I grew up in an era of “she done me wrong” music of the forties and the “love songs” of the fifties. There was violence in the streets then as always, yet the degree of violence was minimal as compared to today. The kids of the fifties had “Archie” comics and mostly romantic soap operas and comedy shows on both radio and TV. Even the movies, including those with a “war theme” were almost “non violent” as compared to today’s films.
In the early movies, someone or so died. As time progressed, a few died, then whole populations perished as in “Fail Safe” let us not forget “Doctor Strangelove”, the entire planet was destroyed by a nuclear war. Every kid that I knew wanted to be a pilot of a B52 and “bomb Russia”. We all knew that this was a “pipe dream” and just “childhood fantasies”. I do not remember any of my friends growing up making a “nuke” in their garage or ever entertaining the idea.
The sixties brought us “Folk Music” and of course the “Hippie Movement”. The “lets get stoned, have unlimited sex and die from an over dose” concept still did not evoke nor promote violence. By this time “Hillbilly Music” and “The Blues” had begun to merge as “Popular” and “Country Western”. Still the violence in the streets was limited to the “Authorities versus The Weed Heads”. Then LSD surfaced and became popular. The “druggies” became more aggressive and violent.
During the sixties the “Civil Rights” movement gained momentum and then exploded into a minor “race war”. Europe laughed, not realizing that some time later, they would have the same problem, only on a larger scale. Riots abounded in this country and many people died. The “white supremacy” fought a battle for their beliefs as well as the “black supremacy”. They both won battles yet lost the war. Evil deeds were done on both sides and they all lied to promote their cause. By the late sixties, the music began to make a slight change. “Protest songs” became popular, in particular the “Vietnam War”. Which no one had any concept of what was going on in South East Asia, including the Americans over there. The music changed again.
As time progressed “Rap Music” emerged. This “music” for lack of a better terminology, promoted violence and the degradation of women. It “sold” and became a “mainstream” moneymaker for a “chosen few”. As their coffers overflowed they had created a population of “Ghetto Thinkers”. Never mind that the very word “ghetto” is Yiddish in origin. Lets not confuse our “money maker” with fact. So some black kid that grew up in a mostly suburban white neighborhood, with affluent parents and had never been in a “depressed area” in their entire life adapts a “life in the ghetto” mentality. Again, the music industry cares less as long as you “put some money in the pot”. So the kid goes out and attempts to emulate the lyrics of the music that had been “programmed into his head” and winds up either in jail, or worse dead. The “Rap Artist” couldn’t care less as long as the money keeps rolling in.
Of course the “artist” lives in a mansion far removed from where he is “rapping” about. It is of little or no consequence. Why? Because their “coffers” are being filled by the “impressed youth”. The damage to the younger generation is of no consequence because, every month the “bank statements” come in and the “bottom line” is all that is important. The “Rap Artist” now has become an “endangered species”. They created their own problem by believing their own lies. They have started a “war” between individuals that are attempting to make their “lies” “reality”.
Try to do a “Rap Video” in a public place and then wonder when an opposing “Rapper” and his “homies” shoot up your “stage” which is the same thing that you would do to him! Then we have the ones that grew up with “nothing” and reach fame, then die from an “overdose”. This is absolute lunacy, yet the “ Rap Artist”, does not care. Support me with your welfare checks, mug people and sell drugs to “match my image”. The “image” is fake to begin with yet so many gullible and innocent people fall for this crap. Remember when you are being “booked” into jail, or the last thing that you see is a car rounding the corner, or people walking up to you, then the blaze of gunfire, the person that inspired you is in a place far, far away and counting his money!
Editors Note: This article is reprinted with permission by author Charles Sturkey
Photo credit Cristian Borquez