Outkast at Coachella: Who Really Cares About Hip Hop?


Outkast is a legendary Hip Hop lyrical duo and their return to the stage recently at Coachella has the culture going crazy! Outkast’s discography is filled with classics appreciated by real culture lovers from all coasts not just the south. Outkast have the highest record sales of many an artist giving them the distinction of reaching diamond status. Outkast defied all Hip Hop odds and survived the changes in era as far as where the culture was going. I purchased a cassette of Outkast’s single “ATLiens” and I remember I couldn’t pronounce it and when I realized what it referred I was hype! Felt like I learned something important.

Coachella is THE music festival with artists from all over doing multiple shows during the day for several days. The fact that Outkast decided to do this at Coachella says something about their importance to the culture. The fact that Hip Hop has no major music festivals is astonishing. They don’t even have a tour featuring the wack artists on the radio. Why? Is it because they think something crazy is going to happen? A shootout? A trashed hotel suite? What is it? It’s not a money issue because we all know Rap music is a billion dollar industry. I think a lot of the issues in the culture stem from just pure apathy.
Nobody really cares about the culture. Nobody cares about Hip Hop but the select few of us that don’t have as big a voice as our radio counterparts. People will say they ‘did it for the culture’. How can I believe you if all you put out is garbage or don’t utilize your platform to uplift and educate? You a liar in your rhymes why would I believe or trust anything you say? I can tell you don’t care because your lyrics are subpar to say the least. Outkast performing at Coachella is a great marketing strategy and they don’t even have any joints on the radio but people are already clamoring for the album! Where is the passion?! Where is the love?! What the hell are y’all doing out there!!!! Whenever I hear one of my students reciting lyrics to what I know to be subpar artistry I talk to them about what exactly it is they are listening to. It’s a teachable moment. Why would I allow you to listen to such trash? That’s disrespectful to the both of us! If I let the youth grow up like that it shows that I don’t care about the community or the culture.
If everybody says ‘oh it’s just a song’ you’re wrong. I remember being in the car with my mom and Jay Z’s “Do It Again (Put Your Hands Up)” and the Beanie Sigel came on the radio and my mom was not having it! I had Lil Kim’s debut joint on cassette and I had to steal it back from my mom because she didn’t want me listening to that as a young black female. I had the Busta Rhymes “E.L.E.” album and got that taken away because Dolomite was on the skits!!!! My parents had sense enough to know that if Dolomite was featured my child probably shouldn’t be listening! These days the kids know more words to the songs than parents do! Where is the responsibility? When Outkast drops their album people will be all over it but only for the moment because they don’t really care. They care for that moment because it’s ‘the thing to do.’ So people out here faking like they’re Hip Hop lovers but be the same ones quoting Migos trash!
Apathy leads to ignorance which leads to poor choices. Bad Rap music always makes me feel like I’m losing IQ test points. If I do listen to bad Rap it’s because I’m not in control of the music or I’m going out (with other people). Other than that it’s ALL REAL RAP ALL THE TIME!!! We need to appreciate what we have. We need to cultivate it. We need to write the history the right way. Outkast and other REAL HIP HOP lyricists are doing their part but we need to do ours. If Outkast and others could still tour with their already made classics and hits they would. Outkast can’t do what Jay does at MSG or Barclays simply because of promotion and other poor politics although they are the better MCs individually. We understand the importance of Outkast and other artists and their contributions but we’re not teaching our kids! That’s where the next generation apathy comes from. We need to support our real MCs until they die. Let’s not wait until someone dies to acknowledge their importance. You never know what you’ve got until it’s gone? I think you do you just forget the bitterness and heartache death can bring.

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