Has Hip-Hop been Holding African Americans Back?

Tommy Anderson By Tommy Anderson , 14th May 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/1b496e.z/
Posted in Wikinut>News>Entertainment

That seems to be the question posed by Thomas Chatterton Williams, author of the new book “Losing My Cool: How a Father’s Love and 15,000 Books Beat Hip-Hop Culture.” In the book, Williams explores how the growth of hip-hop has become so pervasive that black culture has been superseded by hip-hop culture.

Hip-Hop culture and blacks!

Williams is critical of the rap stars who have become role models for black youth, replacing parents and community leaders to become the most influential figures in their eyes. Pop the hood for details
Jay-Z, who once rapped, “I dumb down my lyrics to double my dollars,” is one form of blackness, Williams said. “But why does he set the tone for black culture today? It’s tragic.”
The irony is that young men have a better chance of being like President Barack Obama than a rap star, Williams said. From Oakland to New Jersey, they will sabotage their future just for the sake of trying to be like their millionaire entertainment idols. The dynamic, Williams said, “has quietly taken the place of white racism as the most formidable obstacle to success and equality in the black middle classes.”
Williams used to emulate and idolize the rappers he now criticizes. He still listens to hip-hop but learned to appreciate jazz and Nina Simone and Marvin Gaye while studying at Georgetown University. There he discovered other definitions of what it could mean to be black, ones that included men like James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison — and his father.
Growing up in the middle-class New Jersey suburb of Fanwood, Williams remembers watching wide-eyed as Tupac Shakur, Dr. Dre and The Notorious B.I.G. swaggered across the TV screen at the local barbershop, Unisex Hair Creationz. The men set the tone for what it meant to be young and black and male: dumbed-down and thugged-out.
While writing “Losing My Cool,” Williams said he realized how easily he “could have become a statistic.” He credits his parents with helping him to break the “python grip” of bad role models and what he called a “relentless and powerful propaganda campaign that steamed into the house 24/7.”
Williams raises an interesting point. Has hip-hop’s growth been a detriment to the community that created it? Should we blame hip-hop for the collapse of our schools, neighborhoods and young minds? Or has hip-hop simply gotten a bum rap (pardon the pun) and been left responsible for business that should be handled in our homes, schools and communities anyway? Has Jay-Z’s success only resulted in other black men being treated as if they live the same type of life? Do we feel pressure to meet the standard of living talked about in rap lyrics? Or is he going too far by saying rap is a greater enemy to the community than white racism?

Tags

African Americans, Bet, Black, Hip Hop, Jay Z, News

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author avatar Tommy Anderson
Very articulate, and respective,love bio books and anime and manga.Love all types of music,and media displayed in tabloids.love anything comptuters

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