Hip-hop music started out as a beautiful thing. The music began as a way of empowering Black people. Most of the songs were conscious and mostly uplifting. It didn't begin with rappers disrespecting Black women or glorifying gang violence. Hip hop was valuable to the Black community the same way that spirituals helped our ancestors to get through hard times. Black people immediately identified and connected with the art form.
Throughout the years, rap music proved not to be a fad but exhibited staying power. Eventually, it was considered a music genre and as the art form evolved, record sales would rival some of the most songs in pop culture.
More importantly, Hip Hop music proved how influential music was. The repetitive drum sounds and hypnotic tunes had a deep influence on the minds of the listeners. Kids who immediately fell in love with the songs would play them over and over... I remember, walking home from school and witnessing kids with their headphones over their ears, listening to their favorite hip-hop tracks.
The problem with hip-hop music is that the music changed rapidly. I believe it was planned but you may call me a conspiracy theorist. NWA stood for Niggas WIth Attitudes. This group quickly went mainstream and garnered the attention of Black people all over the planet. They glorified the tragic aspect of living in the ghetto which would later be known as Gangster Rap music.
Gangster Rap Music quickly replaced Hip Hop music and in the latter part of the '90s, the music drastically changed. The consensus became that if you didn't kill anyone or weren't true about living the life of a gangster, you were automatically considered fake. To be initiated as a rap star, you first had to prove that you were "about that life." Hip hop music turned into a club that you really couldn't be a part of unless you were one of the most unprogressive Black people on the planet. This meant you had to think like and behave like a gangster.
It was a Jewish man, Jerry Heller, who was responsible for the widely acclaimed success of NWA. NWA changed hip hop music. Their albums quickly became mainstream hits and suddenly, rap music changed, for the worst.
Along with the destruction of Hip Hop music, something else noticeable happened. The kids who listened to the music changed as well.
Hip Hop music turned into a marketable form of brainwashing the Black youth. The music taught Black kids that they could sag their pants, use the N-word at will, and told these kids that it was cool to disrespect each other, worst than any racist or bigot could.
Most rappers didn't like what was happening and some tried to go the positive route even though it meant fewer record sales and less popularity. But Conscious Rap music couldn't compete with Gangster Rap. No one wanted to hear conscious music played in the clubs. They wanted something that was danceable and would boost their adrenalin.
The behavior at Black gatherings, such as clubs was easily modified by playing rap music. Suddenly, the behavior these kids played over and over on their boom boxes or in their vehicles became a behavior that they expressed. If they didn't express this behavior, they would easily be looked at as soft or weak. The rappers told them so.
Prodigy was a renowned gangster rapper, but with age, he started revealing things about the Hip Hop industry that weren't heard of before. He spoke about how many of these gangster rappers wanted to rap about more conscious topics but were prohibited by their masters. The belief was that conscious music wouldn't sell as many albums or draw the attention of "bad people" who craved violence and mayhem.
No Black-Owned Labels
Black people have never controlled anything, not even their own music artform that they created. As a result, today, every major Black-owned rap label is under a larger music label. The only major Black record label was Motown records, which is now owned by Universal Music Group. This means no Black person owns a major record label.
With ownership comes decision-making and power. The music that Black kids mostly listen to is not controlled by Black people. Black people are not making decisions on what is acceptable for the general public to listen to. The decisions are made by rich white executives who may be following an agenda to modify the behavior of Black people, all around the world.
Everything that Black people have done as a people has been historically used against us. From music to acting. Today there is a trend in rap music of gay behavior trending, which is something that would have never happened in the '90s. It appears that with each newer generation, the level of programming is stepped up a few notches. This pattern seems to be prevalent with all forms of media and entertainment. It's actually nothing new.
In fact, Black people today have become so programmed by this system of control, that these days they tend to not only ignore forms of Black empowerment, but they actually seem to oppose and detest it. This could be why the most visited websites in the world by Black people are non-black-owned websites. It could also be why any form of media that is taken seriously by Black people must first appear on white-controlled websites so that the content can get a sticker of authenticity.
This behavior has been programmed into the minds of Black people who don't realize how severe the programming is. Anyone who can control the thinking of their enemies is their enemies' master.
Today Black people encourage Black spending on Black businesses while using white-owned media and not supporting Black-owned businesses or websites. This behavior is a direct consequence of years of clever programming.
Hip Hop music can change once again to become what it was. Black business and record labels can be created to serve Black people. Black politicians can be compelled to serve Black people. But in order for these things to happen, they must first exist in the minds and imaginations of Black people. Nothing can exist in reality if it does not exist in the mind first. Once we reprogram our minds as a collective, we will actually be modifying our behavior as well. We will, in turn, be correcting negative behavior that has held us back as a people for a far too long time.
It is imperative that Black people try to regain some control of their circumstances. It is imperative that Black people leave the white social networking plantations that punish us for simply expressing our own views because these same networks that Black people use exclusively are interested in preserving white supremacy.
We have to remember that any type of supremacy is systematic. Supremacy cannot exist without a system in place to support it. If we intentionally become a part of a system of supremacy, then that is a system that we will not be supreme in. We don't get to be supreme until we are in full control of that system, which will not be possible on a non-black website.
We need to take back control of our media and our Black image. The kids are dependent on us finally making good decisions. This goes beyond music or entertainment. This is about self-preservation.
Most people who speak about separation are the main ones who fight for inclusion. Separation is not simply something you say to appear elite. Separation is an action.
This doesn't mean we have to completely separate and stop using these networks that make us feel included. But the first step to breaking these chains must be to start supporting our own. If we don't do this, we will surely keep paying for our sins.