Saturday, June 28, 2008

Hip-Hop Thru My Eyes

One music genre captures the soul and the struggle of the people of the ghetto: Hip-Hop. Indeed, it has often glamorized violence, drugs, guns, prison, and sex; it has also degraded women and homosexuals.

But amid the commercial garbage—which is willingly sold by white record executives—is beautiful art that articulates the rage, the plight, and the perseverance of minorities.

Unfortunately, however, most people are only exposed to a glimpse of what Hip-Hop truly is. They, therefore, come to believe that it is simply misogynistic, materialistic, and narcissistic.

When judged through the white supremacist lens, Hip-Hop is merely a product of a cultureless, disturbed group: young black men. The truth is, however, that artistic geniuses such as Tupac Shakur and Nasir Jones compare to the likes of the white worshipped Mozart and Beethoven. To objective listeners, the difference between these musicians is not quality but context.

Although Tupac grew up in a fatherless, poverty-striken home with a crack addict mother, he created music that transcended racial and socioeconomic lines, revealing unyielding truths about life, and vividly describing the world of underprivileged, disenfranchised individuals.

While clearly a virtuoso, Mozart lived in, as black intellectual Cornel West would say, “a deodorized, manicured world,” giving him a pronounced advantage over contemporary African Americans economically, socially, and psychologically.

In retrospect, it is incredible how some rap artists produced such amazing music when marginalized by their society and neglected by their government.

Since their impeccable lyrics paint pictures as descriptive and meaningful as Van Gogh's drawings, works like Tupac's
Me Against The World and Nas' Illmatic should be studied in classrooms, along side the sonnets of Shakespeare and the poetry of Langston Hughes.

5 comments:

KiNeTiC said...

This genre of music is definitely being marginalized and neglected in many parts of this white supremacist nation. And I might be biased because Shakur is my favorite musician ever, but being as objective as I can, I have to put him very high on the very short list of great musicians of the 1990's. You will forever live on in my heart, mind, and headphones. Tupac Shakur you will never be forgotten.

aztekdood13 said...

There are only a handful of rap artist that actually talk about life through their eyes, and not like today's hip hop rap "drink and my two step" what does that teach?

Utty2388 said...

I completely agree with you Christian. Hip Hop definitely “captures the soul and the struggle of the people of the ghetto.” It has served as a tool for today’s generation of African Americans (and other minority groups) to portray the adversities being faced by people in the underprivileged “ghettos.” Although Hip Hop has been greatly criticized for its violent lyrics, artists such as Tupac Shakur have, indeed, used this form of oral communication to raise awareness about problems that affect the African American community. In songs such as Words of Wisdom—which happens to be my favorite one of them all— Tupac openly discusses different forms of racial oppression in addition to explicitly blaming the “system”, or government, for the inequalities among social classes. His song will always and forever occupy a very special place in my ipod. His songs should certainly “be studied in classrooms, along side the sonnets of Shakespeare and the poetry of Langston Hughes.”

utty2388 said...

And should certainly “be studied in classrooms, along side the sonnets of Shakespeare and the poetry of Langston Hughes.”***

Chalsie said...

Well said.