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Friday, March 29, 2013

Hip-hop We Have a problem...

So I do my daily log onto World Star and I see Ricky Ross 'clearing up' some lyrics on some song with Rocko. Now, I refuse to listen to anything by Rocko so I never heard the song nor lyrics in question. So I listened for the 'explanation' then I listened to the song itself. Rozay is wrong and once again crossed the line. In the song he raps:

“Put molly all in her champagne, she ain’t even know it/ I took her home and I enjoyed that, she ain’t even know it.”

He then turns around and says that it is misinterpreted some kind of way and that women are the queens. These same women he calls bitch on record. The same women he uses interchangeably in song and the only way he shows appreciation for is based upon the dollar amount he 'spends' in boutiques. Then he says hip-hop doesn't support that, yet he found it cool enough to rap such scandalous bars in the first place, listen to the song multiple times and then give his blessing to be played as a single.



But you know what, this is just part of a wider issue within rap music right now. The mysoginy is at an all time high as well as the disrespect for females and society in general. Disrespect has gotten to the point where it is almost encouraged to an extent. How many rappers routinely refer to women as bitches with no second thought and turn around, who are the biggest supporters of these artists, women.

I don't hear music coming from these guys talking about women in a non-sexually explicit manner and giving them positive reinforcement.I don't hear anything respectful of women except in a song about their mother taking care and raising them, though they tend to have endured hellish and unhealthy conditions because of it. The dichotomy man I tell you. We can have praise for women who lived their younger lives just like the women we disrespect on record and don't see the connection.

But let's stop for a second because I had to when looking at this topic and seeing the varied reactions on social media. For one, I don't think Rick Ross is running around dropping Mollys in drinks and raping chicks. I think he thought it sounded slick and I do have a problem with that because there is a problem we have where we quantify everything. "Oh this doesn't matter it's just rap". If thats how you feel then why feel the need to even make a statement or get involved in the debate about content. Yes, "There are bigger issues in the world I Know" - to quote Jay-z but it's the underlying issue that popular artists get passes when they step over a line because we like them and don't want to protect them. Make them responsible.



In talking about this on Twitter, I had to confront the reality that worse things have been said, Eminem killed his daughter's mother on wax several times and Tyler the Creator and Hopsin are know for their outlandish attempts to get attention by saying the most outrageous things, but no one takes those two seriously. The Eminem situation is the closest because he is a popular artist but he also faced intense criticism over his lyrics, and why, because people related to him and he was seen as being able to influence the popular culture at the time. Same thing with Rick Ross, he is one of the leaders of the culture right now, like it or not and a lot of older people who have children now listening to hip-hop are and have a right to start being just as concerned as those white parents were in 1999 when Eminem dropped.

The talk about weed is one thing, a lot of people know it and understand it. Alcohol has a place in American culture overall so pop all the bottle you want. We rationalize away the violence as a product of the environment. But we start to raise our eyes with Mollys because it's the first thing in this generation of hip-hop we don't get or understand. This is what has us looking at the news at stories about it confused and when our kids are rapping about popping them and sweating and you hear this dude using it as a date rape drug if only on record, we're going to start getting upset. When your kids or nephews or nieces are walking around quoting these lines and laughing, you have to be concerned and need to ahve the conversation to make sure they can tell the difference between 'fantasy' ,'art', and 'reality' and these rappers do not help by creating fictional situations and then emphasizing their authenticity. At some point these things have to either cancel each other out or you have to pick a side to be on. You cannot keep telling me you're real then say every controversial lyric is just fiction. It doesn't work like that.

As listeners we have to both strive to be consistent yet understand that these words have value and meaning. This is both literal, these are rappers who get paid for what they say, and beyond as they represent values that either reinforce what your kids already believe, or teach them new ones. It's not just for parents, the guy next to you at the mall, a random person at a club or party all could and will be affected by this. It could be as much as them being the one to set you up, or as simple as ignoring something someone else is doing because it fits in culturally. We all have a responsibility within urban music and hip-hop to shape it as we think it should be and there is some point where someone feels a line has been crossed and should speak on it. Rap cannot be a place where everything is accepted as mainstream because it 'isnt important' because before you blink, that issue becomes the one at the forefront and we could have done something about it.

1 comments:

Anytime you gotta explain something after you blatantly said/did it, you know you effed up. Love me some Rozay, but he crossed the line. The thing about it is that he didn't even have to do it. Why you gotta drug somebody? I thought you were the boss...

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