Speaking on the new trends- Ras Kass has a point
Take a listen at the above while you start to read this preface to the meat of the post. The funniest part about this is that he is pretty much right when he is talking about the role reversals in urban music now and how things have switched up over the past 10-12 years.
To surmise he is saying that women have become empowered to be more like men in their mentality while singers have adapted to be the "hardcore" men in order to woo the ladies and rappers are acting all sweet now. I understand it, rappers at one point were a bit too hard. It was corny even.
So rappers went to the R and B side of things and started to soften up especially after the huge success of Mase and Nelly who had just enough edginess to them to be hip-hop who were themselves following the lip-licking antics of LL.
Singers on the other hand had gotten too sexy with the Al B. Sure's and Christopher Williams' running the early r and b and dressing, well like performers. Then came Jodeci (who were influenced by the immortal Bobby Brown) and who gained fame by thugging out r and b. So there eventually became a line where you couldn't tell one from the other.
You tell me which one of those guys looks "tougher". Then we have the fact that women are now a lot more aggressive, thanks to Lauryn Hill and Queen Latifah's spiritual empowerment and Lil Kim's sexual empowerment. They aren't going to sit back and wait on men anymore and express all of their desires. Then Ras Kass speaks on these guys who are talking about how they will spend on females because it's nothing to them.
Now this guy is one of the biggest perpetrators of said fraudulence and he also claims to be one of the biggest goons to ever walk the earth. So what about tossing money at strippers and buying chicks Louie Vuitton bags is considered gangster. Shit, gangster spent money on themselves but didn't like to advertise publicly or throw it around (more on this in a later blog about Slim Thug) to women especially. I understand some of the time they are trying to focus on the more spectacular dreams of the ladies but this is all they seem to offer. However, this entire notion undermines what they are supposed to be representing.
So what's the point of all of this? Well for starters there needs to be some sort of dialogue about gender roles in today's hip-hop. I'm not saying I want these guys to all be superthugs, however I want some realism and something in the way of expectations that makes sense. Look at your local corners the guys who are real hustlers, they aren't dressed like rappers, but the guys who look like Jim Jones aren't real. Real Hustlers don't have the time to make themselves stand out, it's the exact opposite. Secondly, men need to help young men define themselves and women need to help young ladies discover who they are as more than sexual beings trying to get that money using their bodies. A large part of this is from the single mother/grandmother households (yet another topic for later) but the other influences in the media and public need to be stronger to combat the startling trends that are affecting every facet of urban life.