I was driving through West Philadelphia last week listening to a song promoting drug use, rape culture, and random acts of violence. Which song? I can’t remember the title of it, but I’m sure you can think of at least a thousand rap songs that fit the description and use it in place of the example I have given. It was a perfect 72 degrees out, so I rolled down my windows, and turned the music up like I’ve done a hundred times in the past. However, this time was different. I actually LISTENED to the lyrics and felt irresponsible and enabling by projecting this message on others by turning up the volume. This is in no way an assault on rap music, I have been listening to it since I can remember. I know rap has provided a lot of opportunities and jobs to people who wouldn’t have had it if it wasn’t for the music genre. Furthermore, I know the message in these songs are only an outward manifestation of what is happening inside of the artists and/or the success it garners reflects the mindsets of the people liking and buying it.
There are all types of rap music, but which is most popular and why? It is the rap music promoting drug use, rape culture, random acts of violence, and everything else detestable to the tune of a catchy hook and nice instrumental. Some will give a conspiracy theory like, “that is all the White man signs record deals for and promotes.” Even if that claim is the case (which I’m not debating or supporting), there is no denying that it is popular. Why would such filth be so popular unless we are in a way filthy ourselves? When we really think about it with an analytical mind, we may see things differently than before. Don’t you find it kind of uncivilized to go to a nightclub and dance to music and have “a good time” to music telling us to kill ourselves and each other? DO WE HATE OURSELVES?! Of course we don’t (I hope we don’t), but our actions sometimes say otherwise. I’m not saying we should stop listening to this type of music, but with a new way of thinking comes a new way of walking. Hopefully, we can put (or keep) this kind of entertainment where it belongs and see it for what it is – entertainment. We should allow no rapper or entertainer spewing self-defeating rhymes provide us with a melodic blueprint for how to live righteously or right. Nova Knows.
We have to see the bigger picture when looking at smaller issues. I won’t make this a long and detailed post by going into detail about why and how self-defeating behavior and self-hatred is promoted and popular among us (see video below). However, let us look at what purpose it serves. When we use drugs, kill each other, and demean women, someone gets paid in some way. Whether it is the drug dealers (not talking the young man you see on the corner, but the millionaire businessman with the boats and connections), the criminal justice system (police, lawyers, judges, correctional officers, etc.), and so on and so forth. Enslaving our minds has proven to be just as profitable as enslaving our bodies.
We are only free in this country to do the wrong things. We say freedom is being able to do what we want to do-but ask yourself – What makes you want to do a thing? Your wants and desires have been induced. What we want and desire maintain the system of domination and destroy us as a people. Our problems, behavior etc. have a political and economic function. – Dr. Amos N. Wilson
- Dreamkillers by Nova Giovanni (novagiovanni.com)