Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Def, Deaf & Blind

[Music] Two interesting articles to contemplate today as you vote for one white male mayoral candidate or the other, both pertaining to hip-hop.

The first, an essay authored by a noted professor who published books on Tupac and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., argues in favor of the oft-maligned musical genre (or at least encourages critics to actually listen to a wide body of work before rejecting it as misogynistic, backwards nonsense). The other, an article exploring hip-hop's supposed influence on teenager's sex lives, suggests that the genre's significance stops when the listener comes of age. As if it's something we outgrow.

And while the NY Times does site Bakari Kitwana in its closing thoughts, I'm more inclined to side with the thoughtful scholar who recognizes hip-hop as art without boiling it down to youthful indiscretion. What do you think? (Jamie Gadette)


  1. I have two teenaged kids. I'm old. And I love hip-hop. I listen to it often with them. I can't say I'm an authority on the many artists out there, but I've always respected the genre for its poetry/music/art/cultural value and have never dismissed it out-of-hand as so many people my age have (and interestingly, most have never listened to an entire song before throwing up their hands!).

    I'm also intrigued with the notion of teenagers outgrowing the "evils" of hip-hop when they come of age. I've thought this to be the case for a long time. It's true of all generations as we age--we move on a bit with our musical tastes, though I hope none of us get stuck in our high school/college years entirely.

    I for one still find myself wanting to take in a good anti-war protest ala Neil Young's musical advice!

  2. If we were to have a political revolution here in the U.S., hip-hop would be front and center.

    While at the Vegoose music festival in Las Vegas last weekend, a few of the rock bands made some snide, easy comments on the state of affairs. But it was Public Enemy, M.I.A., Cypress Hill, and Rage Against the Machine that used the energy of music to display their anger and frustration with the government. The audience loved it, and I'd have to assume by the number of people with middle fingers in the air chanting "f*ck George Bush", that the audience felt the same way.

    Folk may have been the protest music of the Vietnam era, but hip-hop seems to be the protest music of ours.

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  4. Hip Hop is the unfortunate perpetuation of an unfortunate cultural stereotype.

    While there are some artists who laud themselves as the embodiment of change and youthful voice, many simply embrace the lowest common denominator of thuggery and crime.

    (Okay, the old white guy here now steps down from the soap box...)


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