Rap has become a genre associated with the degradation of women, the embracing of violence, and the celebration of avarice. “Money, power, respect is all you need in life”: these are the lyrics to a song by the LOX. These lyrics are the glorification of anti-social behavior. This is the message that is being delivered to our impressionable children (susceptible adults as well). However, are not these lyrics only a reflection of mainstream society? We live in a society in which we glorify those who have become wealthy, especially those who have become wealthy through completely immoral behavior. Many idolize characters from their favorite gangster movie, e.g., Scarface, The Godfather, Casino.
A segment of mainstream society also emulates the CEO’s of Wall Street who are corrupt and morally bankrupt. Are not some of these the same CEO’s who issued bad loans knowing that it would lead to a severe economic downturn? Even more egregious, they bet against the US economy knowing it would fail.
My point is that rap culture is greatly influenced by our own morally bankrupted culture. It must be said that there are rap artists out there whose lyrics warn us of our moral devolution, and the dangers of an unbridled, so-called “capitalistic” society.
From Jamaica, Queens there my favorite rap artist, Pharoahe Monche who says:
External gratification is not happiness eternal Interject, intellect, intercept, internet
a slave majority where 5% benefit
PhotoShop amateurs, retouched photography
Pornography, sodomy, child labour economy
His message is spot on. I hope the folks that read this check him out.
Rap has been hijacked by our consumerist, morally bankrupted, pseudo-capitalistic society. But there are rebels in rap just like you and me.