hip hop: there's a message in the music


a few years ago I posted that hip hop needed a PR rep. I was encouraging someone to take on that role. seems no one heard my cry for hip hop. so, I decided to be the change.

what does that mean? periodically, I will share the messages in today's hip hop to show that it's not all bad. there is a message in the music.

lesson 1: lil boosie and rick ross

let's start with lil boosie's latest project: "show the world." check out the making making of “show the world." here’s a link to the lyrics, as I often have to read them to fully understand the messages in the songs.

as you watch the video and listen to the song, please pay attention to a few things:

  • boosie says he loves being something that I think society would be surprised about. what is that? what stereotype is he contradicting?
  • during his verse, Webbie says something about teachers. at the end of the video he gives the formula for success in life to kids. while his verse may seem to contradict what he says in the video, I think what it shows is that education – traditional, classroom education - really is important to black boys, but they treat it like everything else in their lives (as they have been socialized to do). If they have a bad experience - just one - it's a wrap; forget it.

the other song I wanted to introduce to you all is “thug cry” by rick ross featuring lil’ wayne. It is off his recently released sixth project "mastermind.”

it is a sort of a look inside the mind of a self-proclaimed thug. it shows a softer side.

listen to the song.

check out the song lyrics.

my favorite part, the part that resonates the loudest for me, is at the end when he says, “sometimes I ask myself, do thugs cry?”

why we should care: hip hop isn't going anywhere. it turned 40 last year and it continues to grow and reach new audiences and people. it's a part of American culture. it's an important part of black culture. our kids care about it and the people who make up hip hop. this was a huge thing for the younger generation. you hear in the song “show the world” that the hood loves boosie like jeezy (an Atlanta-based rapper with a huge following). these are our kids heroes. we should know what they are talking about so we can use them – when appropriate – and be able to have a conversation about life, school, etc. using something that is relevant to them and their world. more importantly, these men have #juice with a critical audience. we need them to help create change.

#ugotthejuice #juicecrü

related: drake's "worst behavior" inspires a 21st century social justice movement