What's Wrong With Rap and Hip Hop?
(excerpts from The Architects of Rap)

Throughout the years, African Americans have been portrayed in some pretty negative ways. Just reflect on some of the stereotypical images that were around in the mid- 1800s to 1900s.

And while most of us look back on those old stereotypes with utter disdain, how many of us realize that there are new stereotypes out there that are much worse than the old?

Rap / hip-hop music, videos, magazines and so on, portray African Americans as being violence-prone, criminal, promiscuous and stupid. Not only do they attempt to define us in this image, but, even worse, they blatantly promote, glamorize, and glorify this type of behavior.

But this book isn’t only about the poisonous elements laced into the hip-hop culture; it’s really about the poisonous elements laced into the American culture in general.

It’s about an “entertainment” industry gone mad, out of control, bombarding us all with immorality and decadence from every direction.

What follows is a satirical attack, not necessarily on a style of music that’s being promoted, but rather a style of behavior that’s being promoted.

 

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It’s Not the Hip Hop Music; It’s the Hip Hop Words
(excerpts from The Architects of Rap)

Most people are attracted to rap / hip-hop music initially because of the music, not the words and images associated with it.

The problem with rap / hip-hop isn’t really the music. Music is a good thing. Rap / hip-hop music, rock music, soul music, jazz, classical… It’s all good.

The problem is the words and images that are woven into them. And in the case of rap / hip-hop we all are quite aware of what those words and images are: glorification of
criminal behavior, promiscuity, drugs, and images consisting of the most ugly, most degrading black stereotypes.

The words and images are fused so tightly with the music that it seems like one entity. You hear the music and it conjures up the negative images in your mind, in a Pavlov’s dog kind of way.

Without a doubt, not all rap / hip-hop music is like that. There are artists out there who have very positive messages in their music. This is not to say that all music must have a so-called “positive” message. Music doesn’t have to have a message at all, but it definitely shouldn’t have a negative message.

And the problem isn’t really that some rap / hip-hop music contains negative messages (negative is putting it mildly).

The problem is that most rap / hip-hop that is promoted by the big music companies contains negative messages...

Yes, non-destructive rap / hip-hop is out there, but that’s not what the big boys have chosen to promote. The negative, degrading, corrupting variety is what they are filling our airwaves with. And make no mistake about it: the big boys are the ones calling the shots, not the rappers.

Now some might say that all the bad stuff in it is what makes it so good, so original, so diverse, so creative, so cutting-edge.

In reality, the entertainment industry is selling us immorality disguised as creativity.

Vulgarity masquerading as originality.

Cultural degeneracy posing as cultural diversity.

Degrading stereotypes packaged as cutting edge.

Poison labeled as spice.

Originality, creativity, diversity, cutting edge are all very good things, and we need much more of it. But these very positive and wonderful things have nothing to do with those other things.

Good food is one thing; poison is another.

If I wanted to kill you, I might have a hard time trying to get you to eat a plate of pure rat poison. But if I laced your favorite food with it, you’d wolf it down and never know what hit you.

Let’s keep the good food and lose the poison.

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Who Controls Hip-Hop?
(excerpts from The Architects of Rap)

Some say that rap / hip-hop is Black people’s music, but I can tell you for certain, Black people are not the ones controlling it. It’s kind of strange to claim something is yours when you have no control over it.

As of this writing, there are five giant music companies that dominate and control the music business. They are Universal Music Group, Warner Music, Sony Music Group, BMG, and EMI. Operating through several hundred subsidiaries and over a thousand labels, these five
companies, according to Nielson SoundScan figures, control approximately 86% of the U.S. and world music market, and all but EMI are part of even larger global entertainment conglomerates.

These companies have the resources, the capital, the manufacturing, marketing and promotional machinery, the channels of distribution, a virtual lock on the airwaves, and the strategic connections. In a nutshell, it all boils down to money, power, and knowledge. Those who have it have the control.

And there’s a lot more to the entertainment industry than just recording companies. Radio stations, television stations, movie studios, television networks, cable and satellite companies, print media, all of these and more are part of the package.

How much of this do Black people control?

Sure, you see a lot of young, Black faces out front, but believe me, rap / hip-hop is controlled by fat, old, rich guys.in expensive suits who prefer to stay behind the scenes.