So, my dirty little (no so) secret is that I love Hip-hop. It never ceases to amaze me how many people can’t tell the difference between Kanye and Lil’ Wayne and T-Pain. Really? OK, so sometimes I get Pitbull and Flo Rida mixed up, but they’re new comers.
Well, you know, I did go to college in Michigan, and Wisconsin is not that far away. I’m always impressed at the quality of the Hip-hop on Wisconsin radio stations, although I admit is it of the highly sanitized variety. It may be the 21st Century, but it is Wisconsin.
Hip-hop, or Rap, as it is often called, has long been the target of ire for its use of “questionable language.” Of course, it evolved from R & B and Soul and Funk (‘Vous lez vous couche avec moi’ as they say!!!!) so are we really surprised? And as my generation has pointed out time and again—have you walked down the hallway of a high school post 1980??? Um, yeah. Welcome to Gen X reality.
The thing is, not all Hip-hop has pervy language. And even if it does, some art is for grownups, that’s the reality. Hip-hop is art? Well, listen to it. Ah, there is the rub—the Great American hearing loss. Living as we are in an era when listening skills are essentially at nondetect in our culture, not surprising that a lot of people condemn Hip-hop, or at least dismiss it as a niche form for low-class people who can’t appreciate melody-driven music. I like music for the sake of music. I also like Hip-hop for the lyrics and the rhythm. Probably the same personality traits that drive my love of dance. “You can’t dance and be uptight.”
Speaking of, psychology tests actually demonstrate that people who listen to Hip-hop tend to be less angry and violent than people who listen to supposedly “less violent” music. Don’t know if that is true, but I know sometimes I feel like I can “listen out” tension, so maybe there is something to it.
So, Where is the Love? If you give it a try, you might learn something. Of course, it might be hard to take. I think a lot of people don’t want to hear about what goes on with Gen X. Some things are hard, it’s easier to hide them away. You can’t stay in the dark forever. At some point you gotta Turn up the Lights. 🙂