killed our slave masters as well…..look dnt let this topic nor millions of miles divide us….i dnt care if u from africa or south central…..WE ALL BLACK PEOPLE…it’s ok to disagree brother but dnt forget that obvious fact

  • SYN

    Remember a few years back when Little Brother submitted their video Lovin It to BET for rotation into 106 & Park and was told by the brass at BET that they’re music was “too intelligent” for the 106 & Park audience? They were right. In 20…02, as part of a reorganization focusing on entertainment productions, BET cut its news staff and canceled BET Tonight along with other public affairs shows Lead Story and Teen Summit. By the time Viacom took over in 2003, the only show left was BET Nightly News, which got the ax in 2005. So for three years, there was no program involving intelligent discussion. Imagine if they cut three years of high school education or three years of college education. That’s a lot of time for dumb shit to creep in. So by the time Little Brother rolls around, the audience is definately dumbed down.

  • Excellent discussion. The foil to the Dumb Down has its inception right here. The basic Ethos of the current Hip Hop genre is materialism, lust…and that most potent elixir….. blood. For this is our bones to manhood. The Killer, We eat our young, yet the weapon is aimed at the wrong target beloved. The Ras Kass quote accurate. We’ve been turned out, collectively…as The Black Nation…we’ve been lulled by narcoticized dreams set forth in subcultural phenomenon bred on the Drug trade …(our allowed economic)a common theme in most venerated lyric. This just one facet to the multi headed Dragon we face here in the wilderness. Bravo to the great minds who participate in meaningful conscious dialogue. Whats revealed clearly is the common thread of communal exasperation and incredulity at the current state of affairs in modern day propagandized, mediarized flip flop. Conversely, the answer to the dilemma starts with the undergirdings of indignation exemplified here. Though the revelation slow in coming, it is made manifest in these reasonings. Which is glaringly apparent in the responses. However, its hard to argue with a dolla eeehh? Specifically, the scrilla trumps all no?. As our prolific Jay said, ” Nigga ya broke, what the hell you gon tell me”. Obviously, its something we all secretly keep to ourselves as Mr Breed so poignantly relays,”
    better yet how much of us with our finacial issues and offsprings that must be fed..how much of us would turn down being a token sellout for millions of dollars…i’m gonna personally plea the 5th on dat one” Much respect for the honesty……….for only in scathing assessment can the cancer of our collective misalignment be neutralized. There is much to be said about being bound and enslaved in a capitalistic society thats ten steps ahead of us in the nefarious art of exploitation…our stomach is not in it. Also too much to cover in this particular topic..
     Hip Hop was our voice, arching back eons to the our voice in the drum. As our sage KRS1 teachs Hip Hop is Dance ,Grafitti, as well as Rhyme it is the voice of our culture…..real rhyme lyrical in nature artistic in form poetry in spirit and intelligence in theme. The crux of the matter is….our Spirit and Soul is in it. What may be astonishing to the reader is….The Spirit and Soul is eternal and immortal and can never die. We as a people thrive off of adversity… I believe there will be a resurgence…my proof is in the excerpts written. The contemporary will surely fade away because you can’t fool the people ALL of the time.

  • NICE ARTICLE BUT I REALLY WISH PEOPLE WOULD STOP LOOKING TO MUSIC FOR THERE ENLIGHTENMENT. (SMH) MUSIC IS JUST ONE FORM OF ENTERTAINMENT  AS WELL AS BOOKS, PLAYS, AND MOVIES BUT IT SEEMS HIP HOP MUSIC TAKES THE BLAME FOR EVERYTHING.

    • Pierre Elliott

      wrongggggggggggggggggg. music is NOW used in CONJUNCTION with media
      to PROMOTE FALSE IMAGES…. you need to do some reading dude.
      EIther just read and listen, or STFU.

      • YOU TELLING THE WRONG ONE SON! PEOPLE LIKE YOU WHO LISTEN THE MUSIC AND BELIEVE IN THESE FALSE IMAGES NEED TO READ!!! I AM INTELLIGENT ENOUGH TO KNOW THAT MUSIC IS SIMPLY ENTERTAINMENT.

      • Pierre Elliott

        yeah its interesting you changed your pic from a white dude to black guy….wow.   you dont make music, you are just a consumer.
        I dont look at the shit. Im underground. I make beats, I rhyme.
        I dont need the media. yeah its entertainment, but to the people who ACTUALLY CREATE, these labels and people you are trying to reach are blind.  Too many people need to stfu, most of you aint ever heard no real shit…WHY???? CAUSE THATS WHAT THE LABELS HAVE WANTED ALL THE TIME….

      • Pierre Elliott

        DUDE I WORKED A COUPLE OF LABELS IN NYC, I KNOW WHATS GOING ON….YOU COME TO HIP HOP.COM TO FIND OUT….REMEMBER: JUST CAUSE WE GOT INTERNET AND FACEBOOK, DONT MEAN YOU REALLY KNOW WHATS GOING ON……

      • DUDE, I LISTEN TO BOTH MAIN STREAM HIP HOP AND UNDERGROUND HIP HOP (NICKI MINAJ AND ANGEL HAZE) (DRAKE AND FRED THE GODSON) AND ECT ECT BUT THAT IS BESIDES THE POINT. THE POINT I’M TRYING TO MAKE IS THAT I AM INTELLIGENT ENOUGH TO UNDERSTAND THAT MUSIC IS SIMPLY ENTERTAINMENT. I DON’T LISTEN TO THE RAPPERS AND GO SELL DRUGS BECAUSE I HEAR THEM TALKING ABOUT DRUGS. I DON’T GO SHOOT SOME ONE BECAUSE I HEAR RAP SONGS ABOUT SHOOTING. PEOPLE LIKE YOU REALLY ARE BLIND BECAUSE IF YOU ARE STUPID ENOUGH TO BE INFLUENCED BY A SONG THEN YOU CAN BE INFLUENCED BY ANY THING MOVIES, PLAYS, BOOKS AND IT’S REALLY NO HOPE FOR PEOPLE LIKE YOU.

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  • The roots of Hip Hop had its inception down in the Streets of NYC. Specifically the Bronx, but we were rhyming all over the City. It was a form of expression that allowed Brothers and Sisters to articulate what was happening in the neighborhood with witty stylish lyricals that astonished the listener with the prolific intelligent rhyme. Coupled with the essence of the culture, (an ability to tap into the collective concious of what was happening in the hood, and tapped into the mental psyche of the young ghetto dweller, along with “slang”(cool talk, smooth stylish braggadocio exemplified by us) was a phenomenon we could call our own social dynamic, because we had so much taken from us as far as our identity, historically speaking. What was so sweet was the DJ with the two turntables “cuttin” and “scratchin”, the versatility and innovation of this technique was Fresh, amazing the listener with the breakthrough instrumentation of an otherwise mechanical device designed to play record albums.. The ability to scratch and mix along with the skillful utterations of the MC was OUR own! Sanctioned by US because of its raw authenticity. The “Somebody Screeeaaam” was a throwback to the call and chant celebration practiced in the motherland and in the fields here that allowed everybody to be a participant in the Jam/celebration. A communal way to exemplify LIFE!

    Saying all this to say is that HipHop is much more than mere entertainment. With all due respect. I can appreciate the statement because it is after all a form of entertainment. Expressed today in a wide array of Style and Creativity with its voice still rooted in the Street nationally and internationally. All sorts of strains has cropped up throughout the years.HipHop has gone Global and is the defacto form of expression throughout the world. So you get a picture of the impact and influence. However, we must realize and acknowledge that the current musical form in most of what your hear on the radio, tv, and video, ipad/ipod, laptop, internet here in the United States of America, has a dramatic influence on the growing Young MIND eager to find a voice that it can call its own. HipHop is a snapshot, a microcosm of the collective conciousness of what is acceptable in the realm of Social Expression. Which means everything to young people. It is being packaged in such a way that appeals to our lustful desires. Whether it be Sexual or Violent. Two facets that are very active in the desperate enclaves of the oppressed. Namely the Ghetto. Murder Murder and Stripping Mentality. Violence amongst our young men and the sexing of our young women has become Socially Acceptable because its methodology is designed in the form of HipHop and played over and over again everywhere you look and listen. 

    What must be comprehended is the fact that what is saturated in the market is what is accepted as the norm……especially among our youth. Extremely impressionable and easily influenced.Searching so hard for something to call their own…..to reach towards independence and freedom. If there was a more balanced diet, if there was more Lupe. If there was an increase in the message, a message of unity, education, and self respect. I know that in would resonate and permeate our Youth. So its so much more than Entertainment. Though the Books Plays and Dance are other forms, HipHop is easily accessed and America is all about instant Gratification. So it has more influence. What we have today is Enterdetainment!   

  • Your Friendly Black Person.

    If you mean radio hip hop, I agree it’s dumb. I think there is a lack of diversity in the main stream stuff. But there is definitely music out there for EVERYONE. I don’t really watch videos on tv or listen to the radio, but I’m fine with the level of Jay-Z and the like….I don’t need the Ras Kass, KRS, Cannibus, etc… stuff.

    • Pierre Elliott

      and they focus on people like you who are the MAJORITY….
      the MINORITY is out there and they are not willing to be quieted down…
      Only a person from middle america would say that….

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  • Bob

    Public Enemy promoted a black prison cult called the nation of islam that teaches it’s followers that a white convicted drug dealer is god. KRS ONE attempted to make hip hop a cult. Ice T use to be considered a more “enlightened rapper” – have you seen this guy lately? He acts like something straight out of the film idiocracy. He’s a spoiled little child and his wife has plastic breasts. Griff is a complete contradictory psycho babbling nutcase.  The cultural embedding of this infantile nonsense has always been a gateway to stupidity. And as time has gone by it’s only become worse. Look at it this way. Hip Hop is a fad for white people. It’s a lifestyle for dumbfucks. If you want these people to grow up smart and healthy then do the responsible thing. Tell them ALL of it is crap. Including this website.

    • Shan Mclendon

      even though you were eloquent in your usage of the correct diction. none of your statement rings true. this culture that you try labeling a cult started as a way to try and bring a love for something more advanced that is clearly shown that you with your limited thought process can not grab.and attacking the noi or the foi is an easy go to that has been used by bigot like yourself since the mid 80’s. time to advance your thinking and grow to try and help the people. instead of spewing ignorant hate and sounding like an update ron karranga  or stanley crouch..pick a book and go into the community.. for it is people such as you who dumb down our communities. take away an education and give nothing back. i put you in a club with george zimmerman that take away from minorities with zeal until you need us again.you are a true troglodyte.

  • Canibus said it best, Using the same formula to have a hit/ using the same actors ands actresses/ same shit different laxative/ face it nigga your wack ass shit/

  •  Canibus also said, My lyrics to advance for the average block hustla

  • BOOSIEISOUT22

    YEEEZZZ YEEEEEZZZZ MY NEEEGGAASSS,

    I FINALLY GOT MYSELF A DREAM CARRRR – A BLACKKKKK CA MA ROOOO. MY CREDIT SHEEEET WAS TURRIBLE FOR A WHOLE LOT OF YRS – COUDN’T GET ANYTHING PURCHASED OR GOT ON CREDIT- BUT ALL MY ISHHHHH IS SUPER CLEAN NOW AND ALL THOSE CRE DIT   PROBLEMS ARE ELIMINATED LIKE THEY NEVER EVEN EXISTED!

    IF Y’ALL GOT PROBLEMS WITH YOUR CRE DIT REPORTS AND YOUR HISTORY IS SHAATTY, GET RID OF DAT MothaFUCKARR TODAY!!!!!! RING THESE PROFFESIONALS AT EIGHT SEVEN7 – 864- 1527.  WHAT THEY DID FOR ME WAS SIMPLY AMAZING MAN.  AND THEY ARE CHEAAPPP AS FAAACKKKKK TO BOOT.

    THEY GOT MY HOMEBOY SUPER CLEAN TOO AND HE WAS STRUGGLIN A WHOLE LOT WORSE THAN ME.  HE IS GETTIN A CONDO RIGHT NOW AND IS REAL HAPPY WITH ALL HIS SHEET TAKEN CARE OFF!!!!!!!

    CALL EM UP – THEY WILL HELP YOU OUT!

    88888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888
    8888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888

  • Shan Mclendon

    and before you ask i am a 34 yr old black male who was fortunate enough to live in a middle class and urban society.. do yourself a favor pick up a book and a mirror and examine yourself

  • I like this. The fact that we should be on a Presidential level, considering we have a black president, is even more disgraceful to us as a race. The “hidden” agenda is keep us from becoming “leaders” in our community and more active politically. They take away our voices, and we become “mannequins” displaying ignorance, lack of responsibility, and disregard for community like it’s a 3 piece suit. Time to put on our “Big boy” clothes and make a change!! We don’t have to tolerate this foolishness in Hip-hop. We are simply allowing it!  

  • Reblogged this on panoramicdon and commented:
    For the fear of coming across as an arrogant pseudo-intellect, I have shied away from expressing such opinion. Glad someone else did it. All you people listening to crap music, throw that shit out.

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  • Guest

    These US-centric conversations always leave me unsatisfied. Rap emerged in NY FROM Jamaican dj sound system clashes and sessions. Can never understand the African American amnesia on this (or is it a form of discursive censorship?). I used the word censorship because it was African American media and other elites who successfully kept Bob Marley out of the black spotlight in this country, keeping him squarely stuck with a mostly white audience. Which should not be a surprise anyway because they know us better than we know ourselves. EC rap kept those vibes alive though in a real way – Brand Nubian for example, and Bambaata before them. It’s those West Coast bros who turned the genre out. They don’t give a $*## about Pan Africanism, Garvey, Dancehall, etc, ’cause that ain’t they history and geography. What they do know are the excesses for which Cali is famous, irrespective of race or color. Maybe Snoop Lion is making a sincere gesture of trying to correct this monster he and his crew helped create:) But I can confidently predict that Mr. Marley’s music will outlive and outsell the whole slip-slop and crap era because his message will always ring true.