Jump to content
Jazzy Jeff & Fresh Prince Forum

DMC On Violence In Hip-Hop: 'Something Has To Give'


Recommended Posts

Well everybody wants fortune and fame no matter how much they say they don't, they all want to get platinum plaques and have a million dollars, people want to be successful so I don't see nothing wrong with that, reach for the sky, lol, and never once did I say 50 Cent is as great of an artist as Ice Cube and those ol' school artists I've been implying that throughout this thread, nobody is, that's like saying Nick Cannon is on the same level as Will Smith, we can't expect another golden era anymore, especially since the major labels don't sign the most talented artists, and when I said G-Unit is the NWA of this era, I mean in terms of success, not talentwise, don't get confused, talent don't measure sales anymore, it ain't like the golden era, blame Soundscan, which started in the early/mid-90s, labels found out what sells the most they monopolise off that, that's why gangsta rap has been so popular...

A lot of kids listened to NWA too just like a lot of kids listen to G-Unit now, most people who buy rap albums are kids, no matter what artist it is rap has always been music of the youth, even when the radio didn't play NWA the kids still ran out to buy it anyway, kids are gonna get it no matter what BET could do if you think about, lol I don't think young kids should listen to either personally 'cause what it comes down to is that both artists have "Parental Advisory" labels on their albums that type of rap should be marketed to an older audience just like rated "R" movies for those type of groups or "PG-13" if it's artists like Public Enemy and Common, I think the rule is that you have to be 17 years old to buy a "Parental Advisory" album at the moment but that rule don't seem to be forced enough or either that maybe parents buy it for them? Is it really the artists fault in that case? They just make the music, nobody has to buy it if they don't want to and think it's such trash is what I say, parents need to monitor what their kids listen to, you can't blame G-Unit for the way the game is marketed either, maybe a few less kids would buy it if G-Unit was on late nights on BET, the networks should try but they're afraid they're risking ratings, is there really that many conscious rap fans that'd tune in to watch if they played Common all day? I wasn't allowed listen to a lot of gangsta rap when I was younger, I basically listened to mostly r&b back then, even though I'm older now to listen to some gangsta rap I don't like that much of it either... Bottomline though people protested the rap game when NWA was platinum, when Pac was platinum, and now when G-Unit is platinum, in 1988 and 1998 they refused to broadcast the rap Grammy award winner so JJFP protested in 1988, Jay-Z protested in 1998, maybe it'll happen again in 2008 with 50 Cent boycotting, lol, it's a constant cycle with history repeating itself, they wanna see rap go out of existance, maybe they're right, maybe we should just get rid of all rappers, send all of the rappers back to the 'hood while we're at it and have them kill each other instead of feeding their families off of success from doing music!!! :hmm: :shakehead: Should we blame G-Unit for going to war too while we're at it? I didn't know that the name of our president is 50 Cent... Is this gangsta rap really that distructive that everyone's gonna kill each other after they listen to it? If those making gangsta films could make millions why can't rappers make millions for gangsta rap? Shouldn't it be a double standard, don't just point at the rap game....

Edited by bigted
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 37
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Well said, Ted.

You should have to be 17 to be able to buy a 'Parent Advisory' album, 'cause kids can get bad ideas from that kind of music. If a song is about love, then lots of kids are going to go out and start "doin' it".

Same aplies to violence and swearing. G-Unit ain't the king of gangsta rap, there's a lot more artists that rap about love, violence, and swearing. So it's not really their fault if kids are doin' that stuff, but I'm not trying to defend G-Unit. Its hard to think now, that the ol' hip-hop days even happend, except for the Tupac days, I remember that. :1-cool:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey if anyone's interested I found this article on how teenagers are fascinated by rap, it's a long read but it's well worth reading:

Another Rap on Rap Music

Music—it surrounds us in our everyday lives. We hear it in the car on the radio, in shopping malls on the public announcement system and in our heads via the headphones of close proximity to our brains. One type of music that is highly criticized, highly politicized and very popular today is rap music. In November of 1991, David Samuels wrote an article for The New Republic about rap music entitled “The Rap on Rap: the ‘Black Music’ That Isn’t Either.” In the article, Samuels explained that the main consumers of rap music are white, suburban teenagers because rap is saturated with sex, violence, drugs and other aspects of crime, all of which are exotic to suburban whites and have no place in white society. Samuels also explores the history of rap music, from its insignificant beginnings called “toasting” in Jamaica, to the omnipresent hybrid form it has today due to the influences of white America (Samuels). “The Rap on Rap” is a fairly well written article and although Samuels believes that white consumers have imposed a high degree of influence on rap music, white consumers have only slightly affected rap music.

David Samuels’s article “The Rap on Rap” was in certain aspects well written; however, there are some areas that need some work. One reason that this article was well done is that author’s avoidance of logical fallacies, which are arguments using false, misleading or illogical reasoning. It is important for a writer, like Samuels, to steer clear from these and other fallacies because they detract from the value of his or her writing and the author can lose credibility. Samuels does not use fallacies in his article, which can only help his argument and his credibility as a writer.

A second way Samuels’s article was well written was his use of evidence and supporting facts to do just

that—support his view on rap music. One of Samuels’s viewpoints is that rap appeals to whites because it is foreign, sexually charged and quite violent. He then goes on to cite specific lyrics that give backing to his opinion. One example of this is his views on violence in rap. Samuels says that violence is one reason why rap is popular, especially among suburban whites. He then quotes lyrics from N.W.A. and Ice Cube (after he left N.W.A.), like “A young nigger on the warpath and when I’m finished, it’s gonna be a bloodbath of cops, dying in L.A.” (276) and “Point blank, on a Caucasian. Cock the hammer and crack a smile. . .” (277). He also supports his views of the increase of white influences on rap music with examples. Samuels states, “Rap’s new mass audience was in large part the brainchild of Rick Rubin, a Jewish punk rocker. . .who founded Def Jam Records. . .” (274) (Rubin is Jewish, not black). Also, Samuels mentions the hit television show “Yo! MTV Raps” and a magazine devoted to rap music called The Source, which was founded by an upper-middle-class white man, as further evidence of white influence.

David Samuels could have improved his article “The Rap on Rap” in two different areas. The first area that was not particularly good was the clarity of the author’s thesis. Samuels really never comes out and tells us, the readers, what his thesis is. Without a clear thesis, readers have trouble understanding the essay as a whole. As well as not understanding the verbiage and purpose of the essay, an unclear thesis questions the ability of an author to write in a convincing manner; and this, in effect, leads readers to question his or her knowledge on the subject and ultimately his or her credibility. Luckily for Samuels, the Common Culture editors clearly stated his thesis in a mini-prologue and prevented this sort of thing from happening.

A second way this article could be made better is to have Samuels at the very least mention, if not explain, the other side of the argument. Expressing the views of the opposing side shows the reader that the author is a logical, well-balanced and open-minded debater. There was no evidence in the article that shows otherwise; there was no clear-cut, textual proof of Samuels giving credit to the other side. The Common Culture book classifies this article in the “Index of Rhetorical Mode” not as an argumentative piece, but rather as an analytical piece, which it is. This categorizing proves that Samuels is just trying to shove his opinion down the reader’s throat, not to have an intellectually stimulating conversation about rap music.

In summary, David Samuels’s article “The Rap on Rap” was all right; it had both good and bad aspects to it. He avoided logical fallacies and supported his thoughts with real evidence, which were good for his essay; however, he was not clear about his thesis and did not discuss the viewpoints of his opponents, which were faults of his essay. Though the article was enjoyable, part of Samuels’s stance on rap music is wrong. He is right about why suburban whites enjoy rap music; however, white influences play only a minimal role in the progression of rap music.

White, suburban teenagers must like rap music a lot, especially since they are the genre’s largest consuming demographic of rap. They like rap because it is foreign to them. This foreignness can be broken up into four aspects, which are sex, violence and crime, drugs and rhythm and beat. Sex has always been a taboo in white, middle-class society. Many people believe that sex is a gift from God and should wait until marriage. Pimps, hoes and prostitutes are often looked down upon for their filthy and immoral actions. So, instead of breaking the middle-class marriage rule, rap listeners can listen about sex and get some sexual satisfaction out of the music without actually committing to the act. Sir Mix-A-Lot’s song “Baby Got Back” talks exclusively about women’s buttocks and how sexually pleasing they are. Some of these lyrics include, “When a girl walks in with an itty-bitty waist and a round thing in your face you get sprung” and “My anaconda don’t want none unless you’ve got buns, hon” (Lyrics Style). “Getting sprung” refers to male sexual arousal and “anaconda” refers to the male genitals. Violence and crime is another reason why whites love rap music. Some of the worst, most deadly and most gruesome murders, rapes, arsons and other violent crimes occur in urban, poor areas. In the 1990s, Minneapolis was renamed to “Murderapolis” due to the high number of homicides that occurred there. It is definitely more common to hear about violent crimes taking place in urban America rather than in the suburbs; therefore, violence is intriguing to suburban whites, so they buy rap music to curb their curiosities. Dr. Dre’s song “Forgot About Dre” featuring Eminem graphically describes acts of violence, like “**** you too bitch, call the cops! I’ma kill you and them loud ass mother****in’ barkin’ dogs” and “. . .me and Dre stood next to burnt down house. Wit a can full of gas and a hand full of matches. . .”(Lyrics Style). Drugs are another theme widely spoke about in rap music that is appealing to white listeners. Although drug use is increasing out in the suburbs, it all started in big cities and the epicenter of drug use in America remains in urban areas. Drug use and abuse is also a white social taboo. Substances like cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamines are highly regarded as addicting, dangerous, unhealthy and even deadly. So, when rap music comes along with songs from N.W.A. that spoke of “trading oral sex for crack” (Samuels, 276) and Dr. Dre, whose “Chronic: 2001” CD cover has a large picture of a marijuana leaf on it, white suburbans buy the records to become a dealer or user without coming in contact with drugs. Finally, the rhythm and beat is what sets rap apart from any other music genre and draws in buyers of all races, especially whites. Rap originated in Jamaica, a country where the majority of citizens are black. Rap then traveled to New York City and other places with high African-American populations. So, rap was birthed into and has matured in black culture, giving it a distinct flavor from any other music type. It is this freshness and uncommonality to white society that is so enthralling to whites. People all the time say that they listen to rap just for the beat.

Samuels is incorrect about the amount of influence white consumers have on rap music. Like moves and television, music is in a constant state of evolution; music progresses towards a more racy, unstable form as society becomes desensitized by its ever-increasing popular culture environment and as musicians, rappers included, have the need and desire to keep their current listening base and possible increase their listening base in the future. Take television for example. In the 1950 and ‘60s, TV shows like “Leave It to Beaver” and “The Andy Griffith Show” were popular hits; they were good, wholesome, family fun. Nowadays, few people watch these shows because they are so boring. Some of the topics on today’s shows, like sex, drug use, violence to name a few, would have never even been dreamed about being on TV in the ‘50s and ‘60s. The same goes for rap music. When rap first broke the scene in the late 1970s—early ‘80s, songs like “Rapper’s Delight” were all of the rage. Not once in the song do the rappers of Sugar Hill Gang curse, mention anything about drugs, sex or violence or make the listener cringe from hearing something terrible. Now look at rap today. In “In Da Club,” by 50 Cent, 50 Cent talks about possessing ecstasy (“Look mami I got the X if you into taking drugs”), having sex (“I’m into having sex”) and quite often then not he curses or says a derogatory name, like nigga (lyrics.astraweb.com). So why has rap music gotten so much worse compared to when it first began? Well, it is not because of white influence, but rather because society becomes desensitized to once suggestive and risqué subjects. In order to combat this and keep their fans, rappers must go to the next level so fans will want to come back for more and the rappers can make a living.

Whites do not influence the content and form of rap music, but they do dictate which rappers move to the top and become part of the elite group called “The Rich and Famous.” Because, as Soundscan pointed out, white, teenage males living in the suburbs are the largest socioeconomic group consuming rap music albums, they have the ability to make or break a rapper’s careers. Consumers hear different artists on the radio, on MTV or in other places and then make a decision of whether or not to purchase that artist’s album. If an artist is not popular among the white, suburban group, then he or she will most likely have a difficult time selling a vast number of albums and will therefore quickly drift out of the music scene because he or she cannot make a living off of meager record sales.

The David Samuels article “The Rap on Rap” was an article of mediocrity and his points were valid. He is correct about why whites like rap music, but incorrect with his statements that whites have an extraordinary amount of influence on the rap business. He claims that rap has become a hybrid of white and black culture when it may possibly be the rappers fault for the change in content and style. This rap music conundrum will probably never get solved. Only the rappers themselves know who or what influences them. So next time someone buys a rap album, he or she should think about his or her own rap on rap.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I still think kids that get influence had issues they need help for anway. I`ve been listening to Hip Hop,R&B as long as I can remember. And not only Will Smith & LL Cool J, but also Biggie, Ja Rule, Fat Joe & Dr. Dre, and the very sexual songs from R. Kelly. It never came in my mind to look at the things they say as the reality (at least, my reality). Just caus Dre and Ja said "Kill them mother****ers" it never came in my mind that that is something you shouold do, just caus Kelly said "sex em up" it didnt came in my mind that I should go look for a woman just to get my freak on, just caus Snoop talks about XTC I aint going outhere to use.. and I life in Amsterdam,lol. I just listening to it and enjoyed it caus it was written well and they flow/sing nice. And some of theyr songs I also like caus of the message, but not allways. Basicly what I`m tryna saying is I allways knew music is entertaiment, and in some casses it can for example lift you up.

Edited by Turntable
Link to comment
Share on other sites

:word: I agree with that, if kids and people in general are gonna do something violent or go out and rape each other then they have pschological problems that has nothing to do with music they listen to, btw I'm waiting for AJ to come back in here so I could ask him how old he was when he first heard Dr. Dre's "The Chronic" album, I'm sure he'd been about 12 years old and he turned all right, so what makes you that all 12 year olds now who buy 50 Cent's "The Massacre" are gonna go out there and rape or kill? I think we'd be in trouble if that happened, lol, I personally know some young kids in my town that listen to him so I guess they're gonna come kill me when I walk down the street... :stickpoke: And with some of this music out there now it's obvious that more people buy music based on hot beats rather than hot lyrics, basically they just use it as something that like to dance to or play loud in their car systems so their ain't really a harm in that, people vibe to the rhythms of the music to get their minds off the troubles in their lives, like I might dance to a Nelly song in the club with a girlbut when I'm at home relaxing and want to listen to lyrics I'll throw on some KRS-ONE and throw on LL's new album if I meet a nice girl this summer and she wants to come over to hang out with me, sometimes music could be the soundtrack to situations like that, lol...

Edited by bigted
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used to listen to Eminem when I was 11 but I was never really had homicidal fantasies towards my mother, hateful feelings towards women or an urge to do drugs. If anything I learnt to believe in your dreams and not to stereotype a race lol.

Exactly. If you`r clear in your mind you know what kind of lyrics you can take in your hart an what type of lyrics you shouldnt pay tu much atention too and just enjoy the song. Ja Rule, Fat Joe, R.Kely.. ofcourse they tell allot of ish, but I stiil can anjoy the songs caus its done well. But they also have songs with great messages, they tell me to believe in my dreams, that nobody but god can judge me as a person, and that faily is importantn etc. And when they have messages like that I also take the lyrics into my hart insteed of just enjoying the track. I know other artits have songs with more messages, and I lsten to them to, but that dont mean I listen to this one.. As long as they make good music I like it, not mather waht they spit.. And if they sometimes tuch my soul its even better..

You see, we cant balem The Game etc. for haveing mostly violent lyrics in the charts, we should blame the media caus thats the only thing they play to make money. Thats not the fault of the artits, they sjust do what they can. The probelm is that the media doesnt have much balance aganist Gangtsa Rap, except for maybe the Peas and Will Smith.. They should play all of it, not just one thing.. Than everything would be aight.

Edited by Turntable
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...