Please watch this video from the very beginning to the very end.
I ain’t gone lie. I love Hip Hop. I love Rap. I love the creativity and innovation of the ARTISTS who use these mediums to express themselves. The power of the spoken word mixed with extraordinary sampling and lush beats can effectively move your soul and influence your thoughts, consciously and subconsciously. Wrap these elements up in a video and you have one of the most powerful mediums that can greatly impact and, at times, outright control the mindset of a particular population and, thus, the nation. You can either put positive messages in the universe or subversively destructive ones that rip the fabric of a community and culture by reinforcing negative stereotypes and beliefs regarding the genders and how people should spend their time and money.
I believe ARTISTS in these genres are waking up to their power. If not, they should. Many of them should not even be here given the circumstances of their environments and the literal obstacles they have faced and still face. The old establishment does not love them and has always sought ways to shun or control them. They have a power that invokes envy and fear in those who know what these music genres can unleash. But as in all things, with power comes great responsibility. I am grateful to those ARTISTS who realize their power and their responsibility and are using their gifts to effect positive change in our world. I look forward to the next chapter as these genres evolve.
The Power of Hip Hop and Rap
Last year, one of the projects that took place in my son’s sixth grade class was to choreograph dance routines to build pyramids in PE. They were judged on their music selection, the quality of the choreography and their performance. There were around 10 teams which performed in front of students, teachers and parents. The top three teams which scored the highest marks and received rabid applause from the audience members choreographed their routines around Rap and Hip Hop songs.
The most memorable routine was the 2nd or 3rd placed team which chose Wiz Khalifa’s Black & Yellow. If everyone had been allowed to get up and dance without distracting the kids, there would have been a full blown party going on out here in KANSAS! Out of approximately 200 hundred people (children & adults combined), only 10 were African-American, my son and myself included. The kids performing the routine incorporated dance moves they had obviously seen in music videos and lip synched (some outright sang, unfortunately) the lyrics throughout their routine…with many of their parents in the audience bobbing their heads, tapping their toes, lip synching the lyrics & clapping in time…almost to perfection. I was amazed and couldn’t help but mischievously ask myself if anybody had read the lyrics as I tried to control my bobbing head, ecstatically tapping toes and well-versed lip synching. 🙂 Sixth graders, teachers and parents…being moved by Wiz Khalifa…in the Wild Wild West.
Think about it. Think about it. Think about it.