February 27, 2012

Dr. Boyce Watkins: Black People Must Take Commercialized Hip-Hop to Task

Tyler the Creator is destined to become the most popular Tyler in the country, if what is now called hip hop is left in the hands of corporate media. Although at this point nothing that the leader of the group Odd Future has even remotely  released would be considered radio-friendly. He has become popular among a similar population of suburbia who have supported rap in the past and made it mainstream in previous decades. Tyler the Creator's appeal to a certain extent is his anti-establishment / anti-stereotypical portrayal of black masculinity (thug gangsta rapper, drug dealer, materialistic bling wearer) living in the 'hood and keeping it real. But the sexual violence and drug abuse proliferates throughout his music nonetheless. Any semblance of what popular hip hop once was- that is party music that sometimes elevated itself to a conscious level, it's virtually gone, and it's popularity has eroded outside of Drake, Kanye, Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, and Kanye. All one needs to do is check out the Billboard charts.

The only hip hop that is promoted or played on the urban radio outlets is the most destructive hip hop out there. It's very hard to even call it Hip Hop! So one day might a rapper like Tyler the Creator make it to the corporate radio playlists? If he continues on his path he will surely appeal to someone in a suit, despite how anti-corporate he wants to portray himself as. Is he popular among that next up and coming generation of kids who now can be called 'tweens? Willow Smith, daughter of Will Smith, has recently deemed Tyler the Creator, “the love of her life.” Meanwhile Tyler Perry's latest movie "Good Deeds" can barely register a buzz in Black media.

The following is from the Dr. Boyce Watkins' blog article Why Black People Must Take Commercialized Hip-Hop to Task:

“I’ll rape a pregnant b*tch and tell my friends I had a threesome.”

These words came from Tyler the Creator, leader of the “musical” collective, Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, just one of the many Hip-Hop artists who’ve taken the power of free speech and used it to mangle their own community.  Disrespect for women has become par for the course in the language Hip-Hop, not to mention messages about excessive drug/alcohol abuse, sexual irresponsibility, the murdering of one Black man by another and financial irresponsibility.  Read more...

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