Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Is It Trickin' If You Got It?!?

As you guys know, my taste in hip-hop is a bit more refined than what's played on the radio, yet I still hear the term "it ain't trickin' if you got it" often enough to get the gist. And let's face it, whether you're talking about rap music or what passes for R&B today, music seems littered with the toxic "if I do you, what you gon' buy me?" sentiment that basically boils down to sex for cash.

As you guys know, I don't really subscribe to the sentiment that rap music ruins kids' lives. Sorry, I just don't. I know there have been studies that show black girls who watched rap videos "drop it like it's hot" more often than black girls who don't. I think that's bullsh*t basically. The same study didn't bother looking at other factors that have a far greater influence on kids than a stoopid Nelly video, namely: parental involvement. Seriously, the Journal of Women's Health study didn't mention the word "parent" a single time. Not once. And lets be real, if a kid doesn't have any strong parental involvement, their life is already effed' the eff' up enough. Plies is just a pickle on the sh*t sandwich that is these childrens' reality, not the meat.

I'm obviously not being an apologist for some of the misogynistic and needlessly violent crap being peddled out there, but I learned my lesson last year when I ran a post about a young kid on Youtube who did a step routine to Lil' Boosie and Webbie's scrip club anthem "Wipe Me Down". The kid's father (a frat brother of mine) contacted me directly and we had a very enlightening offline convo. Sure, the kid was steppin' to a song he had no real business knowing at age 6, but he's also doing well in school and is heavily involved at his church. So, basically, I ate crow and learned to mind my own damn business and raise my own damn kids. If my sons tag-team up and knock off a liquor store, Menace 2 Society-style 18 years from now, I damn sure won't be blamin' Young Jeezy. I'll be blamin' me.

Anyways, as much as I'm able to overlook some of the messages in music, this whole "coochie for cash" thing just really rubs me the wrong way. Yeah, even I realize I'm contradicting the hell outta what I just said one paragraph above, but I think such rank materialism is a whole lot harder to ignore than blatantly over-the-top messages like "kill! kill! kill!".

Seriously, take a listen (have some Tums first) to your local Hot/Kiss/Power Hip-Hop/R&B station and listen to what's being said in virtually every song.

T-Pain & Lil' Weezy's "I Can't Believe It".

Rick Ross' unintentionally comical "Here I Am".

And the "Lift Every Voice Annnnnd Sang!" of simpdom, T.I.'s "Whatever You Liiiiike".

Basically, each song is about showering a young lady with gifts and cash in return for, ahhemmm, "companionship". I don't know who this makes more pathetic: the men who think they're actually mackin' or the women who willingly go along with the charade. Sure, these are all nice songs with catchy hooks, but does anyone else worry a bit about the message being peddled here?

Yeah, I know there's a certain level of "give and take" in every relationship. I'm married for Chrissakes, so trust me, I know. But at what point do relationships become less about relations about more about transactions?

Question: Is it trickin' if you got it? Have you ever tricked or been tricked on? Do you think the repetitive messages in hip-hop music can influence bad behaviors in kids or does parental involvement trump almost everything else?

Also See: It Ain't Tricking If You Got It....Or Is It? [Ed The Sports Fan Blog]

* Before you ask, the photo above has no relevance to this post. I had no idea what else to use, so I just threw it up there. If you have better suggestions, give em' to me.

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