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How Much Do You Love Hip Hop?

Last week I went to the store and I copped 36 Seasons by Ghostface Killah and my man J. Cole’s album, 2014 Forest Hills Drive. Then yesterday, I went to a local mechanics shop that I’ve been going to for years even before I could drive. After my car was serviced, just a new tire, I got in and noticed that my CD deck was empty. Now if you don’t know I always have disc in the player. I always listen to CDs. What alarmed me is that the deck read ‘no disc’. That is highly unusual. I checked both CD cases and both CDs were gone. Long story short I filed a police report on those fools. No there wasn’t a sign that said ‘remove valuables’ so they are liable. After going to a place for over ten years no one has ever had the audacity to take a CD out of the player itself. Some of you all are probably thinking ‘you filled a police report for some CDs?’ Yes, I sure did. It’s not about the CDs it’s about someone putting their hands on my personal belongings and thinking they’d get away. I’m sure they do it all the time but since there were only two mechanics on duty at the time I’m sure the culprit will be dealt with accordingly.

But how many of you would have pressed the issue? How many of you would’ve said oh well and just purchased the items again? You techies are probably wondering why I still buy CDs instead of downloading onto my phone from iTunes. Same reason people still buy vinyl. Besides there’s nothing better than a physical copy and that includes music, books, and anything that is digitized. I say if you’re asking those questions then you probably don’t love Hip Hop as much as I do. After everything calmed down I was telling my family and friends what had happened and they knew how mad I was because of the property that was stolen and it was J. Cole and Ghostface?!?!?! The cop even recognized both empty CD cases and knew that both albums were new releases. On top of that when I purchase Hip Hop albums they are purchased on The Society’s dime and we don’t have it like other community organizations. (Which is why you should click this donate link) I remember when Hip Hop was about righting wrongs and ‘fighting the power’ and now Hip Hop isn’t that and people don’t have the same love they had when they first discovered it.

You can tell because they would stand up to the higher ups and say we’re not doing that or we don’t agree let’s go in this direction. A lot of these industry figureheads don’t have as much control over their brand as they want you to think. Most mainstream artists don’t have control over anything that they do they just show up when told. Especially a new artist, you’re a new artist so you’re a product that a company is selling. Even some who have been around don’t have that type of control over themselves. They don’t love Hip Hop they love the money. ‘If it ain’t about the money!’ Nobody loves Hip Hop anymore. Nobody loves it enough to make sacrifices to push the culture forward and snatch it out of the hands of these ‘culture vultures’. I even touched on this in a previous blog back in April ‘Outkast at Coachella: Who Cares about Hip Hop?’ You know I’m not talking about everybody because hopefully if you’re reading this blog you’re not one of those people.

Just think about it. You’re not willing to fight for what’s rightfully yours. You’re willing to stand up and face adversity in order to make change. Your level of apathy is so baffling. This is one reason we can’t prosper and I’m talking about more than Hip Hop. One way the oppressor stays on top is to keep the oppressed in a constant mind state of hopelessness. They put you in a box and give you limits and for a culture and a people who have limitless potential that also crushes the spirit of many. Many artists grow up with a certain set of core values and when those things are compromised they feel hopeless and useless. Oppression is a form of mental abuse and we are the victims. If we stand together for more than a few weeks on particular issues than change could come about. If we unite and say no we’re not doing that and let people know who is really in charge then they have no choice but to follow our lead. We’re the leaders of tomorrow but they want the leaders of yesteryear because that’s how they’ve been racking in the almighty dollar. When you know who killed Tyrone on 42nd street and you don’t say anything, it’s the same thing. When you know you didn’t vote and the candidate you don’t want to win does win, it’s the same thing. When you see someone in a domestic dispute and you don’t say anything, it’s the same thing. Me not filing a police report and allowing myself to be taken advantage of, it’s the same thing. It is all your voice. It is all about you taking a stand against what is wrong. You know that Macklemore shouldn’t have beat out K. Dot for the Grammy but who in the industry attempted to get on the Grammy committee after that? With Iggy getting a nod for HipHop/Rap album of the year I’d say we’ve got the same people on the nominating committee as we did last year. Voicing your opinion on social media isn’t going to change anything almost like marching and protesting. We have to be active behind the scenes to make real change. We have to be the change we want to see.

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