Black Culture plays an integral role in the way other races interpret Black Americans. From stereotypes in movies, television shows and modern news, our world seems confined to the ways in which media represents us. One of the ways we have outlasted these stereotypes is through music.
Music has always been important to the Black community, even in the days of our ancestors back in Africa. While pop culture since the 1980s has ultimately been shaped by everything hip-hop, there always seems to be a reason as to why we aren’t exceeding in mainstream media. From Migos, a rap group in Atlanta that has broken several music records held by the Beatles, to N.W.A., a group from South-central Los Angeles that shaped the way police were seen in the country, Black Americans have shown that their only rival is themselves when it comes to maintaining a proper image.
Hip-Hop has always been labeled as an outlaw genre, as the NYPD itself has several task forces that deal with Hip-Hop artists in the city. After the breakout of Gangster-Rap in the 1990s, gang culture, violence and Hip-Hop have always gone hand-in-hand. One question that often plagues rap is, where is the line drawn between exploiting violence, and glorifying it? A recent poll on twitter asked users if they think rappers use their lyrics to explain their struggles or to exploit a popular trend, with 62 percent agreeing that they do. As many have found success in talking about a violent upbringing, many have been blamed for corrupting the youth, and changing the ways in which authority in black communities are seen.
“It’s definitely hard to tell the real from the fakes,” says New York native, Assad Adeyola. “But violence in any form comes from a great struggle. The real question to ask is what they’ve struggled with,” he says.
In more modern times, rappers have switched from selling drugs to using them. One begins to wonder if they are just substituting ways to cope with their struggle. Atlanta rapper, Future, says that he doesn’t event use drugs for the most part, even with his biggest project to date being named after a cough syrup-induced drink used by many Southern rappers.
Merlot Guerrero is a Southern California native and an intern at the television network, ViceLand. “Music has always been a part of my life, but I choose to listen to music that doesn’t exploit drugs,” she said. “Drugs have always been popular to rap music, selling or using but that’s something I’m not a fan of.” Merlot says.
It’s always positive to see a rags-to-riches story, as that is the American dream. To go from selling illegal substances to making millions of dollars, it’s always great to see dreams come true. We think rappers should be held responsible and persecuted for telling their life story and how they made it onto the main stage, but the important thing to remember is, they made it. Whether their lyrics are lies, or they’re promoting violence against police, one must remember that Hip-Hop is art, and art has never gotten along with authority.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s