Turn it around: A challenge for the hip-hop generation

Jineea Butler | 7/21/2014, 9:55 a.m.
Lately, hip-hop news has been fueled with beef and rants of all kinds.

(NNPA) – Lately, hip-hop news has been fueled with beef and rants of all kinds. Meek Mill is beefing with Wale because Wale wasn’t supporting Mill’s current project enough on social media, Dame Dash is blaming Lyor Cohen for the downfall of Roc-a-Fella Records, and Lil Wayne thanks the world for supporting his bull. Chris Brown and Drake are in the studio together and Lebron James shocked the world with a return to Cleveland. Wow!

Where is the substance? When are we going to demand something more from those that represent us on a grand stage? Is their job just to entertain us through the struggle and our role is to watch them fight over our attention to keep them relevant and paid in full? Are we really living in the Matrix?

When I see people constantly plugged into some form of social media pretending to be whomever they want to be and finding happiness behind a desktop, laptop or handheld device, I realize fantasy sells more than truth. Is that by design? Or, are we attracted to our own B.S.? Are we in fear of being accountable for our actions or successful for our relentless pursuits? Sometimes it feels like that. In our society, it seems like everyone is trying to set each other up for failure. With shows like Big Brother, Survivor and other reality programs that promote deception in the form of friendship, how can we be getting better?

People of color are projected to become the majority in the U.S. by 2050, if not sooner. What will that world look like? If we can’t depend on the music and global messages to navigate us to victory, how do we insure we are preparing our children to compete in this society in generations to come?

Other ethnic groups have entered America and based their ascension off of what we have endured in this country and they are winning. Why is it that we can’t put a plan in place that ensures the preservation, economic development and success of our culture? Are selfish people with ruthless egos and agendas to blame? Look at the Central American children running for the borders of America hoping they can get a glimpse at the opportunity to be an American citizen. Their parents and families are praying that once they get caught they will be granted citizenship into a country that can make their dreams come true. Are our children even dreaming? Do you think they would be willing to take a chance to escape the poverty-stricken arrangements they are stuck in?

I look into the eyes of our children and many are copping out on us. They are purposely rebelling against the world that has been presented to them. They feel that they do not need to subscribe to a system of illusions when they can deal with the real hard-core facts. A tattoo on their face, neck, and/or hand proves they are not considering going to work on Wall Street. The harsh reality is that it is not their fault that they are not prepared. I doubt they even know the millions of career options available for them to pursue. Why is that? Is it because we allow nonsense-driven content to monopolize our time and our children’s minds? Our civil rights fight included and needed the athletes, actors and musicians to use their voices to publicize the struggle. Why is it any different today?