My Love-Hate Relationship with Rap/Hip-Hop Culture

Tupac and Afeni Shakur

I’ve had a reoccurring though about the rap/hip-hop culture that I want to share, but definitely won’t be popular. So please take this option with a grain of salt and let me know what you think. To give you a better sense of where I’m coming from I want to establish some background.

I’m immigrant from Mexico, I didn’t have much of an identity growing up in the US. So to relate I needed to immerse myself into society. And rap/hip-hop was the music all the kid listens to and most importantly it was around me all the time. In other words I lived in the hood with majority black and brown kids.

Now I’m 21 years old and my taste in music has changed. I still listen to rap and hip-hop but definitely not like I used too. You change as you age, the majority of the time we barely realize it. But Rap and Hip-Hop was an exemption for me.

The reason I have a love-hate relationship with the culture is because I think it does more harm than good. So I’ll start with an example that people say is a good characteristic of the culture, and then I’ll explain that it really takes one step forward and two steps back.

Rap/hip-hop culture gives the voiceless a voice and the music is a form of expression. I agree but the problem here is that the great majority of songs are nothing but bragging and showboating. They’re no different from male birds that dance and put on a show for female acceptance. Not much of the lyrics have any real context, at least not like the past. I find it ironic that these artists started rapping because they wanted to escape from circumstances they now glorify. I’m not advocating for censorship nor do I want to dictate what people do when they express themselves. But when you look up the number of children born out of wedlock in the black and latino community you’d understand why I prefer a better message. Not to mention how many of these artists influence culture to a global scale and there message is close to meaningless. So many young people need powerful leaders to show what actually matters in life, especially now when minority communities need it the most.

Another excuse for the culture is most definitely deterministic. Have you ever hear someone say, “but they grew up in the worst circumstances”. And if you push they usually go on and say, “they didn’t have much love or nurture in their lives”. I agree with the last part, single motherhood dramatically dictates a life for a child. But that does not mean their fate is inevitable. It also doesn’t mean they’re not responsible for their actions. In order to get real progress we have to start with reason, and self knowledge not finger pointing. The betterment of minority communities start with a happy home. Peaceful parenting, negotiation, adaptive education and most importantly a father and a mother.

I’ve had family and friends grow up in broken homes and unfortunately they’re not doing well. I want to explain why they’re having a hard time but realize I’m one of them. The only way to show them how to improve is to do it, to show them that the only person capable of change start from within. Everyone has something to prove in some way or another. It seems to be a part of life, It gives you purpose and motivation.