What’s up with all the, “Bitch this” and “That’s my hoe too”? I don’t know what’s worse: women being referred to in this manor or women accepting a derogatory reference like this as respect… “bad bitch“. The cost for self respect isn’t that high these days apparently. Women are allowing their power to either be stripped away or they just hand it over. All for what? Time has been way overdue for us to examine our behavior and way of thinking. Children are watching and they soak up EVERYTHING.
Outside of super producers that make the melodic tunes, why do we patronize songs that are non-creative, oppressive, derogatory, and violent? How did we grow to a point where we black out verses to only hearing a redundant hook and a strong baseline? I missed the days where lyrics reigned supreme. I remember the days when buying CD’s and reading the lyric book to your favorite songs was like an event. At one point we waited to hear what our favorite artists were saying. Listening isn’t even required today. So…. Why exactly do we have… music? Is it even fair to call it that anymore?
“And since we all came from a woman
Got our name from a woman and our game from a woman
I wonder why we take from our women
Why we rape our women, do we hate our women?
I think it’s time to kill for our women
Time to heal our women, be real to our women
And if we don’t we’ll have a race of babies
That will hate the ladies, that make the babies”
“Keep ya head up”
“I’m bout that water foset pussy, I swear that fuckin wet
I’m standing over the kitchen foset whippin up the bricks
With these niggas keep on beatin the door, they don’t wanna spend a check
The jacket tried to steal my lawn mower, he go wet”
–Gucci Mane 2013
In the 80’s and 90’s hip hop had a fair balance. Today, not so much. I wont put on like Tupac never called a woman a “bitch” or never screamed, “Fuck the World” when he did. What I loved and appreciated about him is that, he taught with his music. He showed us what can be done with Hip Hop. In songs like, “Brenda’s got a Baby”, “Changes”, and ” Dear Mama” he painted lyrical pictures of what life was really like in some of our ‘hoods. People respected him for keeping it real. Yes he was Thug Life but he was real life too.
If you play the game correctly, you can come out wealthy. That’s no secret. However, since greed and the organic, cut-throat nature of “business” has gotten to be what the music industry is most known for now (tragic), it’s understood that getting money is something to be proud of. How did we go from pride to straight stupidity? I must have been in the bathroom when that memo went out. Yes, throughout the times artists have taken money-inspired pictures but DAMN. Today, a lot of these artist have advertised that they are “free licks” waiting to be had. Treating money like toilet tissue is tacky and quite insulting. I can’t help but wonder what does one get out of this behavior. How does it feel to just squander money away when you have families right here in the United States that are struggling to make groceries last a week? Where is the sense in this? It is embarrassing to show that you came up and got paid and still don’t understand the value of a dollar. I appreciate artists like Master P. I admire not only his claim to fame but his business sense. People may laugh at some of his music now but, when Master P entered into the game, he gave artists a real life example of what it meant to be financially savvy and business minded. He showed us how to put our money to work for us and not visa versa. That was gangster, not making it rain on b*tches….
Treating cash like trash is not honorable nor cute. It’s just dumb. Money is a major part of life but it is not the most meaningful. What bothers me is the amount of these rappers that rhyme about getting money by any means necessary. It doesn’t matter if they have to rob, rape, steal, or kill. What’s even more insulting is when you hear about a lot of these rappers lives before they started rapping. In most cases, there isn’t one bit of Tony Montana or Frank White in their past lives yet they’ll scream “murder” or “dope” all over a mixtape. Why are you flexin? Let’s be real, I seriously doubt that Rick Ross was a gangster being a Corrections Officer before the deal.
Another thing that has go to go is the endorsement of all of these unknown street drugs that are coming about. Really Hip Hop? Throughout time, plenty of artists have made songs talking about a drug. ie: “White Horse”, “Life in the fast lane”, and “Cocaine”. Let’s not forget the 70’s. Nearly everyone was a flowerchild or stoner then. Today there’s a new epidemic going on. I notice that nearly every rapper makes a reference to Molly or Lean in their music (Moreso molly). What’s crazy is, that they drop the name in a verse like it is a part of a marketing/advertisement plan. Everyone from T.I to 2Chainz have all referenced this particular drug. Lil Wayne endorses everything and allegedly almost killed himself as a result. Lean is not too far behind molly in terms of popularity and reference dropping. My question is: Who is paying rappers to endorse these drugs that have been known to kill and maim people for life? What these artist fail to realize is that, when they endorse this crap, people are listening and will often times become the “test dummy” because they want to experience what they heard their favorite rapper talk about in a song.
In conclusion, I am not saying that things do not grow and change. That’s a part of life. My argument is: We went from a positive progression to a devastating low. What is really going on? Today, if you are packaged correctly, record execs and A&R’s will “create” you some talent and pimp you on a puppet string and make millions. I remember when Hip Hop was saving lives and helping us through. My adolescent years were tough. Sometimes I feel like Common and Tupac saved my life on many occasions. My household was crazy… Ultimately, it is up to us the patrons, to demand a change. Stop buying the bullshit and support real artistry again. I refuse to believe that everyone is truly happy with Hip Hop’s current state. The music is so bad that listening to local radio isn’t even worth it anymore unless if you prefer to hear the same songs back to back in an hour. Where is the quality? Why do worthy artists such as Killer Mike, Lupe Fiasco, and Talib Kweli get barely any airplay? The record industry is twisted. We can agree upon that all day but now is the time that we think and take accountability for our words and actions. As I said before, children are watching and they soak up everything. We can easily say that that isn’t our problem or ask where the parents are. It doesn’t matter. One day, we will surpass our prime and the youngsters will run everything. What kind of world do you think we will be living in then?