Hip Hop and Politics For the Youth
Posted May 13 2008
The panel today was one of the best ones I have been to. This panel surprisingly did not bore me at all, unlike all the other ones I have been to. I think this panel was so good because it was more of a town hall type on meeting rather than the type where only the panel member’s talk. Them incorporating us into the discussion was a big help. The panel members consisted of Angela Woodson, Rico Pabon, dead prez, Dawn-Elissa Fisher, Rosa Alicia Clemete, and Bakari Kitwana. They all were from different parts and gave opinions from different perspectives on hip hop/ political topics.
I would have to say that the most interesting people on the panel would have to be Rosa Alicia Clemete and Angela Woodson. Rosa seemed to be the most relatable to me. I like her topic about all the white supremacy that is happening today through everything we do including trying to get an education while all the funds are being cut to necessary programs such as Sex Ed and Music departments. Rosa also explained her feelings, asking a question I have also wondered about, which was why can’t people who live on the island of Puerto Rico vote when they have U.S. citizenship. I personally don’t believe that she a racist against white people; it’s just her experiences and encounters with Caucasians that make her feel the way she that she does.
Angela Woodson stood out to me specifically because of when she kept emphasizing that she will always be a student. That to me meant that she has already established that she will always be willing to learn something knew from different perspectives. Angela was the one who seemed most interested in teens’ point of view on the topics discussed today. She talked about how hard it might be if Barack Obama became president. She said it may become difficult for Barack to stay true to everything he is saying now because he is only one man and it’s the congress and senates who will have to agree or partially agree with him for him to stay true to all his current stances, which I really agree with.
All the other panelist made great points like when Rico Pabon was talking about how the was the one who decided that he was going to stop the addictions that his last 3 generations had gone through, which come back to the point that its always up to you to change or break the cycle. One thing that I really enjoyed about this panel was they were not old white men. That was important to me because I don’t want to hear ‘bout my culture and my neighborhood and the things I have been through from no old white man who doesn’t have a clue about my culture or anything else that a young minority child have gone through. I would rather hear it from someone who looks like me and been through and is still going through some of things that I go through on an everyday basis.
The best thing about the panel, besides the fact that they were minorities, was that there were minority women that understood the things that young women go through, because especially in Oakland. Girl’s experiences are way different from the male’s experiences. Like women constantly getting called out of there names and getting verbally harassed on daily basis, whereas males don’t really go through that as much a girls, which was also discussed on today’s panel. Today’s panel really showed me that I really should think about things before I just say them because I don’t want to be seem as the ignorant black girl that doesn’t know nothing. All the other members had excellent points that where discussed today which where also important. They should really be thanked for taking time out there schedule and having this panel for the first time at a high school because it was not only informal but it was also very empowering to a lot of people and I believe the message got to everyone in different ways. I also encourage them to continue having panels at other high schools, hoping they get something important out of it like we did today.-Shatika S.
I really enjoyed the panel that came to the school today. I’ve never seen a panel have a discussion before so it was cool to be there and see how things work. In the beginning I thought that they were going to only be focusing on the presidential election, which made me indifferent about going to hear the panel. So when things got going and they started to cover different topics I felt confused and relieved. I was confused because I thought that everything was going to be about voting or endorsing Barack Obama, but when I saw that it wasn’t, I was happy that they talked about different subjects and that made me want to stay longer after the bell had rung.
The panelists had interesting things to say and one topic that really stuck out to me was, why are women being exploited by hip-hop and in videos and how can you stop it. The answer that stuck out to me was Rosa Clemente’s answer because she said that even though it happens a lot hip hop was not the first thing to exploit women. This stood out to me the most because it’s very true. Hip-Hop did not begin the exploitation of women and publications such as Playboy magazine, which exploits women, has been around since 1953. So some of the topics really made me think and I like that because it helped me not to sit there and be bored. After the panel was done I was happy that I could go around and talk to the panelist with Yareli because they said some interesting things. One thing that stood out to me was when I asked M1 was the forum a success he said the only way we would know was if he came back and we had more organizations on campus or if we decided to make a change. I think that this was a success because it kind of helped me want to be more politically active and I think it motivated the students know that if they want to do something then they can.-Brittany D.
I thought the whole event was very good. The panelists were just outstanding. The fact of just being in the room with those people is a privilege. All the stuff that they all said was very deep and knowledgeable. One of the panelists that really stood out to me was Rosa Clemente. Everything she had to say just stuck in my head and made me realize how the system works and how it’s degrading women. I agree with her because it is all true if you really think about it. It starts off since your little, how they cut the girls pants and the boys pants. Right there they are already dividing them up.
The things you say and the music you listen to can also be affecting the community. Saying stuff like b*tch, ho, slut, etc is affecting the younger generation. It’s making it seem like is OK to be disrespectful towards women. By just listening to songs that talk about slapping a b*tch or pimping hoes is already making it ok to say those stuff only because the artist are rapping it. It is also the radio stations’ fault for putting so many of those songs out there for us and younger kids to listen. If they were to put more meaningful and positive stuff on the radio I’m pretty sure there wouldn’t be so much negative energy towards women. If we were exposed to more after school programs that teaches us about empowering women and about bettering our communities there would probably be less degrading of women and possibly less violence.
What Rico Pabon said about how he got into rapping was good. I see that he started rapping to zone out to not be in that drug house. I also like what he said that, drugs took over his life without even doing drugs. The drugs affected his parents and his parents affected him by not always being there for him.
I would just like to thank all of the panelists that came for having a conversation and lacing us up on game and well really just spitting knowledge to us.-Kevin L.
What I thought about the event was that it was really good and exciting because I was paying attention to what they had to say. What really got my ears was that they were really taking more about the youth than them taking about themselves and hip-hop. I really like when Rosa Clemente talked about how her life and how her parents really didn’t teach her about sex and at a certain age she started having sex. She also talked about drugs and how to her weed isn’t a drug, but to our parents it is considered a drug.
I also liked the students asking the panel questions because you can tell that they really cared about what they had to say and by that they learned a little bit about us. It seemed interesting that it was their first time coming to a high school because I thought that they were all over schools since their main focus was the youth. I was really interested in what they had to say and I like words that came out of their mouths when they referred about women being called the b word in hip-hop music. It’s just something that we girls can’t be called cause we are not that.-Daisy B.
I really enjoyed the Rap Session. All the people on the panel were very intelligent, prepared and knew what they were talking about. It was interesting getting to hear what they think about Hip-Hop and politics. They all had their opinions and I like how they way they were really talking to us. They were there to inspire us, telling us what we can do to improve in this country. I really liked the words of Rosa, the Black and Puerto Rican woman. She has ways with words that really makes you listen and she really inspired me. She was talking about how she never really experienced racism until going to an all-white college and fighting a white girl. She really brings your spirits up, talking about how she is proud of being multi racial and that we should all have the right to vote on the election because we all live here and its effecting us. Especially with youth today, they like, really inspired me to vote because we are the future. We can’t just sit here and complain about what is happening with our country. We have to go out there and get our voices heard. I would really like to thank all the people on the panel because they gave some very good information out to us not to get lost in life and stand up for what is right and always speak your voice. I liked that they let us go and ask questions to them, getting what we think about the situations and them giving us their opinions. I liked that they really cared. It’s not like some other adults thinking we are too naive and stupid to have our own opinions. I am just thankful they came to our school and spoke because like professor Dawn said from SF state now you have us in your network and it’s a new door opened.-Juan Con.
I enjoyed listening to the panel yesterday. I heard many opinions and feelings, some of which I agreed with and some I disagreed with. Dawn said some real powerful things, like setting your own agenda. That is key! If you don’t make your own decisions or plan your own life, someone else will do it for you. Also, I liked how she talked about taking the wheel and not letting people drive you where they want to go. Building and expanding your network is vital. Meeting new people and interacting with them will get you far. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.
Right now, I’m not sure what to think of hip-hop. Some say it’s a religion, some say its music, others say it’s a way of life. I guess it could be all three. However, the music that’s being produced and put in the airwaves is crap. It seems as if every artist is the same, no one really stands out, they all dress alike. It’s just a shame. White people are still pimpin’ blacks. The thing is, the artists in the music industry aren’t speaking up or doing anything about it. As long as they’re getting that paycheck it’s all good.
I think the people rockin the mic featured on MTV and VH1 could be doing a whole lot more as far as being role models. Most people don’t go into the business wanting to be role models but that’s what they end up being. Young kids look up to them because they’re rich and famous. They don’t know artists sell out and produce whatever sells. Drugs, sex, and violence sell a lot these days. All it takes is one person to take a stand and get people to realize the music is affecting people in a huge way but not in a good way.
Record label execs don’t want people to hear something positive. They don’t want to put out music that actually has meaning. If people are only thinking about hoes, rims, and money, that’s all they’ll ever think about and records will keep selling. You only know what you’re exposed to. This kind of music isn’t making the world better its making it worse and quite frankly, I’m sick of it. Some people in old-school hip-hop who had something decent say and who are still in the limelight should speak up about the music and how it turned into such trash and whether it can be changed. People have more power than they think. If individuals stop talking and start doing, we can change the world.-Zakiyah M.