Articles Tagged: hip hop artist

Russell Simmons: Don’t Blame the Rappers, Fix the Problems

July 26th, 2008 | By Sonnie

I think I nailed the equation to our problems, Black Family Breakdown + Excuses Excuses Excuses + Refusal to Integrate = The Black Plight.

Now there are few other things I want to get off my chest.

Somebody is to blame for the breakdown of HIP HOP.

Now there can only be a few culprits, so lets do a little break down.

The Artist

Just like an NFL quarterback, the Artist catch most of the flack in Hip Hop. Just like a NFL quaterback gets all the credit in victory. Is it fair? Not always, but if the quarterback threw 5 interceptions, your assessment would be dead on.

Music is a money making industry, so to be successful you have to generate buzz. The problem is most artist today don’t use creative ideas to get their name out. Instead the opt for the same path that lead other artist to success. Sex, Money, Drugs, and Violence.

Now Russell Simmons says you can’t blame the Rapper because he’s just painting a picture of what he sees. A few questions.

Are there no black women in the Hood with morals?

I know there are, because I was one. Where are the rappers the can tell a black woman they are beautiful, without being loose. Tupac did it. Niggas respected him even though he had respect for woman. Yes he had a video or two with women, but rarely were the women the main focus. And when there were the main focus, he gave us strength, respect for ourselves, and hope that some black men out there still have respect for us.

Are there no black men that chose not to hustle and make it.

Yes there are. For all my brothers doing your thing despite the cards dealt to you. There are no words for what I feel for you. Keep it up. Where is there voice? Eminem carries that voice. It might come from a white person, but it’s a every color struggle. What about those that never want to sell crack? That find other legit ways to make it out? Where is the song about them. Most rappers fit into that category. It’s just when the get famous they become Crack Selling Kings.

Are there no Mother’s and Father’s who stories should be told

Is there not one rapper who’s father was there for him? Is there not one rapper that got some girl pregnant and had to change his life not to repeat the same mistakes with there own child? Yes. The tell their stories on reality shows, magazine articles, and web pages. Then they put out songs that say just the opposite.

The Higher Ups

Now this includes radio, T.V., and Record Labels. They have the power, that’s plain and simple. They can control what we hear, when we hear it, and how many times we hear it. What we need to understand, they have to have a product to sell.

If Artists can agree Hip Hop is in trouble, especially when Soulja Boy is nominated for BEST RAP song, then they can all put out music that inspires some form of change. Do you have to take the violence out, No. Make it important that songs with value get the same airplay as the bling’d out songs do.

They don’t have as much power as you would think. No Product, No Business.

I have to add one more thing here. Commercializing Rap. This is not a bad thing. That’s were the money is. The problem comes when there are no truly talented people with a real message, and they have to take the most watered down on the crap.

The Fan

We are the real culprits. We should shoulder most of the blame.

Artist will try to make the music that sells. The Higher Ups will promote music that sells. The fans decide what music sells.

Women stop going out and buying Ludacris because you like one song, even though you know you’ll be called a ho on all the other songs. And yes he means you. Because he would throw money at your ass the same way he would anyone else.

If you have a young daughter, how can you spend a dime on R. Kelly. Seriously. At 16 did I think I knew what I was doing? Yes. Would I blame someone else for the decisions I made? No. But as a grown woman, I look to blame R. Kelly. Why? Because he is a grown man. Plan and simple. He could have any grown woman he wanted, yet he goes after little girls. That is Nasty.

More than that. We have to up our standards. Stop buying C.D.’s until they start to question why sales are hurting so much. Stop watch 106 and Park, TRL, and the likes, until they start to question why no one watched videos anymore.

They will come to us asking how can they get our Business back. And we can say, “GIVE US HIP HOP BACK”. We want the lyrics you have to listen to four or fives time to get it. We want females that spit fire, without showing their ass. We want our culture in commercials, but not when it depicts only the worst aspects of our culture. We want music that not only paints where we are, but where we’re going and how we are going to get there.

They would listen because we have the money to make them listen. Without us, they are nothing. And if we continue to do nothing, we’ll be the blame for the fall of HIP HOP.