Thursday, February 22, 2007

Black History or Black Music Month?

Am I the only one that feels like the majority of the specials on this month to celebrate Black History Month are all about Black Music? Last night I watched Paula Zahn Now. Her show was asking whether or not Hip Hop Music was poison. Hip Hop wasn't equated with poison until the stats began to show that 80% of the consumers were suburban white kids.

Lawd knows we can't have the little anglos listening to such horrid music. What is this world coming to? On the flip side, why haven't black parents asked this question? Is it because we want little Kevin to keep practicing his poetry, land a contract with a major label and get us out of this 1 BDR in the projects? But I digress...

Throughout the hour long show, I toggled between being furious and laughing hysterically. On the one hand, the pundits like to indict hip hop for it's misogynistic, violent and homophobic lyrics. The hip hop defenders have said over and over that if this music didn't sell so much, it would not be as prevalent. True statement. But, on the other hand, those same soccer mom hip hop haters have to point out who is buying the majority of hip hop music. It's their kids.

So, don't tell my people that they need to take responsibility for the messages they put out there. That's not your place. (That's my job. LOL) These haters need to check their own kids. Why would little Bobby rather listen to Snoop talk about being a pimp and keeping his ho's in check, rather than listen to Nas tell kids they can be what they want to be? I'll tell you why.

It's because the degrading, misogynistic, homophobic rap music reinforces the stereotypes perpetuated by the main stream. People forget that the same racist images that white people see in the media are seen by black people too.

(This is part of the reason I boycott so many tv shows, including the local news. I think it's all biased.)

If we are seeing these images, it's no wonder that we would begin to internalize them and express ourselves in a way that is counter productive. I'm not making excuses for us, we definately need to do better. I'm just sick and tired of the others pointing the finger at us, like they aren't the ones benefitting from our demise.

We need to wake up. I always say that perception is reality. The perception is that the majority of the movers and shakers in music are black. The Jay-Z's, the Puffy's, the JD's, the Russell Simmons'. And that's because we see them on tv all of the time. Between, BET, MTV, MTV2, VH1 Soul, and all the derivatives, we're inundated with the same images over and over again. That creates the PERCEPTION of overwhelming quantity. 'They're everywhere'. In most cases, these black moguls are checked and balanced by a board or shareholders or a label head that looks nothing like us. Don't you see? It's a game of smoke and mirrors and we're all too eager to keep running into the 'fun house'.

Like Laurence Fishburn says at the end of School Dayz..."WAAAAAAAKE UP"



Joerg said...

We are waaaaaking up in Germany and celebrate Black History Month.

Penni Brown said...

Thanks for the comment joerg. I'm glad to know that accomplishments of African descendents in Europe are being acknowledged. Thanks for the link.