WTF is the Black Youth Project?

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Everywhere I turn I am reading about declining rap sales or watching people debate hip-hop’s demise and its negative impact on the black community. Frankly, I am sick of it. The recent Paula Zahn show “Poison or Art?” contained a bunch of ignorant fools who thought it would be a good idea to get together and debate if Nelly’s video tip drill was misogynistic. Did Whitesnake ever get this sort of backlash? Hell, that video with Tawny Kitaen as a hood ornament (before she became a full blown crackhead and beat up poor Chuck Finley) was on for everyone to see, while videos like “Tip Drill” are typically limited to the late, late showings when only the children without daddies can watch them.

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“Posion or Art?” also did some very scientific research, which involved one of their Ivy League whiteys ride around in a cop cruiser as he clamped down on the criminal element. Believe it or not the criminal element had some baggy clothes on! Aha! Rappers and hip-hop listeners wear baggy clothes and jewelry at times, and the criminal they witnessed being arrested also had baggy clothes and jewelry on. It is an undeniable connection. I waited there patiently hoping the guy getting handcuffed would pull a Houdini and kidnap the CNN reporter, but alas, it was not to be. They were so out of date they actually played a clip of NWA to let us know how violent hip-hop can be.

Now CNN has another article asking if rap music has hit the wall.

A recent study by the Black Youth Project showed a majority of youth think rap has too many violent images. In a poll of black Americans by The Associated Press and AOL-Black Voices last year, 50 percent of respondents said hip-hop was a negative force in American society.

Who the hell did they interview? Fifty percent? Did they interview 1,000 Carlton Banks clones? Something tells me their stats are just a tad off. Everyone loves violence, not just black people. Hell, if you are going to heal the racial divide in this country, then you need more “Tip Drills” and more violent imagery. Just throw in some more parenting while you are at it, please. How many young black people do you believe are shunning hip-hop or R&B because they feel it is a negative force in society? My belief is the number is much lower than 50%. The article also cites a Baltimore music critic who wrote about the minstrelization of rap music, a topic which I believe Byron Crawford tackled first.

David Banner also chimed in for the CNN.com article…

“The American public had an opportunity to pick what they wanted from David Banner,” he says. “I wish America would just be honest. America is sick. … America loves violence and sex.”

Hell yes! We love us some sex fo sho! CNN could have interviewed my boss, who one day not too long ago told me one of the kids was rapping obscene lyrics to her when she turned around. As she tried to piece together a few of the words, I realized he was rapping David Banner’s “Play.” I thought it was best to keep the true lyrics from her and spare the young boy’s life. Hell, the little guy was only eight! Instead of CNN searching the streets for people in baggy clothes and bling, they may want to do an investigative story on where the hell these parents are. Bill Cosby can host and the white girl can go along for the ride.

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4 Responses to “WTF is the Black Youth Project?”

  1. J. Pitts Says:

    I totally disagree with this post.

    I think this is a really easy thing to say if you aren’t black, or if you are one of the people who sells these images in their daily life.

    Before I get to my point, definitely check out Beyond the Beats: Hip hop and Homophobia, featured on Independent Lens on PBS. Besides Homophobia, the documentary deals with misogyny within the culture as well. Also, I want to say that I am not here to talk about declining rap sales or hip hops demise, those are entirely different subjects for another time.

    What I will say is that yes, America is in love with sex and violence, but when it comes to Black culture there is absolutely NO BALANCE when it comes to depiction in the media. If you turn on BET, EVERY SINGLE VIDEO is dudes talking gangster and the like. The only two exceptions are Kanye and Lupe, and the former still manages to have phatty booty hoes in most of his videos (not that I’m complaining but…). This has created a culture that believes that in order to become famous, you must embrace this lifestyle, whether just rhyming about it, or even further take it to another level and rap about it.

    Recently I stayed with my Father in southside Jamaica, Queens (queue Pharoahe Monch song), no more than 10 blocks fromt he projects where 50 Cent got shot. For the past year he has been living with his girlfriend who has a 16 year old son. This kid is a nice kid. He has a caring mother who, despite the surrounding the environment, has managed to raised a well-mannered son. However, this kid (as well as his friends) don’t think this way. They think it’s great to say shit ain’t sweet, and always talk . These kids are even aspiring rappers, and when I asked them to spit something for me? Guess what I got? Guns, bitches and drugs. When I confronted them and said that none of them are living the life they were like, “what do you know about me son?” or “oh, but we plan to, because there is no other outlet for the black man in America. Ain’t nobody trying to be a Wayne Brady.” Or what about a Carlton Banks? The man pictured in the first picture of this post? That’s a huge part of the problem right there.

    Now, I know this is just one example, but it’s just one of PLENTY I have encountered since growing up. It fucking amazes me to no end when I meet these kids, who have had decent upbringings thinking they have to be gangster in order to be cool or popular. In fact, fuck a decent upbringing, there is no reason that “sports, drugs and entertainment” should even be thought of as the only viable options for a young black male in America today.

    But the thing is, I really can’t knock rappers for doing what they do. They have families to feed, so they are out getting theirs. I mean, sure, I may respect them as much as I respect a porn star who has taken 500 dicks in her pussy in the past eight hours, but I really can’t knock them. I can’t knock the record labels either, because they are just trying to make money. I wish that labels took more risks, but after seeing the sales of the last Little Brother album (which was good), I can understand why they don’t.

    All I can do is be patient and hope that in time there will be more of a balance as far as mainstream hip hop is concerned. I am not denouncing all gangster rap. I love gangster rap. Even a video like Tip Drill I am not talking bad about. I just wish, when it comes to mainstream depictions, there was more of a balance. I also wish, within the black culture, that those who decide to pursue opportunities outside of the holy triumvirate (sports, drugs, and basketball) are again, not looked upon as Carlton’s, Uncle Tom’s, etc.

  2. 2020proof Says:

    What part of the post do you disagree with? My opinions or those of the CNN article?

    “It fucking amazes me to no end when I meet these kids, who have had decent upbringings thinking they have to be gangster in order to be cool or popular.”

    This is basically what I was saying in the post. This is why I was curious how they came up with a figure of 50 percent when most likely if they are interviewing kids who listen to hip-hop they are going to say what the kid you talked to said- guns,bitches, etc are just fine and dandy.

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