White People Love Hip Hop
I’m a lover of bar- hopping. I mean I even live in one of the greatest cities for it. It’s a certain feeling I get when I’m dressed up among friends zipping from club to lounge, bar and to dive with the anticipation of listening to an amazing DJ set. I unconsciously always seem to skip the spots that blast Top 40 pop and rock. Not that I don’t enjoy a bit of Katy Perry here and there but Katy Perry’s lyrics can’t reduce my stress levels from a week’s worth of working 40-45 hours. That’s a job for Kendrick, J. Cole, Drake and Jay-Z. So as I’m throwing my fist in the air during the #BlackLivesMatter Anthem that is Kendrick Lamar’s Alright I can’t help but to hear “Steven, Tom, and Becky ” screaming out in Suburbanite unison “Nigga we Gon’ Be Alright!” And in that 3 seconds my stress reducing moment gets shattered and I can’t help but to cringe at how comfortable the real life Hollister Ad, had been not only screaming out the word “Nigga” but also how quickly they spewed the lyrics of oppression that Kendrick wrote for his people, black people.
White People Love Hip Hop, not just the bass inducing songs, but the Hip Hop Culture overall. From the cool African American Vernacular English (AAVE) language, to the fashions that stemmed from inner cities around America. It’s hard to not gaze at media without seeing or hearing a white persons interpretation of the Hip Hop Culture. Whether it be a Kardashian donning gold hoops, Cornrows and Acrylics and calling it a new trend or Miley Cyrus twerking her way into appropriating black culture to increase her album sales, just to appear a year later back in cowboy boots denouncing rap music for its vulgarity.
Pop culture has a vast history of taking advantage of black culture. We can take it back to Elvis Presley copying Jackie Wilson’s seductive hip swing and Chuck Berry’s cool rock and roll style. To Marilyn Monroe stealing spotlight for her curves from the evenly, if not more gorgeous Dorothy Dandridge.
Today speaks no different, it seems as though if you want to become a household name in any industry the key is to appropriate black culture. White people will go into fast-fashion retailers like; Forever 21, H&M and Urban Outfitters shopping for t-shirts and hoodies with the images of Biggie, Tupac,N.W.A. and Wu-tang printed on the front of it and steadily rap along to every lyric about the struggles of inner city blacks but just simply put they don’t care much about inner city blacks.Black pain and struggle has been the fuel for Popular American culture since the days of The negro spiritual, which is the foundation for much of America’s musical heritage. The blues is the template by which we got rock and roll and R&B. Even in Hollywood, films like Boyz N the Hood, Juice and Paid in Full have generated widespread critical acclaim for their depictions of the “struggles of the young black male.” on TV, series likeThe Wire won fans over by showing the difficult to impossible circumstances in the inner cities that most blacks stem from.
So all in all the outcome has always been the same no matter how woke our music is, it just seems to come off like we’re on another stage singing the same sad songs for years. While white America sings along so loudly that they still can’t hear us.