Monday, April 23, 2007

Is This What Martin & Malcolm Died For?

I'm not the biggest fan of hip-hop music, or at least the form of rap music that permeates the airwaves 24-7. I think the artform has dissolved into a new milenium minstrel show of least common denominator hooks and dumbed down lyrics. I can't bear listening to this type of stuff for any more than 5 minutes at a time. I feel my IQ drop a few points every time I happen to be scanning stations and come across that ignant assed "Lip Gloss" song. Then again, rap music, and music in general are all about selling ringtones nowadays, not putting together cohesive albums that actually say something. So, you get your explosion of "Walk it Out" and "Throws Some D's" and "Chain Hang Low". I'm sure 33 year old aren't the target market for this stuff, so hey, no harm, no foul.

I completely stopped listening to your Hot/Power/Jamz variation of FM radio a few years back. Most days, I'll listen to AM talk/sports radio, or if I'm feeling a little breezy, whatever's in my iPod. I prefer more mature hip-hop like Dilated Peoples, Little Brother, Consequence, Lupe Fiasco, and lots of other groups that get zero airplay. I don't consider myself a backpacker, and I'll willingly admit that some of the Southern stuff has it's appeal, but I'm not about to peel off $15 for "Pop Lock & Drop It".

The negative effects of rap music on young listeners have been dissected and researched to death by people far smarter than me, so I won't weight in here. But I think rap music, hell, black people in general, took a huge 15 steps back last night on 60 Minutes. Mainstream media never seem to get it quite right when examining hip-hop music, so a stodgy institution like 60 Minutes can hardly be expected to correctly report about the whole "Stop Snitchin'" campaign. They fail to focus on the real root of the problem, lack of confidence in police protection, and choose a far easier target, igonorant rappers. Exhibit A: Cam'ron, who probably thinks he goes toe to toe in this segment with Anderson Cooper, but really just makes himself look like an uneducated jackass.

Somewhere in heaven, MLK is crying inside.

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