Friday, June 29, 2012
VIDEO: Hip Hop on trial: Hip-hop doesn't enhance society, it degrades it (London)
Is Hip Hop the authentic voice of the oppressed that turns anger into poetry and political action? Or is it a glorification of all that holds back oppressed minorities and hinders them from mainstream assimilation?
In London on 26 June, Hip-Hop pioneer and legend KRS-One, celebrated civil rights activist Jesse Jackson, computer scientist and composer Jaron Lanier and many other rappers, poets, and academics came together to debate the motion, ‘Hip-hop doesn’t enhance society, it degrades it’. See the profiles of the participant and more at http://www.youtube.com/user/versusdebates
In favour of the motion was lawyer Eamon Courtenay, who argued that the Nigga and Bitches culture eventually leads to crime. Against the motion was Hip-Hop intellectual and Professor of sociology at Georgetown University Michael Eric Dyson, who pleaded that Hip Hop doesn’t send black people to jail, but that the white oppressive system in the US and the UK incarcerates black men.
Interesting debate. The only problem is that you had a debate between a Caribbean lawyer who knew nothing about Hip Hop and African-American Hip Hop professor who knew everything about Hip Hop. That’s not a match.
I don’t think that Hip Hop degrades society, but because of its social and commercial influence it does stereotype black communities as basketball playing, singing and rapping communities. The latest joke I heard was that “rapper” was the most popular academic degree and job title among blacks. I do feel we need to get rid of that image.