There was a time in the late 80s and early to mid 90s when popular hip hop moved towards righteousness and Afrocentricity. It was a time when it spearheaded or hailed the drive to change the label “Black American” to “Afro-American” to “African-American”. Rappers rapped also about Black people getting to know their history and having it told from their perspective.
They sang about economic and political empowerment, fighting racism, and personal and spiritual empowerment. “Check yourself before you wreck” yourself became a popular term not only in rap music, but in the hood also. I remember tokens of Afrocentricity being popular, like chains with amulets of Africa hung on them. I remember shirts and flags of Marcus Garvey’s black, gold, and green. I remember rappers even leading the call to appreciate Malcolm X and other revolutionaries who were for Black empowerment. The net effect of their efforts was a raised consciousness in the Black community and an appreciation of Black identity.
But something happened to the music
Folks who never had an interest in the Black community, nor did they seem to want to see it improve; got control of it, and Hip hop became vain.
It was about clothes, cars, jewelry, and personal increase. It became about glorifying gangster and drug-dealing lifestyles.
It became about enjoying wild, ungodly, and unprincipled conduct.
It became about degrading women and objectifying them.
It became about freaky sex.
And all the negativity it became about came to be defined as Black and being real.
So all the consciousness and positivity that it was being built on was lost in this surprisingly new movement, a negative movement because what popular hip hop came to represent was all that the Black community did not need.
Unfortunately, this is what the children had to absorb. Popular hip hop in its current form has promoted a whole lot of self-destructive and immoral conduct antithetical to not just Black values, but human values.
History has proved over and over again that whenever the Black community is moving towards positive growth, some unexplainable external impacts have stymied and destroyed it. We need to look at the people behind these efforts and their motives.
Some real unsavory characters with ulterior motives and a lot of money and power have been wreaking havoc on the Black community through channels it depends on for vibrancy, vitality, and growth. They undermined Garvey, flooded the Black neighborhood with drugs, assassinated Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, attacked economic centers of Black growth, etc.
The music has become another avenue for nefarious intentions. Beware of what’s going on.
By: Nigel Daring