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Friday, September 18, 2009

Gladys Aint Got No Love for Hip Hop?

"R&B Legend Gladys Knight doesn't like rap music. While promoting her role in the new Tyler Perry film 'I Can Do Bad All By Myself' the 'Heard it Through the Grapevine' singer took the time to voice her disdain for rap, claiming that the music has negatively impacted the black community due to its vulgar and disrespectful vocabulary.
It's been bad, in my opinion, as far as the quality of the music and the stories that they tell. It's one thing to be raw about your history, but they took it to another level and it became vulgar," Knight said.In addition to finding rap generally distasteful due to its lyrical content, Knight also criticized the quality of the musicianship, contending that hip hop has never "elevated our industry musically.
"Her main concern, however, is the effect of the music on the black community. "It definitely has not elevated us as African-Americans, because we show disrespect for our partners, men and women," Knight explained. "I believe we have lowered our self-esteem with these performances and presentations."
The legendary vocalist has been sampled by Wu-Tang Clan, Lauryn Hill, Ice Cube and Big Daddy Cane, and is currently prepping a European tour in October."

Via Boombox

Before i start, i think it's easy to say that if ur a follower of my blog that u should know what my opinion is going to be. I love Gladys Knight and I respect the body of work that she's compiled over the past 50 plus years, however I'm tired of older generations bashing Hip Hop music and culture.

I'm more than sure that Gladys Knight much like (ahem) Oprah is basing her opinion on Hip Hop out of ignorance. She sees the gang signs, scantily clad women and violence at the Source Awards; but overlooks the good that rappers bring back to the community by way of nonprofits and charity organizations. She doesn't see the rappers that aren't heavily egotistical, gaudy and chauvenist (Stalley, Lupe, Canibal Ox, Jean Grae, Super Natural and a slew of other enlightening emcees). Most of the time the most "destructive" of these rappers are the ones to bring these things back to the community.

Great example of , Mississippi bred emcee David Banner. Banner's biggest hit to this day is more than likely "Like a Pimp" from his mainstream debut, Mississippi. The next single was "Caddilac on 22s", a socially conscious and rather political track in which he paints the picture of the south over lighly laid guitars, bass kicks and cow bells. He touches on poverty, racism, desperation, and the hardships that one is more than likely destined to take on as a balck in the deep south of America. In all actuality that song got the Emmit Till case re-opened. David is a college grad and holds a Masters Degree and gives a nice lump of his royalties to charities for kids to get toys, for families to be fed and for kids to get scholarships; "Like a Pimp" (the more destructive of the two) brought in the money for such. "Caddilac on 22s" didnt.

So i guess we can say that in Hip Hop there exists a Robin Hood theory amongst these artists; they destroy a little bit to give back something bigger to the people in exchange for an opportunity to live a better life. Whether Robin Hood was right or wrong is up for debate, but fact of the matter is Robin was a humanitarian much like 50 Cent (g-unity), Nelly (fo sho fo kids), Ludacris (Ludacrismas and a ton of other organizations), Snoop Dogg who coaches little league football and Rick Ross who gives school materials and clothes to less fortunate Florida kids.

Gladys, Vagabond luvs u, but nothing can establish a clear understanding if there's a biased opinion. All Hip Hop isn't hoes shakin for dollars, cocaine and gunplay (and i luv that kinda rap). It seems that you look past the fact that Styles P can shoot shyt up his whole album, but then give you a reality check on a track with Pharoah Monch or the Roots. It seems that you couldn't look past the Niggaz and Fuck the Polices that NWA screamed back in 1988, and in not being able to do so you missed how political Ice Cube and the rest were on a subconscious level.

Instead of talking at these rappers, try talking to them. I'm more than sure she could sit down and have an intelligient talk with The Game, T.I. and 50 Cent....after all you do take checks from these niggas when they decide to sample you....yet i digress. I luv you, but don't be ignorant.


1 comment:

  1. i could say i don't blame her, because i can relate to her point of view as well as relating to you because she's not seeing the good things some "rappers/MC'S" do to give back, or necessarily mentioning their altruism in whatever interview or website this came from, but it's whatever. when you drive, stay in ya lane. that's all i gotta say. iont like this shit