Hip Hop is on Trial…and Everyone’s Snitching! Powerful words….huh?! When I read those words for the first time, they rang so true to me that a chill ran up my spine. Hip Hop has been under fire for a minute now and the war is getting bigger and bigger. From Don Imus to Oprah the genre has been blasted and the “hip-hop generation” has had to defend it’s actions and words from every angle. Rodney Carmichael wrote an article the other day in Creative Loafing addressing the issue:
Though the first chapter in T.I.’s federal firearms case drew to a close with his $3 million bond release last Friday, Oct. 26, the rap industry continues to dodge bullets in a year that has been full of nonstop drama. Perhaps DJ Drama’s arrest on racketeering charges at his downtown Atlanta office was an omen. Since then, everything from violent lyrics and gratuitous sexual imagery in videos to the genre’s prolific use of degrading words like “nigga,” “bitch” and “ho” have come under fire.
But what came first, incendiary rap lyrics or the incendiary times? That’s the multibillion-dollar question, considering hip-hop generates at least that much annually. One thing is certain: With so much money to be made, rap artists aren’t the only ones getting paid to exploit the culture. Corporate media and the politicians they lobby also have a vested interest in keeping things status quo. So passing the buck like a hot potato – from Don Imus to hip-hop to ‘the America way’ to the Civil Rights generation and back to the rappers again – makes dollars and good business sense.
Though there’s plenty of responsibility to go around, rappers seem to be the main ones catching the flak. Meanwhile, the media frame hip-hop’s pathology as “a black thang,” when, in actuality, it’s also a vivid reflection of the little white lies America was built on.
“We had sexism and misogyny and violence and materialism in American culture before hip-hop existed,” says William Jelani Cobb, who teaches a seminar on hip-hop culture at Spelman College. “In some instances, it’s very convenient to just single hip-hop out, but we would really be in good condition if those problems were isolated to a musical genre. They’re systemic, they’re broad and they’re widespread.”
Is he correct?? Is it way “Bigger than T.I. “!? Why do you think the record executives put up MILLIONS to bail him out of jail?? It’s not just BLACK and WHITE….it’s GREEN. Read the entire article over at Creative Loafing and tell us what you think.