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By Seth M.
Hip-Hop is a common meeting ground where all genre’s of music can come together to make something new. Combinations of spoken word, Thelonious Monk, and Aretha Franklin are all possible in one song. To some people this may seem unremarkable, but to me this is what my dreams are made of.
These same people that find Hip-Hop unremarkable may believe that the one genre of rap that is on the radio is all there is to Hip-Hop. However Hip-Hop is so large it has tons of subgenres and they grow in numbers everyday. What you hear on the radio is only one small fraction of Hip-Hop. There are so many different variants on the same common theme that I’d be shocked if some one didn’t find an aspect of Hip-Hop they were in to.
Another great thing about Hip-Hop is that it allows people who may not normally have an ability to express themselves and be heard to let it all out. Kids who live in underprivileged areas or have abusive parents may not have many people to talk to, but with Hip-Hop they can channel all of their emotions in a positive way.
These songs can be ways to release stress and pent up aggression for the writer. The listeners going through the same thing cope with their problems and hopefully establish a connection to the music. The only issue with this is that sometimes when artists only write about things like violence and drugs it can encourage kids who don’t know any better to follow in their footsteps. In mainstream rap today almost all songs are about drugs, violence, or objectifying women. After these kids hear these songs and after they’ve become the same as their idols they start to make music about their lives too and a vicious cycle is born. I can only hope that more artists will start to write about empowering your self and getting out of the hood because I don’t know about anyone else but I don’t think that stuff is fun nor will I ever take it casually.
Truthfully however the subject matter doesn’t particularly bother me. What does bother me is the lack of poetry. I think everyone is entitled to their artistic expression and that you can write about what ever you want, but I think that many people forget that when you write a rap you are writing a poem. And when you write a poem it should evoke some sort of emotion. Now if whatever you have made makes you feel something personally I can’t criticize your work. I might not personally feel anything and I may not listen to it but the artist is entirely entitled to his or her own opinion. The issue with the rap industry currently is that many people are into hip hop for the money, for the fame, or for the lifestyle.
This is where I draw the line. If you are in Hip-Hop for anything but the music you need to find a different get rich quick scheme. I really do wish that more people would gain an interest in Hip-Hop but this music is nearly a religion to me, and you would never think of going into a place of worship and being disrespectful would you? So please treat Hip-Hop with respect as the empowering poetry that it should be.