We all know that there is an unspoken power to the words that we say, and put out there into the universe. We are also highly aware of the fact, that what we say to one another can have an adverse effect on individuals, and our society, whether it be little or small.

In the latter part of the 80’s, West Coast’s NWA, emerged onto the scene, exposing the edgy, raw, and most of all honest glimpses of the dire circumstances the youth of the inner cities had to face. No one will deny that the images, along with the message, held a certain level of grit, that stuck to the minds of hip-hop lovers, making it highly successful. However, over the span of more than two decades, the genre of gangster rap has become a victim of its own success, with its negative connotation, and misogynistic views; turning their rhythmic tales of reality into all too predictable story of shallow stereotypes meant to degrade and belittle the women of our culture. Even today, we’re still being inundated with scenes in contemporary hip-hop of African-American males “popping bottles”, and exploiting women in scantily clad outfits, and flashing money as a sign of success. Messages that the youth of today or being VERY receptive to, thus giving the impression that it’s ok to be a savage.

So many artists have seemingly sold out to the record company devils for the almighty dollar; resorting to the barbaric antics of calling our sisters out of their name, all for the sake of increasing record sales. Also, today’s hip-hop artists have opted to put forth the notion that it’s acceptable for black men to think of themselves as players, gangsters, and thugs; possibly irrevocably damaging the majesty of the black man in the eyes of the generation coming up. Sure it’s selling and it’s popular, but at what cost?

Now, this is one of the main reasons why I don’t listen to rap and Hip-hop today, because of disparaging opinions of our own people towards each other, but I recently came across an artist by the name of Lupe Fiasco, more particularly a song called “B*tch Bad. In it, he explores the self-imposed negativity of rap, and the impact that it has on our youth and culture. I for one am happy that this song is getting the recognition that it deserves, however I wonder, is three minutes of right enough to fix 20 years of wrong?

We shall see…it only takes a step.