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Reply to "The Sons and Daughters of Hip Hop"

EbonyRose
quote:
"I do know how to appreciate that that deserves appreciation. But I simply cannot appreciate (I believe I heard it was 50 cent) or any other artist swiping a credit card down the crack of a girl's ass, and then being told there's nothing wrong with that and that I should understand the sentiment behind it.

You continue to say, "yeah, there's negatism, but ... " or "Yes, some of what is going on may not be quite moralistically acceptable, but ..." or "Yes, we allow ourselves to be exploited, and will even exploit ourselves, but ..." And I would submit that if you were to defend what comes before the "but ..." as intensely as you defend what comes after it, then perhaps this generation would be able get a little bit farther toward actually making this movement move, on their own even, (due to the negligence of the preceding generation to educate) -- taking into account the high level of talent and prowess that does exist within this generation."


Kregse
quote:
"Is Puffy any better or worse than say Berry Gordy.

Note to blackoutloud: I just can't go with you on your assessment of Puffy as being a politically conscious, socially responsible business man. Kudos for his raising money for children. Yet, I can not dismiss "Making the Bands" which at times looked like a new age minstrel show. Moreover, while he may employ African Americans, I am not impressed with what I have seen of his managerial style or the image he projects and the products he purveys"


Less criticism, more construction, no buts.

On the topic of negativity in hip hop, I never say "but", I explain why. I'm not here to make excuses for the glorification of baby mammas, wanna-be pimps and women with more dollars on their mind than sense. Folks like Snoop dog wouldn't know about pimps and hos if he didn't grow up on Super Fly and all the negative sixties/seventies sexism that oozed out of black exploitation films. I don't validate the video hoes and the rappers they cling to, I verbalize how all this content is negative baggage from the past recreating itself on higher levels in our present. I try to explain where these urban youth's minds are at, and where they are coming from to create a passageway for some level of understanding and communication between our generations. Unfortunately that is not what you all want. You all want to exasperate the fact that there are pimps and hoes in the videos, with no more than two sad words on the fact that these young kids don't have enough parents to drag their butts off the video sets. No body wants to talk about the fact that we were born in negative debt, or how previous generations aren't taking whatever finances they have to steer this industry or these kids in a different direction. You want to constantly remind us that this generation has no morals, and conveniently ignore the fact that previous generations didn't have significantly more morals than we did, or any money for that matter. If they did, how come this generation went astray? If these youth are the downfall, where did they learn their negative traits? Is this all just an act of rebellion? Are they not products of their society? Does everybody just want to ignore my comments about poor schools and unemployment, because it's so much easier to blame the videos? It's so much easier to focus on the image, without once taking the time to explain where that image originated from. If you feel that I'm dismissing the negative side, or making excuses for it, explain to me why you are dismissing the positive side and downplaying it? Puff Daddy is not a saint, but he has done a lot more for his community and opened more doors in the cooperate world than Barry Gordy! Yes he is wealthy, and you are right some of Puffy's business tactics are not as sanctified as we would like it, so because we don't like his business savvy we are going to ignore the fact that this man has enough skill to rally kids to vote and get over 2 million dollars in funds for education. You are going to downplay the fact that the hip hop generation has enough political clout to get blacks to claim their voting rights as American citizens and come out in an historical number because there was no preaching, protests, or perhaps because democrats and republicans alike saw that hip hop had the potential to spark influence in a political movement. Oh I'm sorry was I naïve to use the term "political." After all it's too hard to hear young people protesting poverty over that loud music. But hip hops only been around for a couple of years, and these kids are young. They have done more damage than good, or perhaps their struggling to do both as most humans do. You're going to ignore the fact that young hip hop kids of this generation are not only taking the time to tutor urban youth but busting their entrepreneurial butts to start youth programs and generate black business so they don't have to suck up to white faces in the pursuit of white money. They don't have to worry about getting stuck on that corporate ladder as lesser qualified white peers pass them by because their too busy trying to pave their own way and get their own piece of the American pie. Hustling is wrong, right? White people don't make their way to the top by any means necessary in an attempt to make it and support their own. They make it to the top the white – oh I'm sorry, the right way, so I guess all those hardworking black boys who keep getting scammed by "security certification companies" and job agencies telling them their too black, under qualified, and have too much hair, they should keep on keeping on up that white ladder. Or perhaps seek advice from black business owners in their community who are not busy trying to play white, or make sure they are the only minority within the minority of financially better off. Your going to tell me street thugs transforming themselves into hip hop Celebs who try to educate kids about the harsh realities of the street, and create forums like the hip hop summit to give these kids a voice and a space to learn financial responsibility is ok, BUT not that important seeing that apart from youth programs, socially conscious lyrics, and a handful of interested adults, these kids have no one to turn to. What part of that is not political or economic? Explain to me how it's not commendable for someone watching their family starve to go around promoting their albums and turn the worst aspects of being poor in America into a financial tool for helping the poor. But that's not a strong argument right, because for the first time in their lives they have enough money to enjoy themselves in the way they see fit, and it's bringing down the whole race because the addition of rappers and apparent subtraction of parents does not go hand in hand. Explain to me how it's so easy to focus on the political gains our previous predecessors have afforded us, while ignoring that they didn't make enough financial gain to create spaces in which their children wouldn't have to be exploited by white media. If today is such a modern day minstrel, explain to me our historical group of mass media puppets who not only personally capitalized on their wealth but developed businesses and figured out at some point they had to take the black face off and put a black suit on. I have much love to myself and every hardworking black youth who made it to college, but explain to me how you expect my young sisters and brothers to do the same, to remain educated and work their way to decent jobs when they get caught up in the hood life of which these rappers speak; when they have more substitute teachers than real ones, their academic institutions place them in high school and they can't even read or write. Explain how they can get a decent job in today's society where your class of "labor workers" no longer exist, so young people either need a degree to work in today's technologically advanced service industry or they suck it up and fill out that McDonald's application, and spend the rest of their lives making $5 bucks an hour because they were born into poverty. Explain to me why this infuriating term "bling-bling" overshadows the possibility that maybe this generation is striving to acquire a financial stability that the previous generation did not. And maybe their tactics aren't as moral as they should be but where do they learn morals they were seldom taught and how do they work without a system meant to keep them down? Explain to me this present day America that has created so much positivity that we can see hip hop's negativity as a savage product of itself with no connections to anything but its own demise. Explain to me why I should defend, or invest 10% of my energy on music videos, when I'm too busy thinking about the fact that there's no parent there to turn the TV off, or better yet sit down, listen and filter the good from the bad explaining all the madness in between. I'm more interested in listening to rappers on interviews, when they tell you that half the video props are rented, and at the end of the day you have to know more about business than music to survive in the rap game. I'm more interested in supporting young black business seeing as how we seldom support our people, young or old in any major financial ventures they do. Rather than get a Russell Simmons credit card and support a man who devotes a portion of his time and money to teach urban youth about finances and income taxes, lets just go with the white businesses, they don't help us but those rap videos are bad. Let's forget about the cigarettes, the FDA approvals of medicines that don't medicate the billion and one white industries we regularly support but seldom criticize because they aren't doing anything to our communities but continually depleting our resources and brainwashing our children. Explain to me your politics. Explain to me the positive images this generation should be living by when no body gives 2 nickels about them yet they are some how managing to acquire more financial status than their predecessors without the help of an educational system and a government created to hold them back. Ask of us young black intellectuals, ask of me, how hard it is to climb that academic ladder with people stripping at your culture the further you go out and friends dieing at your side every time you go back. From putting on suits, to selling out of cars this generation is filled with young people trying to make up for the fact that in addition to not getting morals from our parents, we didn't get any money either. But you know what it doesn't matter how I put it, how heru puts it, or how any of us put it, because we are all saying the same thing. Still everyone wants to get hung up on the videos. It would be too hard to give these cats some credit for rising above the educational system that pissed on them. It would be too much to acknowledge the youth programs, the deep lyrics, or our political contributions because they just aren't political and after all you don't think our businesses will last. If you think its enough to quote a few personally liked rappers, claim allegiance, and say "they raise ALITTLE money that's nice"... your missing my points. My factual data, my articles, my lyrics, my examples haven't turned one head away from the booty shaking videos, but that's all we are to you. So give me some facts now. Tell me how the past was significantly better; tell me what they left behind to build on. This generation is everything to me, but apparently we aren't "anything" enough for you? So tell me, what are we, where did we come from, and how do we rise above/change a system we did not create in ways that are aesthetically pleasing, politically conscious, and financially beneficial to us all?

LHenry
Urban Dynamics | Search Urban
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