Hip-hop is like the American government. The wrong people are in power. Hip-hop and I have this love/hate thing going on.
Sometimes it’s “Oh, hip-hop, you’re so great!”
Other times it’s “Oh, hip-hop, you stupid, ignorant &*!%, son of a*%^$! Example, love: Eminem’s “Lose Yourself.” Hate: Master P’s “Tight Whips.”
Where exactly is hip-hop headed? Can we expect more lyrics that actually say something and have a more complex rhyme scheme, or more people singing their ABC’s of rap?
What about videos? Not to plug a fellow rattler, but have you seen Common’s new one? The simplicity and effectiveness of the video is so powerful it’s incredible. The rhymes are also simple but anyone who knows about Common knows it’s not always like this.
I know what you’re thinking? Here’s this incense-burning, Talib Kweli-worshiping, anti-commercial rap activist trying to speak about hip-hop as a whole-that’s far from the truth.
A couple of days ago I turned the TV to BET and watched about 10 seconds of a video. So I switched to plan B, MTV, only to be greeted by the same video.
Not only that, that same artist was scheduled to appear on a show on one of the channels and give a live performance. Grrrrrreaaaaat, I can’t wait.
Cash rules everything around the entertainment industry. BET and MTV (and don’t think VH1 is getting off that easy) are like cigarettes. They might make you feel good but do much more damage. But who’s to blame, the artists, the labels, the stations, the video directors?
Artists are in “F– you pay me. Cut the check” mode.” Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with making a little cash but rappers are bigger whores than the ones they talk about.
The worst thing about it is that every time someone screams about what they drink, drive or wear they never see a penny from these companies. I know some of these clothing designers know nothing about hip-hop but love it because it provides so much free advertising.
Hint: If you’re going to be a spokesperson for a company, do what Hova did, rap about it then buy it, or take the route through Nellyville and start your own company to rap about. I know that $350,000 has much more value in mutual funds and individual retirement accounts than it does in a fancy Volkswagen.
My neck, my back and my hands are in place. My prayer for the future of hip- hop is in motion.
I am focused man! I just hope my prayers are heard. If so, one day, skills and content will rule. If you wish to pray with me, let us join hands.