Here is a very special up close documentary, Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes, care of Independent Lens on PBS and produced by Hip Hop activist, Byron Hurt. This video is a frank examination of masculinity in Hip Hop music and issues dealing with sex, violence, misogyny, and homophobia. There is much discussion about the male ego complex in the industry, culture, and in the streets that should often be talked about, and I am glad this Hip Hop head brought several touchy subjects into the spotlight.
I am presenting this video for basic awareness and consciousness we are severely lacking in today’s Hip Hop music. We really need a big kick in the backside to open our minds, hearts, and mouths. A great example is how the United States government has been so active with screwing up our country, economy, communities, and world relations, but our rappers and emcees have been so silent when they get the spotlight. Where is our protest?
I think the only recent time a Hip Hop personality really made any mainstream noise was when Kanye West blurted, “George Bush doesn’t like black people” due to the FEMA debacle after Hurricane Katrina. It created such a media uproar, Kanye could have rallied a second wave of conscious rap music and activism to the mainstream. Fortunately, the underground heads have never been quiet like Immortal Technique, Paris, Dead Prez, and Chuck D, but those who have been fortunate to get the mainstream attention are only selling cotton candy with no sign of soulful nutrition for the spirit and minds.
Will there ever be a popular multi-platinum rapper to ever have the courage to really speak his mind in the 21st Century other than bitch that Beyonce’ should have won the Best Female Video MTV Award? What will it take? Will the activation of the Selective Service drafting young men from the hood and poor communities be that last straw?
Watch this video and give your homeboy a wake up call by sharing this with them as your brotha’s keeper. I know the sistas will.