Mar 30 2005

The Hip-Hop Problem: Critics Have Astonishing Non-Breakthrough

From MTV: Eminem and 50 display their acute grasp of the principles of couture

Title IX gets its teeth pulled, homophobic Ohio gay marriage ban has super-misogynist side effect, nutjobs contract murder-for-hire to "save" braindead women, Bush lied about WMD, the Constitution appears to have been written in disappearing ink. Big whoop, I say. What about hip-hop? Because according to MTV, the fashion walk-off between 50 Cent vs. Eminem is "Big! Bigger than George Bush and Saddam Hussein! And that’s BIG!"

But it’s not just about fashion. What about the children?

Because America never tires of hearing its favorite arguments over and over, here are two old dudes dispensing the same old old-dude crap on the subject of the hip-hop problem.

Old Black Dude Stanley Crouch, writing in New York Daily News, opines that maybe people ought to reject the notion that misogyny is "authentic" black behavior:

"…Black women have begun to break away from all of the conventions that button their lips when they find themselves disturbed by rap’s demeaning lyrics and videos.

The regular defense of the worst of hip hop is that these images should be accepted because they provide a way for black men at the bottom to become successful. An additional aspect of this defense is that young men are making so much money one should not mess with the flow of the dough. The next defense is that anything that makes money is good – especially if it is not illegal. At the end of the argument is the manipulative racial ploy that black people should not use "white" standards to attack something that comes out of the neighborhood, that arrives from black street culture. This last point has been far too successful for far too long among middle-class blacks, who are often made to feel as if they have lost contact with their roots and should never question anything "authentically" black, lower class and street."

Old White Dude David Hinckley, also writing in New York Daily News, opines that whatever it is, if it’s popular, it must be OK:

"What we really need to do is take a step or two back and remember why hip hop, a style that’s been under constant fire for 30 years, not only thrives today but has become our dominant popular music. Because it speaks to its listeners."