This or That
Posted Mar 13 2006
Mind you, life isn’t one long political rally and violence, sexism, and materialism are all parts of our reality. Partying, relationships, anger, and intimate relationships can all be a healthy part of life, but with a lack of context and balance they tend to reinforce negative stereotypes and glorify destructive behaviors. Beyond making catchy beats and hooks, do performers such as Cash Money, Nelly, or Lil’ Kim really bring anything special to the table?
But the issue is much more complex than the artists themselves and one has to look at the corporate roles in deciding what material gets pushed. They usually reply to the law of supply and demand, thus we need to be aware of what we’re supporting. Although the conscious element of hip hop has never gone away, even more mainstream artists are beginning to put out more thought-provoking rhymes. It appears that after years of being bombarded by violence, sex, and materialism, even casual listeners are looking for something deeper. This should come as no surprise as life is about balance. As hip hop reflects the state of our communities, if we’re out of sync, the music will reflect this. When the pendulum swings too far in one direction, it will swing back the other way until equilibrium is reached. No one is all good nor all bad. Life, and people, are more complex. During the highpoint of “conscious” hip hop, groups such as N.W.A., The 2 Live Crew, and MC Hammer also thrived. Partying has always been a common theme in hip hop, which in of itself is significant, when people can have fun in spite of various stressors and forms of oppression.