The buzz on hip-hop's e-streets right now is who's worse? The dealer or the user? All this comes from slander from OG's like Pete Rock and tragedies like Lil Peep's overdose. We've even heard 21 Savage, Skillz and David Banner have something to say in regards to the topic. I think it's essential that we break this down and carefully analyze the broader issue.
Hip-Hop's foundation started in the late 80's also known as "The Crack Era." When hip-hop started, the first two generations of rappers sold drugs or admired the drug dealers. That's why many emcees talked about the fancy cars, wore the big gold chains and delighted in the most beautiful women. From the late 80's till the 90's it was rare to find a rapper that wasn't talking about how he sold dope and got rich. To push the drug culture even further, movies like Scarface and characters like Nino Brown became idols to thousands of young black men pursuing rap dreams. Not Martin, Not Malcolm, not even Jesus because they all got lost in the streets because of fictional characters out of Hollywood.
...characters like Nino Brown became idols to thousands of young black men pursuing rap dreams.
The 90's arguably was the most significant era of hip-hop. Hip-Hop was profitable, it was a worldwide phenomenon, but here's the tragedy in that triumph of hip-hop's Golden Era. Because of the crack era, children grew up in the worst possible, yet preventable conditions ever.
Fast forward to today. It's 2017 and rap music is more diverse than ever. It's also a product of its foundation. All the addiction, broken homes and fatherless children now are labeled as "Mumble Rappers" and taking the heat for the reason why hip-hop is dying. There's not much drug dealing going on from the new generation, but a lot of talk about drug use.
Weed, pills, lean, cocaine, other drugs, and depression seem to be the focus of the current hip-hop climate. Majority of these young artists are only 17 to 25. These kids are the product of their environment they grew up around. The kids that joined gangs because the family wasn't healthy, the kids that may not know both their parents and is forced to take on an adult role in the lives of their younger siblings, the kids who see first hand their family destroyed because of drugs.
So, are these kids the addicts, rappers or both? They are all casualties of the dealer. Seeing the tragedy that these young rappers have seen, it is easy to see why they turned to drugs to cope with life.
If you listened or read the lyrics to some of the current raps, their aimless, violent and depressing. The music may sound "lost" because you hear music from lost souls that are in search of help and support. These are young men and women who want guidance, support, and to live the best possible life.
So, you have to ask yourself are they indeed the ones to blame for their actions in route to success?
Let's be real enough to say this; If you ever wrote a rhyme, made a beat or engineered a product that pushed dope and the destruction of the black community and black family, don't blame these kids. Blame yourself. Because while you got money, they got deserted. They had to figure it out in the hood you destroyed and moved to another place. You self served until you were the last man standing. There's no honor in that.
If the previous statements are genuinely wrong, then make it a point today to see that X-Clan, Public Enemy, KRS-One and Poor Righteous Teachers start doing Jay Z, Eminem, Snoop Dogg and Lil Wayne numbers. Start putting them in your G.O.A.T conversations. Increase their cultural impact with your words and actions. Stop holding the Scarface movie with the same weight as your God's word.
To the youth, I commend you for surviving. Despite everything, you've seen and done you made something out of yourself. Despite your faults and addictions, you prospered. You didn't want to be like what you saw, so you created something different. No one should be mad at that. I just want you all to find some OG's that genuinely care about you. Hip-Hop is global and your contribution matters. Grandmaster Kaz didn't rhyme like Rakim, who didn't rhyme like Ol' Dirty Bastard. If you're being yourself and winning, fuck a loser’s judgment. It says more about them than you.
Keep winning! Respect!