As my daily research and reading occurred, I ran into a lovely article entitled, Why Do Black Men Glamorize Rap Music? I remember having plenty of conversations with my beau on his choice of being a rapper and the choice that many make on becoming a rapper. I remembered he stated that being from an impoverished area that your only choice of careers are being a rapper, ball player, drug dealer and that’s it. Now I can see his point of view on the limited role models and career choices that are available. On another hand, I feel as though some Black men limit themselves to various career choices just to follow in the footsteps of what they see and at times glamorize. We can definitely add tons of factors to the limit of career choices for Black boys and men but we can also see that those who do complete high school and college seek realistic and successful career choices besides being a rapper.
Unfortunately but fortunately, I do love Hip-Hop/Rap and I’m deeply involved with someone who is a Hip-Hop artist. As for myself, I do have interest in other things as well. Within my lifetime, I have met some talented Hip-Hop artists who are college educated and have backup plans besides being a rapper. I am a firm believer in having a backup plan because you can’t rap forever in as far as I’m concerned. I personally don’t want to see a 35 year-old rapping about the same thing he rapped about at 25. Plus, take into consideration that the odds of becoming a NBA player instead of an internationally known rapper are much greater.
Signing your name on the dotted line to a major record label is just the first half of the battle. After that, 9 times out of 10 your creative power is compromised and your music autonomy is taken away. THEN, more than likely you are an indebted to that music label. Hence, look at some artists who were once signed to a major record label but are in the independent realm of music. Look at some of your favorite artists? Many of them are miserable with their direction of music and often times cope with their misery by indulging in unhealthy lifestyles or reoccurring thoughts of suicidal/homicidal ideation. I listen to some of my favorite artist mixtapes and get a feeling of nirvana but once I hear their actual LP/EP I am not a fan because I hear the distorted and falsified creativity.
With that being said my musical and lyrical brothers, channel and use your creativity in another way besides glamorizing and fantasizing on being this international artist. If you do make it as that international artist, good for you, but then what? Don’t just make it out the hood, uplift the hood by not forgetting where you came from and add things to the hood besides a Big Up on your album. Start a foundation for your hood, help other kids who idolize your artistry, establish a scholarship fund, start a community center, rebuild and uplift your hood.
I just really wish some of these men would find a balance in the reality of the world. Passion is a beautiful thing but obsession over your passion can turn your dreams into a nightmare. I don’t want to see or meet another ‘inspiring’ rapper unless he is empowering, inspiring, and advocating for the betterment of self, his family, his community, and the world. Find a balance gentleman and indulge into reality by reading, listening, participating within community affairs, and live in a reality! Be self-aware and self-conscious to know where you’ve been and to know where you are going.
Don’t limit yourself to being a rapper! Like Nas said, The World is Yours!
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