The article mainly talks about how hip hop came to be and the issues it promotes to the society. The author indicates that black people have been exposed to rap and hip hop music that they have become accustomed to it thinking that what they lyrics says is perfectly normal. This limits their acts and what they can actually do as opposed to what they are doing at this time. “By reinforcing the stereotypes that long hindered blacks, and by teaching young blacks that a thuggish adversarial stance is the properly ‘authentic’ response to a presumptively racist society, rap retards black success. ”
McWhorter states that rap music has changed over the recent years from harmless, catchy tunes to violent, cursing lyrics. He presents several examples of such lyrics sung by famous rappers that talk about shooting policemen and/or other people, women, and drugs. These rappers defend themselves by saying that these are the things that happen within their communities. It is an expression of what they are going through, which acts as a reminder to the public. “Many fans, rappers, producers, and intellectuals defend hip-hop’s violence, both real and imagined, and its misogyny as a revolutionary cry of frustration from disempowered youth.
” What more is that academic groups like the National Council of Teachers of English find hip hop as a way to bridge the gap “between the streets and the world of academics. ” Most young people, especially black people, find this kind of music as their own because somehow, they can relate to it and it becomes a common ground for them. Academic professionals believe that they will be able to reach out to their children if they use the things that these students find interesting, one of which is hip hop music.
However, one must think of how this could be possible since majority of the lyrics of hip hop songs talk about violence and exploitation of women only. The author disagrees that this kind of music is completely harmless. He states that “by glamorizing life in the ‘war zone,’ it has made it harder for many of the kids stuck there to extricate themselves. ” Hip hop music makes these young people believe that there is nothing wrong with what is going on in their neighborhood. It makes them believe that violent acts are okay because they are only forms of revolution from those who discriminate and oppress them.
Moreover, it teaches them hip hop language and gestures that can be appalling for those who do not appreciate or understand the music. When young black people acquire the mannerisms and way of speaking of the hip hop music, it becomes a disadvantage to them. They can be seen as unprofessional, threatening, or just simply not fit to be accepted whether in a group, society, or an organization. It is not their fault that they are viewed in such a negative manner but who can blame the others who only want to protect themselves from the things that they see in music videos or the news.
Many black people have defended themselves saying that they are being discriminated because of how they are being portrayed in the media. However, they are being portrayed as such because hip hop music overemphasizes some of their violent and illegal acts. Because majority of them find nothing wrong and even believe that it is a way to let others know what they are going through as a race, they then support what the media presents them to be.
They do not understand that they are creating the image that they themselves do not want to see. It is probable that they have made others fear them but success is not when a person or a whole race is feared. Success is when they are freely accepted. McWhorter indicates that hip hop and the artists that promote the music do not create and contribute anything to the world unlike the “civil rights-era blacks” who created a “world of equality, striving, and success. ”