The New WWF: Hip-Hop

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 […]

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); it’s Hip Hop. Yeah, I’m 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 couldn’t 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 we’ve 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 can’t help but be concerned about how it’s 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.

“The Struggle”

Kweli knew and dubbed it best –

‘Hip Hop’s the new WWF.’

Like Doug E. Fresh, it’s been beaten

and boxed into a corner.

But this isn’t about Hip Hop per say –

It’s about one fan’s flip flopped survey…

One fan who both disses and jocks the

wordplay of its top performers.

Instilled in my letters and entrenched in vents,

Rap’s a source of guilty pleasure and innocent discontent.

I’m vehemently rent between

The Rock and hard-bassed Blues.

And as it’s publicized in publications,

Rap’s 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,

I’ve been pinned by the dogged grip of rap music.

So like a fickle fan who’ll promptly switch

From sycophant to taunting quips…

I’ve moved from astonishment to

admonishment of its wack usage.

Yet despite its focal platform,

There’s a light that totally surpasses rap’s norms.

Holy Hip Hop is an active forum that’s truly redemptive.

Christian rappers are taking a stand

With christened rap words without atheist strands…

As they’re making a brand full of

Biblical base and useful deliv’rance.

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, it’s not Hip Hop that’s morally wrong –

Like Christianity, it only takes a few proxies

to knock its course off…

It’s those whom I squash with my forearm –

those who deface what’s at stake with decadence.

But they’re not who I’m wrestlin’ –

What I fight’s in the air and indefinite.

Within flesh’s residence, my spirit’s 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 I’ve 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

merc’lessly 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?!!

That’s the easiest question to answer –

I may get queasy, but I’ll wreck any brandisher…

I haven’t yet met a blasphemer where

I couldn’t control the outcome.

Besides, I know what happens when

you’re at odds with the Creator.

You may gain favor, but you’ll

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, what’s at stake is revealed.

Like Triple H’s appeal, can Holy Hip Hop

split me away from D (Gen) X?

Like an H3 climbs the grounds

of rough terrain’s 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 rap’s break beats and frequent tones

Are keeping me from reaping what’s sown…

I need to release what’s 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 Jacob’s 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

* Poet’s 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.