28 April 2013
Hip-hop today is reaching new ranges of its audience; it is more popular with a variety of races now, than it has ever been before. However, Hip-hop as we know it today, no matter the arguments or pressed “facts”, is not how we knew it when it first was created. Before, hip-hop was a way to express yourself; many artist used it to talk about the problems in the corrupt world or even problems that they were facing in their own lives. It was used to encourage and enlighten the African American community, whereas today, it is seen to some as degrading the African American community more as the African American females in today’s society. Is hip-hop dead? Or are we just blinded by typical hip-hop of today that is constantly played on the radio and television? Hip-hop when first arriving on the scene was a style of poetry spoken over a beat. Hip-hop once helped revolutionize African Americans. It birthed social politically conscious artist; artist who did not just care about the “bling bling”, but the problems that were faced in the world. When thinking of hip-hop some people date back to the originators of the genre while others refer to the “Hot” rap artist of today. Change is normal, but is all change good? There are some that argue that hip-hop is not dead, that it is more popular today than it has ever been before. Although that is true, what about the degrading language used in today’s most popular music? Some people see no problem with the lyrics and the way that they portray women in these songs and videos. Not all women are offended or manipulated by it. Of course hip-hop has changed, the problem hip-hop is facing today is the fact that not everyone is ok with the change that it’s making. Going from empowerment, to songs about sex, drugs and money is a big step, a step that not everyone has been willing to accept.
Many people listen to the songs on the radio today and get caught up with the beat, not realizing the lyrics in the song and what they are actually saying. “Right now, I would say that this hip-hop culture is definitely degrading to the race.” (Dushawn Roberts “The Evolution of Hip-hop: Is it even Hip-hop?”) Although there are still some artist out today that give off positive messages in their songs, many of them are writing songs that focus more on women, violence and greed. “People like Soulja Boy Tell’em, Drake and Hurricane Chris have ruined the purpose of this culture, whereas rappers such as Ludacris, Nas and even Eminem have been continuing the real meaning of hip-hop.” (Dushawn Roberts). This statement that was presented in Dushawn Roberts’s article shows that there are some rappers still out that are still keeping the real meaning of hip-hop alive, but then you have the ones who are doing the complete opposite. Those are the artist that continually play on the radio and that our generation continues to listen to.
Listening to the radio today most of the lyrics consists of sexual and degrading context towards females, even more, African American females. Me being an African American female I myself, am not ok with the lyrics and messages being displayed. Adults of course would be able to listen to such songs and being mature enough still have respect for women, and in a woman’s case, respect for themselves; but what about our youth? As a result of these songs playing on the radio, it leads to our young men believing that it is alright for them to refer to and treat females the way that they are being portrayed in the lyrics. It also leads to young women feeling as though it is alright for men to treat them and talk to them in such a manner.
Not only does it affect the way our youth acts, but it also affects the way they present themselves. “Women’s bodies are constantly displayed in a sexual way, and this behavior is imitated by young girls across the country who idolize them.” (Maya, “Influence of Mass Media”). A lot of young girls