Let me start out by saying that this "rant" is completely off the top. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis probably haven't even had the time to realize they're holding onto awards that they know, in their hearts, they don't deserve. Lorde's awful performance that spits in the face of many rap artists is probably still ringing in the audience's ears.
That's two coined "hip-hop" acts that are clearly not hip-hop. Them not being "hip-hop" has nothing to do with the fact that they're white, but everything to do with their sound and their fan base. It's borderline comedic watching people argue that these artists belong in the same genre with the Kendricks, Kwelis, Commons, and Fiascos. Why did I use "conscious" or "backpack" rappers in this argument? Simple. Mainstream media, a.k.a. white people, would have you believe that all rappers are irresponsible, gun-toting, jewelry wearing, crack pushing thugs. Richard Sherman need not apply. Yet if you ask a white guy, who thinks rap begins and ends with Eminem, about Talib Kweli, you'll get the blankest stare known to mankind. The irony that Talib toured with Macklemore is not lost on me either.
So how is this "black culture's" problem? Well, for starters, here you have a group like The Roots, who have an incredible emcee in Black Thought, who has spoken on everything from politics, society's ills, the black plight, and enjoying life, not getting shine outside of a Jimmy Fallon set. WTF?! Enter Macklemore, who raps about the same shit that 50-11 rappers before him rapped about (sans the homosexuality), put him on a pop beat, make him white and watch people coo at him like he's a newborn baby. "OMG! He's so refreshing!" "Yeah, he's not like those other rappers who only talk about bitches and hoes." "His music is fun!"
But the thing is black people, this shit ain't new. Nor is it unwarranted. We're more apathetic than Miami Heat fans. Our ADHD is awe-inspiring. We ALLOWED this to happen. We won't support any of our own artists, good or bad. It doesn't matter if you're Janelle Monae or Trinidad James. We ALLOW outsiders to dictate the direction of our genre. They didn't have to break the door down, we opened it and said, "Come on in suh!" Why wouldn't they take advantage and exploit all of our hard work, history and originality? There's no longer resistance. No longer a backbone. No longer pride and sense of self. Unity is a foreign word in the land of black America. A finger is easily broken. A fist, however? Not so much.
This "rant" of mine could go on forever. There are so many things wrong when a "rap" album like Kendrick's GKMC can be overlooked because one of his peers is white, thrifty, and thought he was gay at 12. All while having subpar lyricism on a pop backdrop. Or when Justin Timberlake can win in a R&B category and Janelle Monae can't even get a mention. Something's gotta give. Either we continue to acquiesce to their whims, place material things above our self respect and lose everything, or wake up and do something about the nonsense.
Hopefully the latter occurs. Soon. Until it does though, go listen to Mos Def's Black On Both Sides and pay close attention the intro. If you want to know where hip-hop is going, ask yourself, "Where are our people going?" Because if these Grammys are any indication of black people in hip-hop, then we're not going anywhere... We're already gone.
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