Why the Right be Hatin’ on Hip Hop:
Race, Rap and Republicans
Min. Paul Scott
The crowd sat glued to their seats as Dr. Theodore R. Poindexter, head of the Moral Maniacs conservative group, stood before them banging his fist on the podium. "They are the biggest threat to America since the Cuban Missile Crisis; destroying America from the inside out," he yelled while sweat beads rolled down his now crimson face. No , he wasn’t talking about some terrorist cell of anti-American foreign nationalists. He was referring to the new rap group, "Hip Hop Strike Force....
Although Hip Hop has put billions of dollars into the American economy over the last two decades, it is perhaps the most "hated on" form of entertainment ever created.
For the hood, Hip Hop at its best has served as the voice of the voiceless or as rapper Chuck D said the "the black CNN." But for the Conservatives Hip Hop has been the epitome of evil, proof that Armageddon was near at hand.
Now, the fear of offensive lyrics can be understood. Sen. Robert Wentworth’s worst fear is to be summoned to his son’s principal’s office because Lil Bobby threatened to bust a cap in his 3rd gym teacher for "dissing" him in front of the class.
But "gangsta rap" is not Hip Hop in its totality. Like most issues concerning black people the Right takes Hip Hop at face value without putting it in a historical nor social context. So their "well informed" talking heads give the American people an overly simplistic analysis.
"Tonight on Fox News Hip Hop is bad...Now for our next story...."
Quiet as it is kept...Conservative America’s fear of "gangsta rap" is not because of the over abundance of four letter words; but that these same words could be used to incite a riot or at the least start young people thinking critically about making fundamental changes in society.
They understand that the only difference between the radical militant Black Power leader of 1967 and the gangsta rapper of 2007, is content and misdirection of rage. In other words, the degrees of separation between Malcolm X and 50 Cent are not as much as one might think.
The threat of black voices of descent has always been a major concern for the "powers that be" in this country. One of the first things that the slave traders did to the enslaved Africans was to take the drum. They found out the hard way that the drums of war that they heard beatin’ in the distance weren’t calling the Africans to dance but to rebel.
During the Civil Rights Era the power structure began to turn its attention to "urban youth violence" and FBI Chief J Edgar Hoover put his COINTELPRO Program in overdrive with the purpose of preventing the rise of a black messiah that could energize the youth.
During the early 70's, the fading Black Power Movement left as its legacy militant music like the Isley Brothers’ "Fight the Power" and the OJ’s "Give the People What they Want" until it was replaced by the mindless, apolitical Disco music. Despite the militant overtone of the Tramp’s song "Disco Inferno" and its challenge to "burn tha mother down" it was simply a call for drugged up disco freaks to hit the dance floor.
It was the Hip Hop music of the late 80's and early 90's that brought the content back to black music. The music of groups like Public Enemy resurrected the rebellious spirit of a generation.
But that rebirth was not without consequence. America has always had a beef with those entertainers who have dared to bite the hand that has allowed them to gain wealth and popularity.