Rap music is the most popular music in the world, influencing every aspect of American life. Starting out as an instrument of outlet in the poor urban areas of America, rap music has risen to the height of nation and international acclaim. Rap’s influence embodies our everyday lives in the form of TV, sports, education, religion, engineering, the clothing we wear, and is recorded in more than 500 languages around the world.
So why is this form of musical expression suddenly under attack by some of the same people who profit from it?
Let’s take gangster rap, for instance. Some people believe that gangster rappers control the distribution and air play of their music and videos, but that is not true.
Major corporations are responsible for the shoving down our throats of images that promote sex, drugs, black-on-black crime, and have blocked some of the other forms of rap such as Christian, political, educational, rock, gospel and the 100 other forms of rap not getting equal air play.
Ever wonder why you never hear politicians today coming forward against gangster rap like they did in the ’80s?
That is because those same politicians now have a vested interest in the corporate distribution of this worldwide musical phenomenon.
Just like they outsource millions of American jobs to overseas businesses they also make billions bombarding us and glorifying gangster rap, drugs and sex until our youth, regardless of their race, become influenced by the thug culture.
Now don’t get me wrong – I said influenced, not destroyed.
As a big gangster rap fan myself, I do not support banning gangster rap. That would be a violation of their constitutional right to freedom of speech.
Instead, let’s point the finger at the major corporations who make billions of dollars portraying African Americans as thugs to the world.
We must demand that they give us a diverse variety of rap music on our airwaves.
It’s just like illegal drugs. If you go after the big boys at the top who own the boats and planes, then the drugs can’t get into hands of the street dealers and into the communities.
The same message holds true for gangster rap.
Make the corporations who own these TV and radio stations give all forms of rap an equal opportunity to be heard, and you will see a positive change in our society.
Most of all, gangster rap is not responsible for the formation or the rise in gang activities. Gangs have been a part of America since the 1800s when the white Anglo-Saxon “nativist” gangs would fight the Irish immigrant gangs for political power and territory.
This notion that every kid that wears baggy pants and makes hand gestures is a gang member or thug is ridiculous.
I watched an old performance of Elvis Presley and noticed how he made some of the same hand gestures I see on the streets each day as he swung his hips and arms to the music.
As for the use of the “N” word and the recent campaigns to have it buried. That is never going to happen. The “N” word was embedded in our society over the course of 400 years and is as American as apple pie.
What an ugly stain left over from the slavery era.
We have more pressing issues in our community to address like HIV/AIDS, high unemployment rates, major health issues, our children are being suspended and expelled from schools at a higher rate, and the dropout rate for black males is through the roof.
But in all fairness to the system, we also need to get off our butts and get more involved in our kids’ education. Yes, racism is still alive and well, but to use it as a crutch and allow it to stop you from achieving your goals is unacceptable.