Stealing Hip-Hop Back!
Hip-Hop started in the streets and was a gift to many in more ways than one. People found a way to express their frustration and anger by putting it to a beat. The goal was never for profit but instead, started out as a free therapy session. Forced to grow up in a cycle of inequality that you could not break out of and trapped in a system that was designed to fail, music was the outlet and only opportunity for most. Today the same opportunity that was created by the streets is now controlled by the same personalities that forced black people to reside in Ghettos. Forcing young individuals to perpetuate stereotypes in order to break out of poverty and create so-called success in this country.
The most powerful part of Hip-Hop was the freedom to speak on your story and your pain and have the world understand your life/struggle/enjoyment etc. That is not the case today because the secret in today’s music genre is that the artist has to be ignorant in order to make it to the level of success. It is less about talent and more about image. The streets owned Hip-Hop so the only artist that came out was the best at their craft. It was not about your street-cred or how many years you spent in jail. Tupac never went to jail (before fame) and is considered “The Realist” rapper of all time. Today you hear more artists talking about how long they spent in jail or how they represent the streets because they embrace a criminal image. Being “Real” should not reflect being a criminal and killing your own direct or indirectly (drugs). The personalities that took over are creating a world that is becoming dangerous for its residents. They force artists to create a name for themselves by destroying their community. It appears as if an artist won’t get signed unless they sell a drug or spend time in jail.
If the streets take Hip-Hop back you will see a change in these black and brown communities. It will no longer be about creating a name by destroying your neighbor, but rather being more talented than your neighbor. It will represent who can tell their story the best not who can glorify ignorance the best. These personalities took what people worked hard to create and sold it back with stipulations and regulations. They gave life penalties for trying to take it back or speaking out against it. Being a rapper should not mean being a criminal nor should it be the message that you indirectly deliver to future generations. Hip-Hop is never going to go back to the original purpose and that is not what this is about. This is about taking back Hip-Hop and ending the reign of those who have held our communities hostage.