Monday, June 3, 2013

The Double Standard in Hip Hop

Let Wayne speak on this.

I want to make a few things perfectly clear before I begin. 1) If it sounds like I'm ranting, believe me I am. As you know, dear reader, I'm VERY passionate about hip hop culture, so this will likely be one of the most serious posts I've ever created. 2) This is NOT about bringing back the 80s and 90s. For those such as myself who were fortunate to live through those eras, simply put, we CAN'T get that time back no matter how much we try. Times are TOO different for everyone involved and it shouldn't be attempted. I'll admit, I am stuck in the 90s (and the 80s as well), but that's the STRONG nostalgia in me talking. I welcome changs, but not changes that effects the quality of this artform. And it STILL is an artform. With all that being said, let's head right into the first portion of this topic.

I remember watching the "Beef 2" documentary a few times over the years, and the issues between KRS-One and Nelly were highlighted. Hip Hop historian Davey D made a DAMN GOOD comment about a new generation of kids/fans essentially being told how hip hop should be (by major corporations), however, they would look at someone with the legacy of a KRS and not even care. That comment is an accurate depiction of where we were then and where we are today in hip hop, and keep in mind this KRS/Nelly "beef" was in 2002, so you can see when it started and how long its been going on. Most recently, there was the 2013 Summer Jam, and the legendary Wu-Tang Clan were on the lineup, all members. Now, normally something like this would be met with loads of excitement and anticipation. Apparently this was not the case at all, as based on many accounts of those who were there, Wu's performance was met with clear disinterest from an audience likely comprised of fans under the age of 21, BUT, when the likes of Lil Wayne, 2 Chainz, and French Montana appeared, you'd think the almighty God has just walked across the stage. And nothing speaks of hypocrisy when New York, a place that Lil Wayne has not been kind to, to say the very least, welcomes him with open arms. (Smh+facepalm). The generation gap in hip hop is completely staggering. During previous eras, the artists who paved the way for the future were embraced for their talents and contributions. WHY is this not the case today?? Are we in an era where 2 Chainz, Lil Wayne, French Montana, and others like them are looked at as the creators of hip hop?? Seriously. There's something wrong here. This is NOT hating in any degree, but why is it SO difficult to honor and respect those who came before you?? Does today's generation simply lack a complete sense of history, through ignorance, laziness, or both? This is sad.

I want to highlight some additional issues before I close. Remember a few years back when reports surfaced about Lil Wayne (do I REALLY have to keep mentioning this guy's name, smh) and Baby kissing, with the pic(s) to back it up? Although it resurfaces off and on, this is another good example of the double standard that exists. Overall when this happened, it was literally swept under the rug, and the, uh, explanations they gave were dubious at best. WHY is/was this accepted? Is Lil Wayne THAT important? Flip that around. For example, let's say a VIDEO appeared that showed Nas and AZ in a make out session with each other. Not only would this be met with puzzled reactions, but the situation would be handled in a way where it would the kiss of death, pun intended, for their careers, no if's, and's or but's about it. And again I ask, WHY would this be accepted?? It doesn't stop there. Where I come from, men were viewed (and judged) a certain way if they wore women's clothing, period. So, today it's accepted if a man wears leggings and skirts (two items MADE for women), but, let someone like Talib Kweli or any MC of that caliber come out rocking something you would normally see a woman in. He would be ridiculed to no end, and he would have no career, point blank. Again WHY would this be accepted? Is it because certain people are held in different standards than others, as in some artists can do whatever, but others are restricted? Where are things like done other than America??

In closing, I'm not knocking today's generation in any form, but man, when you compare them to my generation and others before them, it's like night and day. I continue to notice that it's going to be like pulling teeth to get today's youth to accept positive things that have a purpose and meaning. Why is ignorance, stupidity, clown like behavior and, uh, "ratchedness" SO accepted like there's no tomorrow? It's MUCH MORE to life than violence, money, sex, partying, drinking, smoking, etc. The double standard in hip hop specifically (and our country in general) is sadly going to remain unless we bring about changes. It shouldn't be acceptable for a specific group of people to do certain things, while others would be treated different as a result if they did similar things. It's not fair to anyone. This is not about wanting to bring back the 80s and 90s, this is about "kickin the truth to the young black youth" (word to Wu-Tang's Inspectah Deck) and I'm done with this rant.

Thanks for reading.

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