Articles help give hip hop a bad rap

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For the past few days, hip hop fans have seen the newspaper do a study on gangs here in the CSRA. We feel the need to protect hip hop from this type of "abuse," if you will.

We say that because we love hip hop. It's the thing that has kept us going, and it's a lifestyle that many live and others try to imitate. The attraction to hip hop is that no matter how you look, where you are from, your race, age or whatever - hip hop embraces it. Hip hop doesn't discriminate or exclude as long as you respect the principles. Hip hop has no boundary lines. It even crosses music genres. No other collective group has that distinction from within.

WHY ALL THAT? Hip hop has been blamed for perpetuating negative images - degradation of women, glamorizing money, foul language etc. We agree hip hop is sometimes over the top, but so was rock 'n' roll. We sometimes have a problem with certain songs, as do others, but we feel overexposure to these videos and images in the media is the problem. It's too much to have a child watch videos for hours a day and not expect them to pick up some bad habits. In that case, a parent has to take over.

Limiting what hip hop has to say won't make problems dwindle. Taking out words in a song won't keep violence from happening in certain neighborhoods, such as the ones pointed out in the newspaper. Neither radio nor any other media outlet can take away the problems we all will face.

The articles said the FBI's and the state's definition of a gang is a group of three or more people from a certain area committing a crime or crimes. The strange part is that they identify these individuals by dress, which is totally unfair. At a time when teens and 'tweens are finding themselves and trying to fit in, the first thing they do is dress accordingly. We wear do-rags and turn our hats backward, too.

MANY TIMES, things such as dress, language, etc. are lost in translation. When can we get back to when you go by what a man does - his actions - and not what he says or wears? Our inner cities have no positive outlets for the children living in them. Funding has been cut, and it seems that no one cares. They live usually just above or below the poverty line, and turn to crime just to survive.

Don't get me wrong - responsibility has to be taken by those living in the inner city, but it seems that one unfair administrative move after another really takes away hope.

While I appreciated the series of articles, I just think it had a narrow definition to all that was applied to because it seemed to only affect minorities. Hip hop is a reflection of what happens in those 'hoods. Art imitates life. Where there is no life, there is no art.

(Editor's note: The writer teams with KJ Kydd Joe as The Kutt Boyz, evening radio personalities on Martinez hip hop and R&B station WPRW-FM (107.7).)

Comments (14) Add comment
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sliique
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sliique 05/20/07 - 07:38 am
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I been around since Kay

I been around since Kay Starr, et al., BEFORE Rock & Roll even came to the forefront. NEVER, in the history of music in our country, have we been subjected to such pathetic lyrics degrading females and certain races. (Or, race. Meaning the "N" word.).

While the letter raises some valid points, imho (in my humble opinion), the fact REMAINS that these Rappers can "do their part," by stopping all the alluded to lyrics.

I am the caucasian father of a racially mixed 34 year old daughter and NEVER was the "N," word used in our household and, to this day, neither she nor my 3 grandchildren use it. MY point is, simply, using the "N" word is totally ignorant and unnecessary, regardless of whom utters it.

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
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ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 05/20/07 - 07:46 am
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Mr. Craig Boogie When

Mr. Craig Boogie
When children 8 to 12 years old are out singing or reciting the so called wonderfully expressive hip hop, and using all the explicit language they hear and learn through it, I have a problem. When they turn and call their mother B---h, and Ho
and their parent laughs about it, I have a problem with it.
When I see this behaviour carry over into the schools and playgrounds and in public withing sight and earshot of my family, I have a problem with it. Maybe you should read the laws on abusive and obscene language. I don't like taking members of my family shopping only to hear some 12 year old constantly using this language.
You can bet I'll do whatever I can legally, to include prosecution, and lawsuits to stop it, I am offended by it and don't want it forced on me by some child trying to emulate something they see on television or hear on some pirated disc.
If you put it out there for them, you are just as guilty as an adult providing alcohol to a minor.

_kpc_
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_kpc_ 05/20/07 - 08:03 am
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The title of this article

The title of this article could be "Hip Hop gives Hip Hop a bad rap."

Carleton Duvall
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Carleton Duvall 05/20/07 - 08:19 am
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Mr Boogie( I love the irony

Mr Boogie( I love the irony in his name, don't you, kpc?) Your argument is like an elephant. It won't fly.

_kpc_
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_kpc_ 05/20/07 - 08:21 am
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Hey....what about Dumbo?

Hey....what about Dumbo? (Scoob...you know I LOVE irony)

mgroothand
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mgroothand 05/20/07 - 10:00 am
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Can't figure out why Craig

Can't figure out why Craig Boogie keeps referring to hip-hop as music. The genre is an affront to the ears of those that appreciate music. It is a vile collection of beats and lyrics that should not be repeated to any decent adult, let alone children. The "artists" that spew this crap invariably land in jail or are otherwise in trouble with the law, or are killed violently. What redeeming value has ever come from this other than early deafness, numbness and dumbness?

Carleton Duvall
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Carleton Duvall 05/20/07 - 11:40 am
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You are quick, kpc. It took

You are quick, kpc. It took me awhile to remember who Dumbo is.

bone
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bone 05/20/07 - 12:02 pm
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value in art is always a

value in art is always a dangerous subject to me: who determines value? what are the factors which determine quality in an art form? i can explain why i dislike rap, but i also believe there are those who could explain why hip hop / rap music is positive. every generation has its music of protest and rap is no different. when our children grow up they'll outgrow the thug life, too. the gangsta mentality that is encouraged thru rap music is comical and certainly dangerous for uneducated youth who pursue the "lifestyle" described by these songs. the bigger danger for our society is posed by the continuing downward slide in the lower socioeconomic community: for two generations now, "respect" has become the buzzword for those who have no pride or ambition, but demand praise & compassion. how do we change a mindset? when did it become okay to fail miserably and still demand "respect" for trying? sorry - don't mean to get off on a tangent rant, but i don't believe that addressing the hip hop issue is going to do much good other than vilify a mode of self-expression that some people dislike.

TakeAstand
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TakeAstand 05/20/07 - 12:06 pm
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Isn't there a differnce

Isn't there a differnce between hip hop and that thug crap that most people complain about? I personally like hip hop. I think it is being labled wrong. I believe its the gangster rap that is causing all the trouble. Hip hop is more about dancing and expressing happy feelings, even if it is sexual sometimes lol. That gangster crap is whats ruining our youth. Correct me if I am wrong please, but this is how I see it.

_kpc_
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_kpc_ 05/20/07 - 12:37 pm
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TakeAstand...you may be

TakeAstand...you may be right. Personally I don't like hip hop...even the non-offensive variety. But that's just me.

nofrills
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nofrills 05/20/07 - 12:44 pm
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Hip-Hop is what it is--Prison

Hip-Hop is what it is--Prison Music for gangsters. There and only there is it acceptable to use all the nasty words you want. I was taking a friend to visit her brother in prison and I found myself sitting in a group of people who were singing hip-hop and rap as we waited. They used the word cracker 11 times but I guess in our world that is also acceptable? As they were shown out the prison guard asked one of the group if anybody else was out there and the guard look to the other guard and said “two crackers who cant go in.” He had no idea I was a Jew and not a cracker but my skin looks the same. But he went back to singing some song about gin and juice. I will never go back or allow myself to be disrespected like that again and as far as the prison guards they were so friendly to the families of the blacks but should tolerate the others. This world is a mess and all we do is make excuses. Lets just say its bad and wrong and needs to change

_kpc_
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_kpc_ 05/20/07 - 12:48 pm
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disrespected? Don't you mean

disrespected? Don't you mean "dissed"? LOL

TakeAstand
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TakeAstand 05/20/07 - 01:23 pm
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lmaooo kpc

lmaooo kpc

bone
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bone 05/20/07 - 07:48 pm
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probably meant "hurt my

probably meant "hurt my feelings and i want to cry about it." disrespected sufficed; dissed would have been more succinct.

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