In the Guardian, David Dennis, commented on this headline from the Dallas News Website:
“What if someone like Macklemore had hit it big 25 years ago? Would hip-hop have still become a genre marked by homophobia, violence and a mind-numbing obsession with weed, booze and bling? Probably. But watching Macklemore thrill 5,000 screaming fans Saturday night at Verizon Theatre left you hopeful that his kinder, more cerebral brand of hip-hop will flourish in the future.”
This is a broad-brush reaction to Macklemore and his success. One that threatens to erase the progressive music that has always inundated rap music. Macklemore is the first non-homophobic, non-violent rapper in the same way that Elvis was a ground-breaking initiator of the Blues.
This is bogus (for lack of a more appropriate and colorful word)!
Hip Hop had its roots in social justice, “cerebral raps” (as white people are calling M’s lyrics), and love for the community waaaay before Macklemore appropriated his first black cultural art form.
I don’t think Macklemore is promulgating this racist narrative himself, but the way the media is portraying him as uniquely “conscientious and positive” is yet another example of the racist tendencies of our society to demonize black cultural art forms and then to whitewash them, e.g., Chuck Berry v. Elvis.
Look … I like Macklemore.
He is a very talented MC. It’s the racist narrative that pisses me off. This one bugs me a lot, because I grew with Hip Hop, and not as a privileged kid in the suburbs who was trying to emulate so-called “ghetto culture.” I grew up in Section 8 housing, my family was evicted from one of our apartments, and I witnessed and experienced many of the struggles of people in poverty. Rappers like Tupac gave a voice to everyone who was living in poverty in urban America, struggling to make it.
….but according to some people in the media, Macklemore is the first positive rapper… #smh
P.s. Much of the derogatory elements of Hip Hop, today, are a product of white execs who have influenced the industry to favor rappers who will play the role that a racist society wants them to play, because well, white suburban youth (mainstream consumers) love to hear that shit. (unless of course socially conscious lyrics are coming from someone with whom they can identify)
Read the article by David Dennis: