Column's Up
November 29, 2004

The Two Faces of Hip-Hop

My column this week fisks the duality present in the conscience of the hip-hop culture. In short, the leaders of the culture use selective morality also known as relative morality. I always believe that a culture that doesn't draw a line is more dangerous than a culture that is blatantly hedonistic.

Posted by Ambra at November 29, 2004 4:29 AM in Culture
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Can I submit your column to Blackelectorate for Hip Hop Fridays?


Ambra, I'm a frequent reader of your site. I find that I don't agree with you on most occasions but I still come back because you have an interesting viewpoint on, well, everything. And I found this article you wrote particularly interesting, since I actually agree with you for the most part on what you've said here. But I've noticed that you often have negative opinions of the culture, maybe not negative, but often "less than positive" views. So I have a question, more or less, what hip-hop do you listen to, and what aspects of the culture do you find to be postive in nature?

Panama: You ask a good question. First and foremost, I am a defender of the hip-hop culture. Everyone who's been reading this site long enough knows that. I think it's one of the most prolific and powerful movements to hit the younger generation yet. That said, I think part of being a defender of the culture is admitting its faults. This is something a lot of people won't do and I don't think it's honest to believe that a culture can't be subject to criticism. My heart is really that hip-hop gives its critics too many footholds by behavior, bad decisions, and low standards. I desire to see it emerege in its beauty, honest, raw, and minus the crap and immorality.

As far as what I listen to, I'm a follower of Jesus Christ, so I don't allow myself to take in garbage and any music that isn't going to build me up in God. So every CD in my hip-hop collection is clean. There's some good Christian artists in the underground, some mainstream. I stay away from hokey stuff. I can give you a list if you want, but as far as all that mess on BET and whatnot? I stay abreast of the culture and music and what's going on (plus I have a 16-year-old-brother) just enough to be able to critique it objectively. But as far as bumpin' it in my car or my home? Hex no.

The article I just linked is for Seaspot magazine, a Seattle hip-hop magazine. My editor there is also a card-carrying memeber of the HHG (hip hop generation). When I asked him what he wanted me to write, he made it simple, he said, "Slay a few sacred cows". Or in other words, critique the culture as one who's of the culture and do it intelligently.

Most everyone who has negative things to say about hip hop, hates the culture. I don't. I love it. I love the honesty. I love the creativity (when it's present), I love the rawness, I love how it crosses cultural barriers, I love the clothing, I love how it underscores everything. So there I be...

Aw man, you missed your chance!
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