Friday, June 27, 2008

Hip-Hop vs. America 2008 (BET)

B. Brown's opinion of BET's Forum "Hip-Hop vs. America" - 2008

The first thing I observed is the fact that the title is wrong. As David Banner said, the title should actually be America vs. Hip-Hop. America is the one blaming Hip-Hop for all of society's ills. Anyone with common sense knows that is not true. Hip-Hop was birthed from the oppression and degradation of black youth and blacks in general. Hip-Hop and the culture of Hip-Hop is expression!

Jeff Johnson & MC Lyte did a great job of moderating the forum and attempting to keep the discussion moving and dealing with passionate responses from panelists.

A lot of issues were put forth that touched a nerve and now we are challenged to create solutions that are going to effectively change our current situation in America.

My first question is when are we as adults and leaders going to start telling the truth that success of any kind starts with education? It appears to me that here in America, we have just dumped education into the back seat and kept driving. That is very dangerous because the young people that do not have solid parenting get left behind tremendously and that's when trouble begins for those young people. When a young person cannot read, write or count effectively, school becomes a very intimidating place. A young person does not want to be exposed like that and chooses to act out, act a fool or not come to school at all. So in this age of indignity, disrespect, sagging pants, wanting instant money, wanting instant fame and wanting all the trapping of life, we have to learn how to go through the proper processes to obtain what we want in life. Our Hip-Hop Youth have to be taught to value education!

My next question is what has happened to the Black Church? Everyone used to run to the church for help, but I don't personally see that anymore. If anything, everyone runs to the schools and then tries to blame the school for the children underachieving. It's quite amazing! The Black Church was one of the first places where black men could have their voices heard and now instead of spirituality & freedom, a lot of churches are caught up in financial prosperity preaching. Again, this is a very dangerous situation because now you have a lot of people attending church for the wrong reason. Several Panelists talked about how black men in the church did not attend to the needs of black women in the church. There is misogyny in the church and their is misogyny in hip-hop.

David Banner says, "We have to show these kids how to get out of the hood. They know when people are spitting BS to them."

Lyfe Jennings says, "I don't have a problem with my kids listening to negative type music, but I would have a problem if I wasn't there to explain to them the difference between negative and positive music and the fact that it is entertainment."

Talib Kweli says, "Artists usually have records with substance on their albums, but those songs are not their singles."

Nelson George says, "How are these Hip-Hop videos being shot? What is the quality of video? Was the video done in good taste?"

M1 of Dead Prez says, "Reevaluate what it means to be a man."

Eugene Rivers says, "There is a tremendous absence of mentoring to our young people."

B. Brown --- As I continue to research and observe our society as a whole and then look at Hip-Hop, there appears to be a lack of accountability at every level of society which makes it very easy to point at Hip-Hop as a very guilty villain in the demise of our young people and women. But the reality is that we can not blame Hip-Hop for society's breakdown and sadness, but we can hold Hip-Hop accountable for what it does do to contribute to our youth's slow death. The major record companies market, promote & distribute music that is some times not very positive and shouldn't be listened to in heavy rotation. But as we all know, society craves sex, money & murder. Advertisers pay big money to reach viewers and listeners. Money is the bottom line and when society changes its focus from money to spiritual and moral fortitude, then you will start seeing an even bigger change in Hip-Hop!

A lot of rappers have been influenced heavily by the Godfather Trilogy and Scarface Films along with the other gangster and murderous type films like Rambo, Terminator, etc. I have not seen the same protests and objections to the writers, directors & actors of this type of entertainment as I have seen in Hip-Hop. I wonder why?

If we as America are going to hold Hip-Hop accountable, let's hold the Major Record Companines, Corporate America, White America, Latino America, Hispanic America, Asian America, etc. accountable as well and let's get to the root of the problem. The problem is the chase and obtainment of money without any regards for our fellow human beings. THE SOLUTION IS TO TAKE ACCOUNTABILITY FOR OUR OWN ACTIONS AND TO TEACH, LOVE & DISCIPLINE OUR CHILDREN SO THAT THEY ARE ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS AND START A POSITIVE CYCLE OF ACCOUNTABILITY FOR EVERYONE! WATCH HOW AMERICA AND THE WORLD WILL CHANGE FOR THE BETTER!

Hip-Hop Youth, Education and Parenting!