Written by: Rick Sharpe
Disclaimer: This article is strictly based on opinions. You are entitled to your own opinion.
“That’ll be $164.32″, cash or credit?, I’m paying cash, and I’m straight on the shoe cleaner”. There was a lady behind me in line with three small kids, they kept asking her for different things in the store, even a pair of the shoes I was buying and she kept responding I don’t have no money for all that. I saw a hat that I wanted and told the lady to go ahead of me, I wasn’t ready to check out. When the clerk voided the transaction, the lady asked me why would I pay so much for a pair of shoes, and everybody else is gonna have the same pair?, what’s so special about them? You must be a rapper, or a dope boy or something?, nah, I laughed, She picked up a different pair of shoes that were a little less and I asked if I thought they looked better?, yeah they nice, “then why are you paying so much for those? I saw that her total for three pairs of shoes, and a couple t-shirts came out to be cheaper than my one pair of shoes. I ended up buying the other shoes after I tried them on. It may me wonder why I wanted the first pair so bad. I didn’t try them on, and I wasn’t crazy about them. It was because they had been subliminally marketed to me. I saw the commercial watching my favorite show, the ad on my favorite site, all the stars and my friends were wearing them, the price and the display before the release seemed to make them exclusive, they were being force fed to me in my everyday life. I never saw one of these commercials on CNN, makes plenty sense now that I think about it.
There’s a lot that goes on in our sub-conscious that we don’t realize. Marketing strategist get paid very well to advertise to your sub-conscious, that’s why a lot of commercials seem to make no sense but you always remember them. Music is one of the biggest subliminal advertisers in the world. If you notice most of an artist’s fan base tends to take on the character of the music they listen to. It’s rare you find hardcore gangstas listening to gospel on a regular basis, or a soccer mom being a huge rap fan, not to say it never happens but on average the music and the fan base are pretty similar. Hip hop also talks to you subconsciously. So what is hip-hop’s subliminal message?
A couple decades back all beats were made with live instruments, singers really had to have ability, and music wasn’t just saying whatever comes to your mind or what you thought people wanted to hear it was an artistic display of emotion. The older music has much deeper meaning to it, it challenged you to think, educated you, inspired you, and all things inappropriate for all listeners were personified, song’s like Lucy in the sky with diamonds by the Beatles for example. Some believe hip hop emerged from musicians rebelling against the dance music and disco of the 70’s, being fed up with producers not making the tracks that they were looking for.
In it’s early days while competitive rap served as a voice that otherwise wouldn’t be heard. It was like the hood constitution on swag, morality, and everyday life, largely catered to reppin’ your area and dealing with day to day life. This music raised up some our most successful and influential people today. Rap started with a lingo only the urban audience understood, today rappers are just blatant when talking about killing, trafficking, and all kind of other things. It’s no longer an artform, it’s more like a pyramid scheme(and if you don’t make your own pyramid your money is capped).
So what is hip hop’s subliminal message today? Violence, selfishness, sexual freeness, disloyalty, material worship, and don’t be mad at me for calling a spade a spade. There isn’t a song in the billboard top ten without at least one of those messages, maybe one or two and albums are the same, a very small percentage of positive music. A lot of rappers get on tv and say they want to do stuff for the kids, vote, stop the violence, and then say the exact opposite on 90% of their cd, which has more influence than a fill in speech here or there, and I’m not holding all artists responsible, I understand knowing how to rap doesn’t make you a crusader for the people, but you shouldn’t pretend to be for the people if more people are robbing, killing, trapping, and picking up new habits listening to your cd.
Today’s music can show you how to dance, dress, hustle illegally, and how to blow money faster than you make it. There is no unity, no boundaries, no foundation, todays game has no conscious, it only has one rule, get paid! Everybody wants to get paid right. What’s wrong with that? The bigger picture shows one act getting paid to lead millions into debt, and the prosperity of one can never equal the destruction of the masses. People make money off cigarettes, you choose to smoke them, the owners of the company get rich, many more get cancer, the bosses got paid though. Is someone wrong for speaking out on the company just because they got paid? Finances don’t validate your credibility, EVER.
Todays hip hop has a huge debt left for tomorrows generation. Hip hop is a form of school, the cheapest school you could ever go to. Our teachers (the artist) for the most part should all be fired, because we as a community are failing, but they’re getting some nice checks. Can you blame hip hop for some of the outrageous things we see today, of course you can. It doesn’t deserve all, most, or even half of the blame but it deserves some.
Most of an artists fan base aspire to be like the artist subconsciously, and todays hip hop only has one class. Cool 101, most importantly get paid at all cost. This plays a small part in all the unregistered voters, public housing, increased incarcerations, terrible rankings in schools, I could go on. Todays hip hop boasts greatly of how many millionaires it has made but when you lift the sheets, you start to see more. Atlanta tried to hide the homeless from the world in the 96 Olympics, and the majority of the world saw Atlanta as a this grand place of partying no peril, until they got there. Hip hop is the same way. I know a lot of I love hip hop heads will disagree, but thats small thinking. It has the ability to be something greater than our imagination, but as of today it’s just like that old dude thats been on the corner forever showing you how to roll a blunt, how to shoot a pistol, how to look good, how to bag a chic, take care of yourself, money over everything right?, basically living like it’s no tommorow, but that day is only not promised to you once.What about the other thousand of days?
My partner Sip told me Living On Yesterday Always Leads To Yesterday, looking at the game today…………………it’s about time hip hop starts looking toward tomorrow because without change while we may have made a few people rich today, tomorrow isn’t looking all that good for our community or hip hop.