Is it just me, or does it seem like every young black male wants to be a rapper now days? Every time I turn around there is yet another guy on my Facebook timeline posting their youtube video or talking about heading to the studio. Why Oh Why? What ever happened to the professional driven black men?
Don’t get me wrong, I feel that rapping COULD be a lucrative and successful career choice; only and if ONLY you are sending out a positive message.
R.I.P Rap Music: 1979-Present
Rap music originally began in 1979 when the Sugar Hill Gang released their song called Rapper’s Delight.
Rap music consisted of a poetic story piece over a fun beat. It highlighted the creative side of the black culture and even then BECAME the culture of Afro-Americans! Even some rap music helped to promote awareness about certain issues in the ghetto such as the beatings of Rodney King in 1991. It originally was a way to bring the black community together; especially young black teenagers.
Rap music took a turn for the worst when gangsta rap emerged in the early 90’s. Lyrics praised sex, money, fame, drugs, etc. Rivalry in the rap industry formed between the east coast and west coast artists of the United States. This then lead to the fatal deaths of Tupac Shakur and the NOTORIOUS B.I.G.
Since 2000, rap music has spread internationally and now has evolved into something you can enjoy in different languages.
America now has rappers talking about how women are “stupid ho$s” or how they got “99 problems but a B%$*H an’t one”. Rap music has become extremely explicit and has lost that fun feeling and even political awareness it once had. This has lead to mix emotions if rap music is “dead”.
Rapping is not for everyone… Rethink your Career Path
Just because you may be able to do a little rhyming here and there, you may not have the LOOK or the SOUND that the industry is in search for. Even then, you should at least know how to freestyle (which I personally believe makes a great MC).
Some people may look-up to certain hip hop artists but most of their messages are entirely something that most of us can’t benefit from. The lifestyle that they portray in their lyrics, most of them don’t even partake in. Yet, we have young boys trying to imitate them in the “streets” because it seems “cool”.
According to NY Times, “Unlike visual media, music is a powerful social force that also taps into an individual’s personal identity, memories and mood.” Rap music counts for a lot of drop-outs, violence, drugs, and sexual transmitted diseases in the black community.
Rap music isn’t the ONLY music that can have a negative influence (for instance hardcore rock music) and it can have good motives behind it. There are artists like Common or Most Def who have broadcasted positive messages through their songs.
Therefore, if rapping is your passion, then follow your heart! But a word of advice: stay out of the streets, finish high school, earn a degree, work hard in an alternative career until doors open up for you!
If this is the career path of your choice, at least provide a message that will positively impact the community we live in! For example, Christian Rap is one of many that artists are using as a positive platform. Be the one to change the world by being different and not following the masses.
If it’s not, then there are always lucrative jobs in the medical or criminal justice field! HINT, HINT!
© 2012, Jasmine Allen. All rights reserved.