Thursday, March 30, 2006

Hood News Ain't Good News

If you picked up this Tuesday’s Wall St. Journal there’s a good chance you saw Snoop Dogg on the front page – character sketch and all.

“The Doggfather on the front page of the journal?” is the collective question I imagine among readers in response to that declaration. Surely, this can’t be anything good.

Unfortunately for hip-hop fans, most information that is listed in more traditional news mediums is seldom good news-- hence the title of this post.

A recent Snoop concert in Las Vegas was cancelled after pressure from Nevada authorities because of the growing correlation between hip-hop and violence in the area. Apparently, Nevada has grown tired of rappers acting out their music, putting the clamp on a gangster rap sub-genre that has the decided potential to incite a level of violence authorities aren’t comfortable with.

While the recent history of violence in Las Vegas associated with hip-hop cannot be denied (this decision from Las Vegas authorities came after the deaths of four local rappers last June and the recent death of a police officer who was murdered by an aspiring Las Vegas rapper), the question that begs to be asked is whether or not this is a legitimate crime prevention strategy?

Clearly, hip-hop got a black eye on Tuesday, courtesy of the Wall St. Journal. Was that blow a sucker punch?


Anonymous said...

As concerns the ridiculous violence that surrounds hip hop I will quote Ice Cube's Child support.

all ya'll rappers should kiss and make up
take your bullshit jewlry back to Jacob
get your mind right nigga
and start to wake up
'cause the whole rap industry needs to shake up
you got million dollar niggas killin' million dollar niggas
bustin' outta Bentleys
wearin' chinchillas
there you go again rollin in your limo
comin' from the Grammy's shootin' out the window

Brother Lightness said...

Hip-hop is going to need to rely on more than classic lyrics to save it.

Anonymous said...

you might want to check for its weekly news updates. it had a couple pieces on the "aspiring rapper" that tried to argue cat who shot the cop was a gangster, not a rapper.

Brother Spotless said...

I like to relate the issues discussed here to our culture at large, and try to make connections. It seems as though liberal ideals of expression are falling prey to conservative conformity. At its high point, gangster rappers got away with saying basically anything they wanted to, which led in large part to the image problem the hip hop culture deals with in today’s far more conservative nation. But everything was more liberal then: basketball players could wear their shorts baggier. Touchdown celebrations were more fun. Entertainers across the board could get away with more controversial content.

Today…not so much. Sports have legislated against baggy shorts, TD celebrations (and next year, basketball players won’t be able to wear tights under their shorts!). Entertainment is much more closely scrutinized (lyrics, sexual content, violence, etc.). in 1995, Snoop would most definitely be allowed to perform in Las Vegas, no matter how many cops were shot. Some would say Las Vegas is just trying to control a volatile situation. I think this is just an example of a conservative movement striking back against the liberal society of yester-year (not that long ago really). I don’t know if it is right or wrong, but it’s just interesting to me to watch the US culture at large change with who is in power, and how those changes occur.

The hip hop culture is definitely in the liberal camp, so we will continue to find ourselves scrutinized closely until (if ever) conservatives are not in power. Just my thoughts…