Hip Hop is always on trial. I want to rant and detail every point I disagreed with. But i wouldn’t be saying anything different (or anything we don’t already know with our hearts). This entire “trial” is just another discussion to direct some sort of tangible blame for the ills of society and its people when in fact it is already clear as day. hip-hop isn’t a cause and effect of anything, it is a reflection and, at the same damn time, a vision. Honestly, how can we, a cultural minority be responsible for the degradation of the very society that degrades us? For generations?
We’re really having this argument?
Certainly, hip-hop has been a justifier of a racialized prison culture. Yes, commercial mainstream hip-hop has become exacerbated by corporations as a ‘cultural arm of predatory capitalism’ (as Tricia Rose brilliantly put). And of course misogyny and sexism damage all humanity. But as Michael Eric Dyson said, “some of the wrong niggas just got the mic.” And as with everything we bear and create — even our bodies, our culture — we have been exploited. Willingly.
We sold our selves short. We never fully realized how important this thing called hip hop was until it was far to late, until its reach and impact showed how expansive it really was. We needed to be more responsible.
Like Jay said, “we need a board man…”
Deeb, a Egyptian MC, talked about how important hip-hop was in starting a youth led political revolution in Egypt. Both KRS-one and dream hampton discussed the hip hop as one of the most important tools today for community organizing for young people. And quite frankly, as Joe Budden put the shit to the very affluent folk on the panel, “you are not my audience.” hip hop, while multi-cultural/racial in its movement, is and has always been a means and access by way of voice, for oppressed and disenfranchised peoples. And that takes place all around the world, in every ghetto. It is a spirit that gives us the power to say ‘I matter’.
I want people everywhere to see how important hip hop is and can be, that it isn’t long removed from its incredible golden age. As a tool for disenfranchised peoples. But from the otherside, the ways in which it hasn’t been done. I don’t know what that is yet…