By Charles Blackwell
Special to The Post
Last week, The Post published Part 1 of a commentary on the effects of rap/hip-hop music on youth. Part 2 is below.
As one African American writer on C-Span said recently, “We no longer have music.”
We agree with that assessment. An agenda of cultural destruction, comprising illegal narcotics, gang violence, and the broadcast of rap (which in effect is violence) has been activated.
It has reached a point in our society where we can no longer separate one from the other.
A few years ago, Dr. Jeffries spoke at a conference on rap and hip-hop at Purdue University. He noted, “When rap and hip-hop came on the scene, the homicide rate skyrocketed. The language of rap suggests violence, the degrading of the self, and an absence of love. We need to elevate the aesthetics of hip-hop like it once was, to uplift the youth of the Black community.
The overuse of the N-word is dehumanizing, making it easier in one’s mind to kill one’s neighbor. One rap group’s message implies that cash rules everything around me except me! There is big cash for Black artists that want to call themselves “n—a” and call other Black people “n—a.”
Many white folks love that mess, and they pay big money to keep it going. This is self-destructive for Black people.
The use of the word “b—h” falls into the same category — to degrade a woman and create a person of worthlessness. It also creates hateful relationships between men and women. These antagonizing words continue to build poor self-esteem, self-hatred, and relationships based on sex without love.
Many of us are aware of producers, agents, and recording companies meeting behind closed doors designing destructive rap with the potential to destroy Black communities that parallel actions by city officials, real estate companies and politicians when they drew up plans to implement policies of restricted covenants which was actually, segregated housing.
Power brokers have collected artists, influencing them to sign their souls away and produce obscene, destructive material. Cha-ching! All of this falls in line with the government’s drug plan in Black communities which journalist Gary Webb presented during the 1990s. It was clearly an act of genocide, and so is this new rap.
The “blanger” or Black anger in rap continues to proliferate in the minds and emotions of our youth. It is, plain and simple, the glorification of our own self destruction. We are being crushed by white racism on the one hand and Black self-hate on the other.
We have so many issues facing us as a community that we really need all hands on deck. We need hip-hop to step up and help us address these issues and thus attempt to eradicate what we can.
We can party and still help our children improve their reading scores, right?
According to the National Assessment of Education Progress, 56% of Black 4th graders did not meet their reading benchmarks and 48% of our Black 8th graders did not meet their reading benchmarks.
Hip-hop needs to move from boys to men because we need that maturity, we need that accountability, we need leadership and inspiration from the young to improve as a community.
Rapping about killing other Black men, chopping them up and stuffing them in the trunk of your car is an extreme form of self-hatred.
America will consume your internalized racism ‘til the fat lady sings, “until the trees and seas just up and fly away, until the day that eight times eight times eight is four” (Stevie Wonder). Why help them in our own destruction?
It is time for us, if we intend to exist as a people, to take a stand against this destructive disease. We must stop our children from being a part of it, get churches to speak out against it, and not allow it to be presented at community events.
At this point in time, we who stand on the shoulders of our ancestors are not here to debate the right to free speech.
Rather, we are here to push for the continued existence of Black people instead of our calculated annihilation. We must be that man in the mirror and take a pause for the cause and check ourselves before we continue and continue and continue wrecking ourselves.
Make it make sense.
Besides myself, this concerned community includes: Warren Goodson, Artist North Carolina; Vincent Kobelt, poet writer, Sacramento; Safell Gardner, sculptor, Detroit; Stephen Monroe, poet/journalist, Washington D.C.; Arlene Goodson, poet, New York City; Alan Laird, artist/writer, Florida; Sylvester Guard, artist-poet, San Francisco; Bisola Marignay, poet writer, Oakland; Napoleon Henderson, artist with Afrocobra, Boston.