Hip-Hop Ain't Dead

Ragland, Alice

Publisher:  Against the Current
Date Written:  01/03/2016
Year Published:  2016  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX21355

Many rap artists used their words to question oppression. This is where hip-hop began, a radical middle finger to the system that created the need for such an outlet.



As rich white media execs recognized the immense financial possibilities of rap music and the power of hip-hop transferred from street artists to media corporations, hip-hop artists and song lyrics that spoke truth to power were not allowed to thrive.

Artists whose music evoked a flicker of critical thought were forced into the realm of underground hip-hop, losing the potential to ever be played to a mass radio audience. Music about relevant issues virtually disappeared from mainstream media outlets, replaced by an overabundance of music that promoted negative stereotypes, misogyny and belligerent behavior.

As a result of this capitalist ambush of hip-hop, the only rappers who were rewarded significant air time are the ones who embodied stereotypes of violent, drug-dealing criminals. The only women rappers who earned the spotlight embodied stereotypes of Black women as manipulative, gold-digging whores. These stereotypes serve the white capitalist interest.
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