April 3, 2009

Dr. Tricia Rose at the State of the Black Union 2009

In this segment from Tavis Smiley's State of the Black Union 10th anniversary in Los Angeles, Dr. Tricia Rose talks about issues of commercial hip-hop, the economy, and urban culture along with explaining how they all affect one another.

Dr. Rose's sobering commentary describes the dangers of just representin' in hip-hop. This representin' idea is pervasive throughout the current state of commercialized hip-hop and urban radio through the music that is programmed and the direction that many broadcast personalities are told to project on the air by living the so-called "urban lifestyle."

In essence Dr. Rose's point is that hip-hop was and should be a creative cultural expression reflecting where it wants to go. However we can hardly say it represents that today.

I'm still waiting for the day when large Black owned radio companies begin to forge their own path instead of reflecting and patterning themselves after large multi-media conglomerates(which include radio and the record industry) that were successful in the short run, whose vision as we see now, has sucked the energy out of a vibrant cultural/musical expression and art form once known as hip-hop. Yes Nas, for me anyway right now, hip-hop is dead as it can be, being programmed by visionless corporations.

Dr. Rose is a Professor of Africana Studies at Brown University and more information can be found on her website http://www.triciarose.com. She is the author of the book "The Hip Hop Wars: What We Talk About When We Talk About Hip Hop-and Why It Matters."

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