In light of the reoccurring gun violence happening in cities like Chicago, Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles and every city in between I think it is time for this generation rappers to stand up against it. Hip-hop has always been about competition, chasing the dreams of fast cars, women, money, dancing, but most importantly education, empowerment and self respect. Somewhere down the line the education empowerment and self-respect part was lost.
In 1989 KRS-ONE formed the Stop The Violence Movement to advanced the vision of hip-hop that would restore whate he called hip-hop’s original principles to the music industry. Composed of some of the biggest stars in East Coast hip-hop, the movement released a single “Self-Destruction”, with all proceeds going to the National Urban League.
There are still a handful of rappers that still speak this in their music and try to uplift the community, so let me not take anything away from this generation. Majority of today’s hip-hop songs is about glorifying killing another brother, strippers and how much weight you can move. Do these things happen in the hood? Yes, but does it have to be glorified as the correct way to live your life?
Our kids are listening to this, and yes the parent bare some responsibility to explain the lyrics and set positive examples. As artist you have a responsibility also because that microphone is a powerful tool. Teach the youth their are peaceful resolutions to conflict besides picking up a gun, teach our youth that education and hard work is the key to making it out of the hood instead of selling drugs. We are all in the same gang and want the same things but lets show the youth a better way.
I challenge this generation of rappers to put egos aside and make A Self-Destruction song for this generation of listeners. Watch the 1989 “Self Destruction” video below.