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The Story of Hip Hop

Orenthal James “O. J.” Simpson will be a semi-free man when he is paroled in October of this year. As an eighties baby I remember the O.J. trial being on television day-in and day-out. Then thirteen years later this man wanted some of his own memorabilia back to prevent it from being auctioned off and the white folks in Nevada gave him thirty-three years in prison. Now here we are nine years later and Mr. Simpson is getting paroled. We all know that the thirty-three years was just a way to try and get back at him for the deaths of Nicole Simpson and Ronald Goldman. Let’s not forget that their families need him to be free so that he can continue paying on that nice settlement. O.J. has some similarities with the culture as far as his acceptance into mainstream white America. White folks loved O.J.! They gave him everything they had; fame, money, white women, and I’m guessing drugs too! It wasn’t until he allegedly killed a white woman that they stopped caring. The culture may not have killed any white women but the culture has never been accepting of white women as Rappers unless your name is Blondie.

When white folks got a hold of the culture they gave us Rap music, a watered down commercialized version of the culture; almost like Blaxploitation. (I may write a piece on that) Only a select few were granted access to various “opportunities”. Some Rappers have declined such “gifts” and others have willingly gone into the “sunken place” just to get a taste of success. Remember success to some Black and Brown folks is a seat next to the white man. So if you’re not willing to ignore the Black community and help them destroy our communities by rapping about drugs, sex, and money then you sir or madam are living the Story of O.J. Orenthal isn’t the first Black celebrity to live this type of covert life as William H. Cosby, Jr. Michael Jordan has not wavered in his commitment not once! Look how they’re treating Colin Kapernick! Do not for one second think that Hip Hop/Rap music is excluded from this type of allegiance. Some people are so addicted to the fame that they couldn’t care less about what your child is doing and how their music has played a part in the demise of something so great. A lot of people are looking at Chance the Rapper and hoping that he hasn’t joined the covert club while others like Migos and Future have no issues as long as they are financially comfortable.

Everyone isn’t smart enough to make their own choices without being influenced by a celebrity, especially a musician. They want to make examples out of those who don’t want to go along with their agenda. Tupac Amaru Shakur is a prime example although mainstream white America didn’t kill him they made sure his murder remains unsolved. Even though we ourselves may not be celebrities I’m sure some of you reading this hold some weight somewhere whether it’s your hood, workplace, or home we cannot continue to fall to the ills of limelight or money. Everything that glitters ain’t gold but sometimes our glitter shines so bright it blinds us at the same time it attracts moths. We have to create our own opportunities and not look or wait for someone to position us to take one and that is the story of Hip Hop.

“A dollar might just make that lane switch” –Kendrick Lamar (Money Trees)