Tuesday, September 28, 2004

"Welcome To The Show" Part I

-- Sept. 28th, 2004 --

Hip-Hop is universal. An undeniable force unable to be reckoned with for the past 30 years. Like most music cultivated from the hearts and minds of Black folks -- it has transformed what was accepted in the past and created a new road for others to traverse. Language, dance, fashion, mannerisms -- all affected by this artform -- this culture viewed as a "trend" or "fad" beginning in the late seventies and exploding in the early-to-mid eighties.

But I don't want to get into a historical account of the origins of this culture we know as "Hip-Hop". Today it is accepted in the mainstream -- it has transcended and influenced every medium used today. With this acceptance comes a relinquishing of the past. Hip-Hop was the voice for the voiceless people. Now it has become the means by which some see as a quick way to get rich. With this mainstream appeal comes the masses -- who feel that they are also a part of the culture. So, now comes in Johnny Be Hood and Susie Q-Rock, who have no real gist of the community that these artists speak about -- but accept the music as the getaway they need from the "harsh" realities of trust funds and weekly tanning sessions. In fact, they love the music moreso than we, the Black community, ourselves do.

In turn, we have not only accepted this, but profit highly off of doing so. With this now acknowledged, Big Business has their eyes and wallets waiting to prostitute the newest Hip-Hop/R&B sensation. Now you see Farnsworth Bentley doing Gap commercials, Dilated Peoples doing car commercials, Black Eyed Peas looking dapper in Levi's Silver Tab jeans. Twelve years ago -- African-American artists were absent from the mainstream fashion, advertising, and music scene. Billboards would've been plastered with the hottest white female model selling whatever refusing to smile.

But that is not the case now, now is it? Is that such a bad thing? Blacks are able to profit off of their own creation, right? We're able to escape the poverty that some knew all too familiar, right? We're on the same level as those who were the ones who used to call us, "Nigger," who instituted Jim Crow laws, and hung our bodies from streetlamps on the corner, RIGHT? I guess you have to be the judge on that one.

The entire World is enjoying the spectacle that is the "Hip-Hop Minstrel Show" and we are its celebrities. No longer is the smiling and being jovial applicable to be a part of this event. You can be yourself to the fullest degree. Want to disrespect your fellow brothers and sisters -- you can do that here! Every and anything that you can fantasize, no matter how degrading and unrealistic it may really be -- will be recorded, packaged, and distributed to the millions of supporting fans anxiously awaiting your next tale in this ghetto drama. Which will then be digested by not only Black supporters, but also by it's white counterparts -- who feel your struggle.

They dissect it to the point where it becomes clear as to who you are or at least who you're trying to be. Where imitation is, in some people's opinion, the most sincere form of flattery -- it is a viable cash cow to be a star in this Show. A culture built on originality has diluted into a bunch of copycats who try to outdo what the person before them has already done [sometimes better].

I am categorically tired of Rap music -- even though I may have my love/hate relationship with the artform, a few things remain painfully clear. While those who may have attained some type of celebrity they still neglect a lot of things that us as Black folks are also not being responsible for. But I will get to that on Part 2 of this series of "Welcome to the Show". So, sit back, relax -- enjoy the show...


Blogger Dayrell said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

October 12, 2004 at 3:44 PM

Blogger Dayrell said...


Hip-hop does seem like a prostitute owned by many(money-hungry) pimps--The pimps being the different categories of mainstream industries, that is. Yea, I've noticed this for some time to.

It's also funny that you’ve mentioned this, b/c recently, on TV, I remember hearing P. Diddy & Russell Simmons describe Hip-Hop was being very powerful. Reason being: that since it has completely taken over the Music industry, Fashion Industry, Marketing/Advertising Industry, Media/Communications, among other industries, that they NOW believe it can take over Politics next...(their words, not mine)...Mmmm, ya think? Interesting, huh? LoL. :)

Well, I think it's well on it's way to becoming a major influence in politics (as judging by the large increase of newly registered voters throughout our urban communities this year), so, who knows what the future holds... :)

October 12, 2004 at 3:56 PM


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