The Degradation of Hiphop Essay

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When did music stop being an art and become a business? Hiphop used to be about keeping kids off the streets, used to channel their energy into positive pastimes to keep them from becoming involved with gangs. It promoted positive and peaceful messages through intelligently written rhymes. It used to be cool to use a dictionary to write rhymes and rap about science and political issues. But now that gangster rap has become mainstream, kids don’t want to hear anything that doesn’t mention pimpin’, hoein’, drinkin’ forties, or smokin’ blunts. The media has fused Hiphop and gangster rap, but what many people are unaware of is that there is another side to Hiphop – typically called underground Hiphop. The underground is where Hiphop…show more content…
People would get together – typically at block parties or park jams – and show their skills as a positive pastime. Hiphop was created to stop gang violence, not to promote it like the typical gangster rapper does today. This is one of the many things that people are unaware of when they are solely exposed to mainstream commercialized gangster rap. “Hiphop music isn’t experimental anymore,” Says Shortkut of The Invisibl Skratch Piklz, “It’s violent and materialistic. All the so-called rap videos on MTV are about holding cash in your hand, wearing Versace, and looking like a so-called playa. I never knew that as Hiphop. To me, Hiphop was partying and showing your skills, not calling somebody out and shooting them” (“Evolution”). The founder of Hiphop, Afrika Bambaataa, was himself a Black Spade Gangster, but he sparked the Hiphop revolution for the good of the community. When there were Hiphop park jams, there were thugs and gangsters present, but it was all about having fun and being positive. So why does the gangster version of Hiphop sell? Because America is in love with sex, drugs, and violence. Instead of creating a positive message that talks about doing something productive, the media sells a fantasy. Too often, intelligent rappers are labeled “soft,” and anything that is not gangster is labeled as being “not real.” But the gangster image is the fantasy! In an interview with DJ Lord Ron,

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