This Isn’t All Hip Hop: A Public Service Announcement

This Isn't All Hip Hop: A Public Service Announcement

This is a hip hop public service announcement from Sampleface.

I don’t like doing this. In an ideal world, hip hop wouldn’t be under as much scrutiny as other genres, but that’s never going to happen. Allow me to explain the reason for this PSA. Observe the link below:

Frank Ocean’s Big Year, And What Hasn’t Changed In Hip-Hop

While reading an article on Frank Ocean’s sexuality and hip hop’s ongoing problem with homophobia (I have my own reservations about the article, but that’s another story for another lifetime), I did the unforgivable thing and read the comments. It’s like an affliction when it comes to YouTube videos and articles; I’m somehow drawn to the stupidity and grammar-lacking vitriol like a moth to a flame. This “Joe Bloe” character’s perception of hip hop isn’t particularly new. Due to the relatively young age of hip hop music (only in its fourth full decade, and even younger if you take into account its now-high commercial value), there are plenty of older fans, musicians and DJs who were there at the beginning, some still with that “backpacker” mentality. The others are just set in their ways when it comes to how music should sound in their own minds.

But back to Mr Bloe. He opens his diatribe with the following:

hip hop/rap is rife with dl homosexuals and that is where the posers want it to stay; in the closet.

it wont change, because of the people who have fostered this hyper masculine stereotype onto the listening public; the black men who are part and parcel of this fraud.

ironically, there is nothing left to celebrate or take notice of in the genre. it is an ugly formulae which should have died an as ignoble a death as possible, but it manages to cling to a life which is more clownish by the moment.

today’s hip hop/rap is peopled by more poseurs to populate a small island. it is bereft of creativity and fails to hold the imagination (if at all). the “artists” are more interested in attaining wealth and shiny baubles by any means rather than honing their craft. the message, if any, is lost on the listener, because of the constant bombardment of misogyny and violence. it just seems as if these tracks are merely of the moment.

i am lost as to why anyone would want to associate with hip hop/rap, homosexuals notwithstanding.

Now, there are certain elements in his argument I can maybe stand behind, albeit with more eloquence and less generalisation but that’s his problem: he’s generalising. There may well be a large homosexual community within the annals of hip hop and it may be covered over by a “hyper masculine stereotype” perpetuated within the music, but that doesn’t account for ALL hip hop music. To assign the hip hop artists you see and hear advertised by the media as the sole representatives of a culture and its music would be reckless. Beneath those few artists are numerous sub-cultures, sub-genres, communities and influences (note the prefix sub-). The vibrancy and creative is so evident if you’d JUST TAKE A FUCKING LOOK.

About Luke Alex Davis

Luke Davis is a music producer and editor of music blog Sampleface. In his spare time, he enjoys watching tennis and football and reading.

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