HIP HOP MATTERS
The art of empowerment still lies underneath the catchy club-friendly hooks, the radio driven lyrics, and the auto tune. After Q-Tip’s twitter history lesson directed towards Iggy Azalea in December, it was apparent Hip-Hop has become one of the most diverse cultures in today’s society. However, with the help of Hip-Hop’s hit makers, it is still placed in a stereotypical box. The art form was created so the underprivileged could have a voice, an outlet from the streets, poverty, and drugs, but, in 2015 Hip-Hop is a worldwide phenomenon that still scares upper-class America. With its roots in the inner city is Hip-Hop responsible for uplifting the “Black Lives Matters” movement? Or is it responsible for reinforcing the stereotypes that have caused unjust murders? Or is it just music?
It is unreal how in the 70’s the Black and Latino youth in the Bronx created a culture that started from basement parties and street corners to become a global money machine. Initially a political and social movement, Hip-Hop became the voice of the community, but rhyming over rhythm has transformed into the music of the mainstream as it clearly generates millions and millions of dollars. There are still a lot of socially conscious artists out there that are advocates of the “Black Lives Matter” movement, but will the radios play their music to help it gain momentum? I doubt the sponsors would support that but with each crime committed against young black lives, we should be able to count on the artist we support to propel our social injustices to the highest platforms of exposure. However, I’m sure we will continue to hear the allure of fame, fortune, and women dominating the airwaves and the clubs because that’s what drives the masses to spend their hard earn money.
I hope some form of a political/social agenda resurfaces from the Hip-Hop leaders, yet I know our culture will never continue to flourish financially if the ideologies of successful Black America were able to set the stage for an intervention. Our culture needs to prove that applying all the misconceptions of African-American men to each and every one of them is wrong. As the black entertainers make millions can they still shine the light on the burden of being black in America? Or do we have to force America’s attention on social injustices through social media, mixtapes, and YouTube? Probably both and with the world of music becoming an internet based business, artist have more control of their content and the ability to reach the audiences they appeal to without interference from the powers that be. However, will the talented individuals use these tools purely for profit with no intent to create a purpose within the communities they come from or will they take on the responsibility of speaking out on the issues of violence?