Thursday, April 19, 2007

Maybe the Dali Lama is the only one who can criticize Hip Hop(Vibe)

Maybe its because I'm getting older, remembering a time when people thought that George Michael was straight and that Terrance Trent Darby would have an illustrious singing career, but it seems to me that most of the people who criticize Hip Hop just regurgitate random talking points that they once heard on an episode of Geraldo circa 1989. Due to the whole hysteria surrounding a man that no one with a healthy pulse even listens to any more, my life over the past week has felt like a dreadlocked version of "Groundhog Day" - hearing everyone from right wing pundits to civil rights activists telling whoever would listen that Hip Hop music is bringing down western civilization as we know it. Listen, I agree with many of the well meaning brother's and sisters who have publicly voiced their concerns recently - I've been a fan of Hip Hop for the better part of three decades, but I can't defend the indefensible. Besides the fact that I'm a Hip Hop elitist who finds a slew of artists being played on the radio, MTV, and B.E.T as fundamentally bad, I have no problem agreeing with the harshest of Hip Hop critic that violence, minstrelsy, and misogyny is a constant motif in many of what's played nowadays. But many of these well intentioned black folks embarrass themselves whenever they don't specifically point out that what they are vehemently ranting against is "Clear Channel" Hip Hop - anything predicated on flashing diamond encrusted smiles, throwing money in the air, and proudly exhibiting a lack of lyricism - exuding nothing but intellectual laziness, knowing that it's much easier to quote a questionable rap lyric than to tackle the faulty educational system or flat out bad parenting.(Read more here)

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