by Steve Lee
Spur of the moment. Just tired of people making generalizations about hip hop
|I'm here to defend Hip Hop. Not the commercialized garbage that always attracts the most attention with a couple "nigga this, nigga that" mixed in the MC in question talking about how rich they are. I'm not here to defend the wannabe gangstas and hustlas who are just a bunch of actors who only know how to act "gangsta,"please. They're on their own.
No, I'm here to defend the tru MCs who suffer as a result of this bullshit. Many times, when the topic of hip hop comes up with anyone outside the teenage demographic, the results are usually negative. Disgusted by the shit that infests MTV, they immediately make the assumption that ALL hip hop is the same. Stop right there. Nothing could be less true of this oft misunderstand form of expression that is hip hop.
For those who say that hip hop has nothing intelligent to say, I dare you to say the same thing after listening to the likes of The Roots, Common, Lauryn Hill, and Immortal Technique among others. They combine the raw energy of true hip hop with biting social commentary. This is not a new phenomenon, it's only been going on since the days of A Tribe Called Quest and The Roots. The only reason you never heard about it is cuz it's easier to rap about your benz the problems that plague the world.
The truth is, hip hop is not that different from the other genres of music. Most of it sucks, but there's still a lot of truly talented artists. But talent is usually overshadowed by marketability. Your skill on the mic in most cases, is second tier to your ability to sell records. These are not exclusive to hip hop, it's true in ALL forms of music.
So you still want to focus on the negative aspects of Hip Hop? Well, what about other forms of music? Rock often comes off as whiny, angsty bullshit for twelve year olds, Metalheads often only act tough, but rarely back it up, a lot of jazz musicians are nothing more than self indulgent pseudo spiritual yuppies, and classical instrumentalists can be the most elitist snobby groups ever. But while all these genres have their share of crap, there still remains some quality music to be found in each genre.
But why is Hip-Hop singled out? Why does it attract the most attention and get the most flack? Is it racial? Maybe, you certainly can't rule it out. But it may just be because Hip Hop has become such a marketable commodity, that like many things in pop culture, it becomes an easy target. Like Paris Hilton, Tom Cruise, and Bush, Hip Hop is just an easy target.
But for those who ignore the garbage, ignore the stereotypes, and ignore the talentless hacks that have saturated hip hop, and choose to look for something more, great thing await. For those who look past the likes of 50 cent, Lil this and that, and Phat whoeverthafuck, and instead, immerse themselves in the masterful works of Common, Jurassic 5, The Roots, and the like; the true nature of Hip Hop will reveal itself. It's then that you'll see the beautiful side of Hip Hop and all its glory.