The Hip-Hop Dilemma, the generation gap

Jineea Butler | 5/13/2013, 9:55 a.m.

Where else can you have a job making $300 million with no educational requirements, no drug testing, no prior experience, and your only responsibility is to come up with a slick line that everybody in the hood will repeat.

Hip-hop teaches them they can stay true to themselves and represent who they are in the streets. The street is the place where they feel most comfortable because the streets are real with them; the streets don’t lie; the streets give them experiences that are relevant to the world they are growing up in. The schools are not teaching at the pace and in the language that these young people are learning and absorbing information. So hip-hop music becomes their outlet like generations before, but today there is no agenda, no demand for progress.

We therefore render our entire community defenseless when we allow major entities to use the power of money to entice our young people with a false sense of reality. We are fed images that represent attitudes and personalities of cookie cutter artists who have no vision, who have no morals, and who have no idea what kind of damage they are causing. These artists, corporations and record labels have access to the minds and ears of our most precious cargo. When we don’t step in and protect our children from harm in any form, we ourselves are an accessory to the crime.

This conversation will be continued next week.

Jineea Butler, founder of the Social Services of Hip-Hop and the Hip-Hop Union, can be reached at jineea@gmail.com or tweet her at @flygirlladay