The state of Hip-hop...a memo by Nick Reynolds

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Jan 22, 2007
Unfortunately, what the masses recognize as "Hip-hop" is not considered such by most Hip-hop purist's and many others in the "culture" as well. It's sad that these thugs, and money hungry degenerates have taken over what is a genuine cultural movement and has many founding art's that are exploited for profit. Most of us from the old school of the culture are angry that there is no distinction between today's garbage rap (most of it is these days) and the true intelligent, and enlightened attitude of responsible members of the culture with the future of our children and communities in mind and that being the source of our motivation.

Rap music is only a part of Hip-hop culture. As is "Writing" (or graffiti), break-dancing, beat boxing, certain attire, DJ'ing, and slang. Many of which take years of training and most until now had no form of formal training opportunities. Certain vehicle types and music....but the face of the culture to the people in our communities who cannot relate and the rest of the world is what is seen on MTV and heard on the radio. The fact is...almost all record sales and requests for Hip-hop in this country are from middle class white kids and not the real people who represent the culture. We are sorely misrepresented!
Believe that my manner of dress and choice of genre's in my occupation brings much speculation about me as a person and us as a family to many. People see me and think I'm a heathen because of the face they see publicly of people who are supposed to represent my lifestyle. It bothers me to see people in the shopping center turn up a nose because my pants hang low or because my children wear recognizable urban clothing brands.
I cannot and do not condone or support gangs, violence, or any other illegal or immoral aspect of Hip-hop and am disgusted at the rate at which the culture has degraded to bling-bling, rims, killing, and drug sales. Ignorant street punks with no parents and no aspirations of anything better have taken over the public image of the lifestyle and have corrupted it's motives and exploited it's art forms.
Anger and bitterness due to a life lived in a sup-par manner due to circumstances unavoidable can only be used as an excuse for violence for so long. Sadly though...this kind of thinking is not being taught in the community. The lack of positive figures is a major factor but most of these people have at least some basic knowledge of right and wrong generally and should be able to make better choices in content on there own. But until the sales reflect a collective change towards the positive aspects of the culture then there will be someone waiting to supply the demand for ignorance.
By: Nick Reynolds

What's your thoughts?
Jun 27, 2003
I think the masses aint feelin socially responsible music in hiphop no more. The majority of consumers may be middle class white folk that don't live the day to day struggle, but they enjoy listenin about real grimey shit. Fact of the matter, they the ones shellin out bread for the product, and it is a product mayn. Blame the record labels, blame the artists, whoever, but at the end of the day rap has become a straight up commodity and that's how folks is makin paper.

Besides, the folks that's livin this day to day grind trynna get that paper, for the most part aint trynna hear socially responsible music in hiphop. I think that era is dead, and forever will be. Of course you got some folks that's openin they eyes and want to hear that uplifting let's get out this situation shiet, but it aint the majority mayn... anything about uplifting the poor people's of this nation gets killed, including the music.