Young Black Men Hip Hop Print
Written by The Individual, Calm Hill ID4509   
Wednesday, 27 August 2008 00:03

Young Black Men & Hip Hop: The Ultimate Hustle Or The Ultimate Crutch? By The Individual, Calm Hill

Let me be frank. You can’t eat Hip Hop cd’s nor do they make good bandages. Let me explain: My younger brother wants to rap. I have a good friend who is pursuing a Hip Hop & R&B song-writing career. I have about four younger male cousins (that I know of) who want to get into the rap game. Two older cousins that produce Hip Hop music and own small local labels. I won’t even count my friends and general associates because that would be too many.

Am I the only one who finds it mildly disturbing that…No one wants to be a lawyer (besides my younger sister*), physician, or surgeon? No one mentions opening up a couple of food franchises, or barbershops? No one wants get into real estate, the stock market, investments? No one speaks about the banking business, working for NASA, or becoming a senator?

My Point?

When did Hip Hop and the music industry become our only source of income? Our only career choice? Our only means to an end? When did an art form become the ultimate hustle above all other hustles? Now, I am certain that God made some of us musicians, but will he make more musicians than doctors? More rappers than chefs or even cooks? More singers than seamstresses? Highly unlikely…

It seems like to me that we, the descendents of the “kings and queens of Africa”, or the “original people” of earth are acting as modern day gypsies, but instead of selling beads, oils, and paintings, we are selling our music. And to promote our music, we have to sell pieces of our soul. You don’t agree? Maybe it’s just me. Tell me your thoughts…

How many young brothers you know want to rap, because they love music? How many of us read the Source Magazine but refuse to read the “real source” book? How many of us feel proud of hustling our latest mix tape, but couldn’t tell you the subject matter of Barack Obama’s latest speech? How many of us really understand Tupac’s overall contributions to black culture that transcends Hip Hop music? I think we all will agree that he was much more than just a rapper. And I think we can all can agree that young black men can be more than just rappers too. The Hip Hop crutch is shiny, strong, and expensive, but it’s still a crutch nevertheless.

Besides, as I said earlier, you can’t eat Hip Hop cd’s, we need some restaurants. Anyone up for the challenge? Oh, and Hip Hop cd’s don’t make good bandages either. We need some doctors for that. Anyone else up for the challenge?

The Individual, Calm Hill

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