Do you mind expanding on why you don’t think it’s healthy for music to focus on anger, or why it…
Jason Chin

Jason, thats for the response…expressing anger is not bad unless you’re doing it all the time and focusing on it. Focusing on anger perpetuates anger in yourself and encourages other people to do the same, instead of taking a balanced approach. Music is very powerful communications medium especially to young people — it communicates emotional messages. If anger is mostly what young black people hear, yes it will empower them because the Black community needs that, but on the other hand there are many cases where individuals would be better off being more positivie and taking advantage of opportunities that are given to them…and yes this does happen, but if anger is so ingrained in their personality (because of music among other things), it’s going to be difficuilt to break out of that.

My understanding of Hip-hop (And I don’t listen to it much so my observation is casual, but nontheless a valid observation because there are many people who get impressions from casual interaction), is that is almost universally negative and also abusive to women and degrades sexuality into nothing but a lustful act. Many other musical genres have a wide variety of messages anger, love, hope, irony, frustration etc….this is life.

Rock probably has some similarities to Hip-Hop in that there is a lot of anger there. Playing the guitar to me when I was younger was about flipping the finger at the system. But it was also about lust, exploration, excitement, things that I got from listening to the rock musicians and bands at the time. And I also listened to a lot of jazz, blues, folk, even showtunes occasionally — all of which had a huge variety of messages.

It would be great to read something written about this from somebody in the community who knows more about this than I. I have heard from many Black folks the same complaints. I really don’t know for sure, but there are many people in the white community who get this impression and thus get a continued negative perception of Black folks, especially when they hear them blasting Hip-hop n a public places which is pretty much never done with any other kind of music(I live in San Francisco). This creates divisions in people that perpetuate division — which can be good or bad depending on whether there is any balance. I have a lot of black friends — being a performer, and I personally see a lot more variety, so maybe this is an inner city issue?

Well, these are my thoughts. I see that you are a big Hip-hop fan, perhaps musician. What kind of emotions does most of your music express?

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