Stepping Up To The Mic by jluv426
January 14, 2010, 4:40 pm
Filed under: J-Luv's Train of Thought | Tags: , , , ,

Hip Hop is blamed for many of society’s ills. Parents blame gangsta rap for the corrupting the minds of little Johnny and Susie in the suburbs. Some of the vitriol has merit but most of it is just society looking for a scape goat. It is thus laughable when corporations use Hip Hop to reach the youth to sell merchandise and drive television show ratings (keep in mind that they only do so in controlled doses.) But Hip Hop is more than a lightning rod for controversy or a means of making cash registers ring. Hip Hop can be a catalyst for social change when we put our collective minds to it.

This week Haiti was ravaged by an earthquake. The death toll is estimated by some to surpass 100,000. The president stepped to his podium and pledged assistance to the Haitian people. Charity organizations went into react mode and began sending supplies and volunteers. Sports organizations opened their check books and donated. And Hip Hop stepped to the plate as well imploring the community to give what they can and keep the Haitians in their prayers. 

Of course this isn’t the first time that Hip Hop has stepped up to the mic to lend a hand in crisis. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina there was justifiable outrage from the community about the lack of a prompt response to the citizens of New Orleans. Who can forget Kanye Wests angry declaration about President Bush’s disdain for Black People. But Hip Hop was front and center with people that volunteered their time, opened up their homes to the displaced, organizers of benefit concerts and generous donations.

Chuck D once referred to Hip Hop as a Ghetto CNN and if that is true then the youth will turn to Hip Hop artists to understand what to make of the tragedy in Haiti. I won’t call artists role models because I believe parents and family members should play that role but Hip Hops influence is unmistakable. In times of need it is nice to see how swagger and material things take a back seat to lending a hand to your fellow-man.

So from now on don’t be so quick to dismiss Hip Hop. Say what you will about the beats and rhymes but you can count on Us to be there when the world goes a little crazier than usual.



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