October 01, 2008

The Audacity of Dope

Doesn’t it seem nowadays that you can’t be a successful Hip-Hop artist unless you’re rapping about being deep in the drug game? Now, for those musicians who have been in the drug game and clawed their way out… this blog is not about you. (Just diversify your topics every now and again.) This blog is about those aspiring MC’s that think they’ll only get a reputation in the game if they can say they made more money trappin’ then rapping.

Since the dawn of Hip-Hop, there have been lyricists who wrote about the harsh realities of their lives and the lives of the people they grew up with. Sometimes those rhymes would include graphic, detailed imagery about life in the ‘hood and circumstances they found themselves in. Other times it would reflect the positive side of our communities and give an inspiration to the millions of other people in those neighborhoods that have no other beacon of hope. Then there are those times when young, talented MC’s pick up a pen to write what they live, and instead concoct a fantasy world that resembles a sh*tty imitation of “Scarface”.

Maybe it’s the appeal of sex & violence that captures the imagination of so many young people in Hip-Hop, but there has to be a balance. For example, if you go to the movie theater there are 12 screens that usually show 12 different kinds of movies. Now imagine instead, they played 1 original movie and 11 cheap imitations…

Now, I’m not trying to imply that every new rapper is all about gun play & drug references cuz that’s clearly not the case. All I’m saying is between the artists, their A&R’s, the labels, and radio stations; there could be some sort of collective consciousness that breaks through the typical mindset of what “Hip-Hop” is about and we can reconnect to expressing peace, love, unity, and having fun. But again… that’s just Tyson’s Take. What do you think?

- Steve Tyson Jr.

1 comment:

catherine todd said...

I think this is one of the most insightful pieces I've read about the hip-hop game in a long time. You expressed my feelings exactly, but in such a friendly, reasonable, easy-going way... and sure not to offend. How did you do this?

How can you be so well-spoken and thought out at age 23? You will go far, that's for sure. I'm linking to this blog. Thanks for sharing these all-important perceptions!

Catherine Todd, ctodd1000@gmail.com