|Published on March 26th, 2013 | by gareth|
What we now refer to as reality rap or conscious rap is not a new thing. In fact, it is the returning to the origin of Hip Hop where the microphone was used to awaken those around the MC to the struggles faced by an oppressed people. The problem I see is that we have had to “return” to the origins of Hip Hop. To me, that says Hip Hop left the righteous path somewhere along the lines… But when did it happen? And more importantly, how can we prevent it from happening again?
Back in the late 80’s, Hip Hop was first beginning to receive mainstream attention. This is at a time when the most popular group amongst the youth was Public Enemy, who spoke of racist oppression, lies portrayed by the media and the importance of truth. The very same topics that make our favourite artists such as Akala, Logic, and Mic Righteous, to name just a few, grow in popularity every day. But somewhere along the lines, the righteous message of Hip Hop became a message of violence, murder, materialism and sexism. This is an image that still for many people in the world actually DEFINES Hip Hop!
Where did it all go wrong?
In my opinion, there was a deliberate action taken by the media companies, both here and the US, to silence the voice of rebellion against oppression, without anyone realising they had stopped rebelling.
Groups such as N.W.A were promoted by massive media companies and given the spotlight as the focus of the Hip Hop generation. Young minds that looked to music for guidance were given video after video showing guns, violence, drug use, and materialism which then defined the moral values of its audience. Kids from all walks of life grew up with the “Gangsta Lifestyle” of drug dealing, sexism and violence towards their fellow man, what you could call a rebellion towards each other, as their primary goal in life. A life defined by what you own, with no regard for how you treat others…
This had a snowball effect… Pretty soon, in order to compete in the media, you had to be bringing the hardest and most violent lyrics possible. Song after song about killing people living in the same situation as you were released and the murder rate in socially engineered ghettos sky-rocketed. Grown men on the street were killing each other over money, women, drugs, cars and even trainers! All just to feel like they were living the “Gangsta” lifestyle provided to them by Time Warner and Viacom.
We need to understand that the media companies are run by a small handful of people who fear nothing more than an educated public capable of critical thought and rebellion against their racist and classist agendas. What allows them to continue to spread this message of hate is nothing more than our compliance. By the very act of listening to the lyrics promoted by these mass-media outlets our consciousness is changed, our attitude towards each other as human beings changes and most importantly, our DEFINITION OF SELF changes.
This is not an accident, the media has been used in this way since its conception… What has changed however, is the power that the mass media companies wield upon our daily lives.
With the ever growing popularity of the internet, independent artists now have a platform to be heard by the whole world and the mainstream media is rapidly losing its grip on the minds of the youth.
Artists such as Mic Righteous and Black The Ripper have both recently smashed the iTunes charts, beating established acts who have the weight of the mainstream media behind them while remaining independent. Things are going strong at the moment, reality rap is growing every day and I can see 2013 being a massive year for the movement, however, we must not become complacent…
Eventually the elitist media companies are going to realise how much love, support and truth is provided by the movement towards the less fortunate of the world and make a move to destroy it. We CAN’T let this happen a second time round.
We must all stay loyal to truth and not sell out to a corporate agenda, no matter what material wealth is put in front of us. Realise that to the power hungry, money is never an issue. To them it is a means to an end. What is an issue to them is losing their power, and if that means using you as a pawn, you better believe they will!
The point of this article is simple, Hip Hop has been hijacked before and without doubt it will be attempted again, but we must all learn from the mistakes that have already cost countless lives in poverty stricken areas and forever retain our current mentality of truth, knowledge and respect towards each other in order to prevent any further corruption of our collective consciousness.
Words by MystaKarta – follow him on Twitter! @Mystakarta