Very interesting article. I just have a couple of questions which might help me to be able to grasp hip-hop from the same viewpoint that is articulated here.
I guess my first question is what, being that the hip hop generation looks upon my generation as seeing hip hop as a negative social influence, what, exactly, would you say the positive message is that is portrayed through this medium? I mean, you say (or the article says ... I don't know if you wrote it! ) we shouldn't look at the bling and the hos and the thug/ganster images portrayed with a negative eye, but should accept hip hop as a valuable, educational, positive art form, instead ... but, if that's the case, where are the positive unlifting images??
Now, I'm far from a rap video enthusiast, but, where are the videos showing the good those hip-hop artists are doing in the community? Or of college students and their quest for knowledge? Or a video about the urban youth who make it up and out and become doctors or lawyers or something? I mean, that would be a positive image, right? You say the media doesn't tell the whole story, it leaves out the good parts. But, seems to me this generation could tell that story themselves, if they wanted to. Why doesn't that happen?
This article also speaks of people like 2Pac and The Game and 50 cent and others being the leaders of this generation. Could you maybe explain where or what they are leading them to??? I mean, 2Pac is dead ... do where exactly do they think they are going with him? And I don't mean that to be funny ... I would seriously like to know the mindset behind who this generation desires to follow and why.
I was speaking with my hip hop-aged neices and nephews, and what came out of a rather extensive conversation was that a lot of the "leaders" like Russell Simmons are basically admired because they've got money. And lots of it. They live large. And are afforded a high level of respect for that. But again, that goes back to the bling and the materialistic measurement by which who to follow and who not to is weighed. I fear that if this generation is only following money ... it will get lost real fast.
I'm sure I have a couple more, but I've got an early day tomorrow! I look forward to hearing your views on this!