Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Putting Away Childesh Things Part 1

Putting Away Childish Things
by Ehav Ever

There has been a lot of talk lately, due to the Imus affair, about rap, lyrics, the N-Word, and respect for women. On one side I think it is good, but on the other hand I don't know if I really believe that much will change. I remember several times since the 1990's when the issue of the lyrics of gangster rap and the like came up, and I now I see that those forums didn't change much. I now see that radio and video have become more bold in the language and images that they allow to go forth. The question this brings up is what changed? Why was it that several years it was unheard of to have these kinds of words or images on the radio or TV and now it is common place?

Another aspect of this is something that remember MAD TV once did in a comedy sketch. A few years back they did a segment where some gangster rappers won a Grammy for a song that had all kind of obscenities in it. The first thing these rappers did when they received the award was to thank God for the inspiration to write the song. All of a sudden God shows up and makes it clear that He did not inspire them to make the song and that He never influenced anyone to use such lyrics.

I found the MAD TV skit interesting since I remember a lot of gangster rappers, sexually explicitly R&B acts, etc. always thanking God for the inspiration to make their music. Being who I am, I simply assumed that they had to be talking about a different God then me, because like the MAD TV skit I remember God requiring humanity to be Holy because He is Holy. Yet, maybe these rappers, R&B artists, record execs, and the their fans all worship a different Higher Power than I do. In the Hebrew Tehillim (Psalms of David) it does state that God gives sunshine to both the righteous and the wicked.

In any case, a few years ago I think that Oprah had a similar show about rappers and their lyrics. Luke was on the show and he talked about how he did not allow his daughters to listen to the music he was making. So if you go back far enough this issue has come up before numerous times, and it keeps resurfacing.

So this brings everything back to something that is missing. Morality and also common sense. I mention this every time a subject like this comes up, and I may end up sounding like a broken record because of it, but I feel that the whole issue revolves around it.

In the end I think that on some level popular media is a bit of a lost cause, mainly because of the morality issue. So my belief is that people who are fed up with it have to push themselves and their children to a higher standard. There are a number of children who listen to this music internationally and they believe that these rappers are telling it like it is for ALL African Americans, so to speak. I have met people over seas who don't believe their is poverty or social problems in black communities in America. One of the reasons is that they see these videos and movies, and they believe that this is who African Americans are.

Also, there are a number of African American kids imitating these rappers in full view of the world further giving the impression that the rappers have it right. This is why I believe Imus shifted the blame for his statements. He more than likely has also seen youth imitating or taking on the persona's of some of these entertainers.‎

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