I asked my kid to define the word culture. He told me a culture is a group of people who share a particular set of behaviors, mores and beliefs. So I asked “Well, what if your culture is built on nonsense beliefs and mores?” He said, “Then your culture is Hip-Hop.”Out of the mouths of babes right? Well, the lil man and I put this together, a list of standards this group should take a hard look at and then immediately flush. There is nothing wrong with some cultural updating. Right?
After you turn 35 you should never…
Okay I’ve probably heard 100 different endings to this sentence; from being an emcee to a fan and everything in between. If you add them all up, it seems that once you hit your mid-30’s you shouldn’t be doing much of anything. This is the time dreams are squashed, all ambition unrealized should be thrown away and any event that occurs after sundown should not see your appearance, unless it’s BINGO.
History should not be revered (or even learned for that matter.)
I don’t think another industry exists that respects its history less. I can’t imagine the folks over at Gateway constantly concerning themselves with how irrelevant Texas Instruments was to the game, even if they did go belly up before we crawled out of the DOS ages. Very few steps are taken without someone clearing the brush out for you, especially in rap. Going out of your way to not know where your culture came from or dissing its foundation makes you look foolish.
Listening to any other genre dilutes your Hip-Hopness.
The funny thing about this is Hip-Hop claims it’s experiencing this upper echelon racial awareness that doesn’t seem to be happening anywhere else. I mean how do you say racial progression better than being called a nigga by white people and not getting mad about it? Yet, rock is still “white” music and jazz is for the elderly (see over 35). I guess that’s what happens when your history is disposable.
Tall guys can’t rap.
Okay maybe no one said it, but it must be understood somewhere. Lord knows when I go to an event with any sort of heel on I feel like Glenda the Good Witch visiting Munchkin Land.
Rappers can’t wear – fill in the blank -
I buy my kid’s clothes and I don’t bother to tell him what to wear. Looking a gawdawful mess is every citizen’s right. As long as you’re worried about what kind of pants some emcee has on you’re kinda playing into the consumerism part of the culture which actually makes you an anchor on the art. Free your mind and some jeggings may follow.
Stay tuned for part 2.
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