This will be a short post but as a writer when things come to mind, I have to put them into words. I've listened to a lot of Rap Music over the past few days. Well, I've listened to a lot of Rap Music for as long as I can remember. You know, since like 1983-84. Hip Hop as a culture was birthed after The Civil Rights Movement during the 70's when the Black Community was going through a transition into a new era of challenges. Rap Music started as a way to party and have a good time while dealing with poverty and systematic issues, like racism. In comes the 80's and "The Crack Era". Hip Hop and Rap Music would never be the same. The lyrics in Rap Music started to reflect the "Streets". The lyrics started to reflect the drugs that invaded our communities. There is a segment within Hip Hop that revolve around the Drug Dealer persona. Yes, some Rappers sold drugs but we know it was "Weed" or small time low level "Crack", very low level. There were no Pablo Escobars that signed record deals and became Rappers, but l digress.
Over the years I've become less interested in hearing "Dope Boy Rhymes". Maybe its because I'm in my 40's now, 42 to be exact. Don't get me wrong, I listened to every late 80's and 90's MC that rapped about Drugs. The only way I can listen to it now is if the Rapper has a "Message" in the song. I can't listen to anyone who only glorifies that life. The MC should talk about the end result of a life of crime, not just the "trying to get paid" rhetoric. As a point of reference, go back and listen to Ice T. Ice T talked about the reality of the drug game which is the opposite of what Pusha T would say. We need more Ice T perspectives. Ice T songs provide listeners with the grim reality of drugs and the end result. The youth are listening to the lyrics so we can't act like the influence is not there.
Are Rappers afraid to tell the truth? What are you without "Dope Boy Lyrics?" What else are you brave enough to rap about? Was selling drugs that good for you and your situation? Are you brave enough to rap with more substance? It can be done. MCs such as Mos Def, Black Thought, Common, Talib Kweli, Phonte', and recently Royce Da 5'9 have shown pure lyrical genius without Dope Boy dreams. Don't get me wrong, I grew up in the 80's and seen it all. I get it, art imitates life so American History will be reflected in the lyrics. You will get some Public Enemy, X-Clan and NWA. I'm simply asking young MC (and older ones) to put more thought into your lyrics and expand beyond an obsession with the Drug Dealing hustle in every other verse. What type of MC are you without talking about Drugs and Violence?
Ice T - I'm Your Pusher