Common Doesn’t Listen To Hip Hop

common_backonwall.jpgBack in December and after Barack Obama's presidential win, Common declared that Obama was "going to change hip-hop for the better." These days, Hip Hop's favorite backpacker turned Hollywood bit-part actor is now saying that the "Obama effect" has resulted in not as much "gangsta talk" as well as a decrease in lyrics on drugs, violence, and the disrespecting of women. Let's examine why this is simply just not true. 

  1. As expertly discussed on SoulBounce yesterday, Hip Hop's cobra clutch on misogyny is not going anywhere. Additionally, what self-respecting woman would want to join a gang of angry, thugged-out enfants terribles?  
  2. Drug talk, as much as I wish it would die, simply is not over. For example, as much as I have told everyone within earshot how great Raekwon's Only Built For Cuban Links 2 is, my biggest complaint is that the "cocaine trade"/La Coca Nostra talk is woefully played out. Sorry, Rae, but every true Hip Hop head has long been knowing how to craft crack rocks in the kitchen. All our favorite rappers have already told us so ten years ago.
  3. Billboards top spots on its current Hip Hop chart are still rife with "artists" such as Gucci Mane, Plies, Young Money, Lil Wayne and the like who's coffers are filled to the brim with money earned by advocating drug use, committing violent acts, and demoralizing young women (some of whom they are parents to). Granted Drake and Jay-Z are on there as well, but neither of them has done anything recently to restore my faith in Hip Hop's progression lately. 

The true issue lies in the fact that Common's ears inhabit a world that people such as myself inhabit. A world that consists of respect and responsibility. A world that consists of choosing music that sets your mind at ease or inspires contemplation, not music that you would be afraid to play around your mother or children. Common may be listening to "conscious" Hip Hop and may spend most of his time dealing with people who do the same, but before he declares where Hip Hop is going, he may want to listen to what it is now.

"Common: 'Obama effect' steering rap away from rims, bling" [CNN]

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3 Responses

  1. Haven't you heard of the biblical principle: "Speak those things that be not, as though they were"?

  2. Ummm news flash. “Hip Hop” doesn’t listen to Common. At least post 2003 Common. He can keep the Electric Circus, Skate Board P beats and African Bombada remakes. No thanks. Every since Erica Badu put her glowing E.T. finger in his asshole he aint been the same. I use to love her.

  3. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that today's conscious Hip-Hop doesn't have the same PUNCH that it had in the late 80's/early 90's. When you heard PE, BDP, X-Clan, The Poor Rightious Teachers, and Paris, it made you want to go out and do something! There's nothing in today's conscious Hip-Hop that has that kind of power...and Common's most recent material isn't helping one bit.