As a minister and criminal defense attorney that represents juveniles, I am sometimes shocked at the negative images that permeate hip-hop. The gifted artists who make millions in this music genre appear to care less about the corrupting nature of their art form. They justify the ugliness of hip-hop with excuses such as we are keeping it real or its freedom of speech.
The degradation of women in hip-hop, especially black women, is downright offensive. The music treats black women as if they are all strippers and whores. In fact, hip-hop encourages and glamorizes the life of pimps and whores. Black youth are encouraged to have sex early and often. No wonder 72% of black babies are born out of wedlock and our jails are filled with young black men.
The music sends a powerful message to young black men that it is cool to be a pimp, playa, thug, or gangster. It also exposes young black men to porn and misogyny. It encourages domestic violence. Hip-hop promotes the message that if your woman does not do what you say, then like a pimp slap, punch or beat her. Read for example the lyrics of the following rap song written by Soulja Boy.
I’m something like a pimp from the dirty dirty south,
If you keep talkin crazy imma slap you in yo mouth,
This nigga ain’t playin bout my cheddar or my cake,
if you do something wrong then my hand gon meet yo face
My hand comin fast bout a hundred miles per hour,
Gettin hit in yo face while you bathin in the shower
I thought I told you trick better have my money off da rip,
reach back like a pimp slap dat trick in da lip.
These lyrics are disgusting. Clearly, the music is from the devil. It is filled with everything satan needs to lead the entire next generation to the morgue and then hell.
I know a few young black men have made lots of money from hip-hop and the world likes to celebrate their success. However, should we celebrate their wealth when they made it corrupting the next generation of black youth? In other words, should we celebrate the fact that they are enriching themselves by undermining the black community? They are doing more damage to our community than the KKK ever did. Why condemn Don Imus when he calls respectable high-achieving black women nappy-headed hoes and say nothing when rappers do worse daily?
Consider the names of some rappers or hip-hop music labels such as Death Row Records, Murder Inc., Misdemeanor Elliot, Junior Mafia, Da Brat, etc. How foolish and demonic these names are. Why glamorize or promote murder or being on death row or getting misdemeanors? Those are the worse messages that young black men can hear seeing how they are already overrepresented in the criminal justice system.
A few years ago the late Dorothy Height, Rev. Calvin Butts and Rev. Al Sharpton spoke out against hip-hop. The hip-hop community led by Russell Simmons responded with denials and disrespect. We should speak out against this music again. However, this time we should do so with the same determination and furor that we had with white segregationists in the south. That is we should stage boycotts, sit-ins, marches, and whatever it takes to condemn this music.
Even though the music of the 70s and 80s had lots of rump shaking it did not glamorize pimping, stripping and domestic violence. Al Green, Barry White and many others encouraged you to love women, not beat them. Some artists of that era went further and released socially conscious music, e.g., Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield. The success of some of their music refutes this notion that blacks do not buy socially conscious music. I have Gaye’s “What’s Going On” album in mind, which today still makes the Gaye estate plenty of royalties.
Is hip-hop the blame for all the problems in black America? No, clearly not. Nevertheless, satan uses it as a powerful and influential tool to desensitize young blacks and mislead them into believing that what is obviously evil is now good and acceptable.