Respect by jluv426
November 17, 2009, 3:57 am
Filed under: J-Luv's Train of Thought

What do Hip Hop heads, college graduates, NFL and NBA rookies and Aretha Franklin have in common? They all crave respect in some fashion. The college grad looks for respect in a job offer and an opportunity to ascend the career ladder. The NFL and NBA rookie looks for respect from peers to be acknowleged as the best at their respective positions and deserving of the praise that was showered on them in college. Aretha Franklin demands that you treat her in a way deserving of a woman of her grace, beauty and talent. Lastly, hip hop heads, despite those that wish to rage against the machine look to be treated as equals.

The knock against rock and roll was that it was just a bunch of noise. And before that, it was the crooning of n*gg#rs. Well, a lot has changed and rock is not viewed in the same light. You may be thinking, ‘Hip Hop has made many a person rich, so what are you talking about?’ While it is true that Hip Hop has made many a shareholder happy at one point or another it does not change the fact that Hip Hop is not respected.

I subscribe to the school of thought that these corporations do not care about the Hip Hop Culture. They view it as a short term option to drive revenues and will reevaluate its effectiveness at given intervals. The moment a Hip Hop themed ad campaign or product design does not generate net profits it will be tossed aside like yesterday’s trash.

But that is not where the lack of respect comes from.

It comes from within the Hip Hop Community.

We allow our music to be treated like it is disposable and that is the most egregious thing that we can allow to happen. I’m guilty of it because I used to get wrapped up in first week sales and over the top videos. Old school used to describe an album that was released 7-10 years ago. Now, I hear people use that term for albums that dropped 3-4 years ago. Remember those corporations (record companies are included in that) that are showing love to Hip Hop? They are encouraging their artists to churn out material with a short shelf life and little substance. But can you blame them? If we (Hip Hop Heads) demanded better then we would get better. The great decider is the pocketbook. We vote everyday with our wallets and we should do the same and demand quality music. I don’t care if you like dance music, super-lyrical stuff, West Coast or East Coast. Demand the highest quality and settle for nothing less.

I know that there are countless artists that take their craft seriously and even more fans that crave the passion that comes from these artists. The problem comes in the form of clutter. Who wants to sift through 20 bad artists to find 3 good ones? I struggle with that myself, however; I have come to realize that if we take the time to find and support artists that are deserving that the sub-par artists will slowly disappear. As it stands now, the good artists are becoming disenchanted and exited stage left. And where is the respect in that?

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