Written by Matthew Carter
It gets pretty frustrating when a major portion of your lifestyle is openly scoffed at and shunned by mainstream society. I would go so far as to say that such actions can be downright infuriating when the root cause for them turns out to be nothing more than blind ignorance.
This became all too apparent to me after reading a short article in a certain publication, where rappers were condescendingly and ignorantly referred to as simply “people who can put words in order” and “bejewelled idiot[s] stammering about how they’re hot with their bitches.” It frightens and offends me that such uneducated notions about the Hip-hop culture – or anything for that matter – can be widely held and accepted in our society, to the point where nobody so much as blinks an eye when such words are printed in official publications.
Yes, freedom of speech is a definite cornerstone within the foundation of our modern democratic society, but at the same time nobody likes it when ignorant, negative-essentialist jargon is being broadcasted from the proverbial pulpits and soap boxes across the land. We are a nation that prides itself over its liberal philosophy of tolerance, so the only thing we shouldn’t tolerate is uneducated persons who think they’ve got the scoop.
Rap is far from the empty, crass hullabaloo it is commonly portrayed as being. It is a legitimate form of art residing within a culture that, like any other, is rich in beliefs, customs, and traditions. And even though this has been recognized even by organizations such as the United Nations, everyday society fails to do the same. Instead, it remains content with being spoon-fed the exaggerated, stereotypical fiction it so desperately craves. However, with the Information Age being how it is, we as individuals should each make a conscious effort to investigate and challenge these notions in order to discover the shrouded truths.
In other words, we need to look before we leap – or in this case, read before we write.
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