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The Hip Hop Phenotype

Phenotype; a set of observable characteristics used to categorize people or other things for the purpose of judgment, ridicule, or applause. This country has a long history of mistreating people based on their skin color, hair type, and income. For the sake of comprehension and understanding a person’s skin color, hair type, and income would be the phenotype for which all of us would be judged. Indigenous people of this country and African slaves were once grouped together as “Africans” because of their skin color. If you have a lighter skin tone people may ask you, “what’s your nationality or ethnicity?” (That’s the nice way to ask) They do that so they know what to expect from you based on their experiences or lack thereof and they will treat you a certain way based on what you tell them. If you look Black people may try to use random slang to impress you or if you’re Dominican someone might hit a Mambo move out of nowhere when they really should Bachata but they do that because to them Spanish, Latino, Mexican, Puerto Rican, and everybody are all the same. Not realizing there are different cultures and various forms of speaking Spanish.

In the seventies the Hip Hop phenotype was Black and Latino men in sequence, cowboy hats, leather, and fitted clothing. I know you all have seen the meme depicting the evolution of Rap online. Based on that meme alone four Rappers from those decades would be treated differently. With the increased popularity of Hip Hop/Rap music every decade subgenres are becoming more and more necessary. These phenotype categories would allow everyone to get their shine in their lane. This will make music more streamline and easier to digest. It would make it easier for groups like the Grammys, People’s Choice, or MTV Awards to make sure our artists are where they placed correctly and getting the accolades they deserve. If an artists’ song, album, or project is in the wrong group they are more than likely not going to win and if they do there’ll be hell to pay.

There are companies that won’t work with some artists simply because they are “rappers”. Jay Z has rhymed about his experience in the board room with million dollar companies and them not wanting to work with him because he was a Rapper. Now look at Jay, those companies probably wish they had worked with him. Young rappers who have the colored locs and tattoos on their face are making those same companies not want to work with them based on the phenotype on the current wave. Popping prescription pills, sexual assaults, and face tatts are making those companies run in the other direction. Everyone that’s hot now will not be here in three years so if your look or appearance is hindering your progress. You can cut your hair but who will have the money to get their face tattoos removed in ten years? The idiom, “don’t judge a book by its cover” is used to embolden you to try something new or different. In this case we need to judge a book by its cover so we can make sure the people who enjoy that genre can easily access it at will.

“Straight out the box from the gangsta category” – Eazy E (Eazy Duz It)

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