Lyrically Speaking – Is a Rappers Delight Your Despair?

Why are Hip Hop artists so misunderstood; even hated? I’ve always enjoyed their pioneering music and see it as a form of poetry describing our lives in such an honest and thought-provoking way. Perhaps people don’t like being provoked or maybe they remember Ice T’s Cop Killer and think every rap artist is as angry as he was. At that time, there was a lot of hostility going on and he was expressing his feelings about police brutality through rap which inevitably gave it a bad name creating an inadvertent hostility. Most of these rhymes have a message which changes verbally depending on the current social situation.

I watched an interview with Kanye West who it seems isn’t liked by many people. I didn’t really have an opinion of him until I heard what he had to say but he impressed me. What was clear is his love for family and his story is an inspirational one. At one point he said that he is a Christian, he paused looked at the production team and asked if it was ok to say that. Well for me that was the most poignant part of the entire interview.

Who did he think would be offended by saying that he believes in Christian values? Certainly not me, in fact anyone who believes in something should be able to speak freely about it without the worry of offending anyone. Strange times, Kanye doesn’t think twice about saying the F word on the majority of his tracks but the word Christianity doesn’t flow so well? In the soulful words of Keith Sweat, things have become a little ‘Twisted’.

It’s inevitable that words will evolve and in particular the word woman. Woman, lady, honey and now bitch. Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe’ jumps to my mind. I really like it actually and listen to it often but when did we become bitches? His only saving grace is the line ‘Look inside of my soul and you can find gold and maybe get rich’. Expressing his need for a girl to love his heart and not his riches; quite understandable.

We are easily offended and there are times when we would be right in feeling so aggrieved by a sexist comment or a racial slur in any context; what we shouldn’t feel bad about is mentioning where we came from and the belief system we have to keep us moving to the next place. If your intentions are purely to grow, inspire, love and encourage without hurting yourself or your neighbour you don’t need to ask for anyone’s permission.

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