Hip Hop Vs America: Rhonica’s Notebook by Rhonica Wesley

American Flag

It really doesn’t come to me personally as a surprise that Hip-hop artist such as Ice Cube, Nelly and T.I. think that Gangster Rap/Hip-Hop are an easy target for society to blame it’s problems on. Ice Cube’s new video titled “Gangsta rap made me do it,” touches on the subject of Gangster rap being blamed for things that happen in society. “Gangsta rap usually talks about the good, the bad and the ugly of what really happens, every day, not no made-up stuff,” Ice cube stated in an exclusive interview with SOHH. “Even the lyrics that are just more or less kind of comic book style are coming from a real place. We just kind of tell it like it is … so we get blamed. It’s like blaming the messenger, or blaming the mirror because you’re ugly. You’re gonna get nowhere doing that.”

Sitting in front of the television watching attentively as Artist like T.I. and Nelly took on those such as Georgetown University Professor and Author Michael Eric Dyson former Essence Magazine Editor Dianne Weathers, and Author/director Nelson George. There were some really interesting points made, some in favor of hip-hop, and some out of favor.

The statement was made by T.I. that, “America uses Hip-hop as an easy target to blame all of society’s problems on.” The rapper also went on to say that he raps about things that he has actually been through in his life, opposed to rappers who have lived nothing that they rap about. His songs he says are a lesson, in which he gives out the message, “Don’t be like me.” In my opinion, I do believe that hip-hop does gain a lot of negative light in society for its violent and gruesome nature. Yet, no one blames fright-rocker Marilyn Manson for teen suicide.

Recently on MetroActive News and Issues I read an article about teen suicide. A 15 year old boy from Burlington, N.D. shot himself after listening to Manson’s songs.

“The Reflecting God”: “One shot and the world gets smaller./ Let’s jump upon the sharp swords and cut away our smiles./ Without the threat of death, there’s no reason to live at all./ My world is unaffected, there is an exit here.”

“Depression is an illness and anyone can get it. It’s not caused by songs or movies,” was the excuse that the 15 year olds suicide was written off as

Yet, when a brother is shot in the hood politicians blame Tupac, Snoop, and New day rappers like T.I. and Young Jezzy. Hip-Hop is often the butt of society’s blame. Of course, Hip-hop does give young men and women the glamorous side of being on the streets, but is it not up to us as parents to teach our kids what is reality and what is a fabrication? We cannot continue to blame hip-hop for the murders, robberies, and deals going down on the corner. This is a choice made by the criminals.

Society, needs to stop pointing the finger of shame on hip-hop, and parents we need to sit down and talk to our children. Don’t expect Trick Daddy to chime in after all his songs and talk to your children, that’s your job. Not only that but we have grown men and women who are trying to follow what they see on TV. Educate your minds brothers and sisters, and get a legit J.O.B before it’s too late and you’re in the P.E.N.

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You may visit Rhonica Wesley @ www.rhonicawrites.com

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The Abscence Of Black Fathers in the home: Rhonica’s Notebook By Rhonica Wesley

LIKE FATHER LIKE SON BLACK ART

The absence of black fathers in the home is said to be the number one cause for African Americans having the highest percentage of people subjective to poverty. The percentage of children living in two-parent homes has risen since the year 1995, and in my opinion the message is becoming clear. Because in the inner city resources are sometimes limited, some black men don’t see marriage as an option. They don’t have good jobs, and some of them are barely making it, so instead of just duking it out and being a part of their childrens life, they abandon them. Sometimes not by choice. They may do time for a crime in jail and be away from their children for years at a time. They may even be killed on the streets. Then of course you have that one man who is not ready to be a father and just disappears into think air. I myself am the child of a fatherless home. Many people believe that children aren’t raised right when their father is not present, but to be frankly honest black women have been raising their children alone for quite sometime now.

We don’t always look to government assistance for help, because now we are graduating from college with MBAs, and Bachelors. We are owning our own business, and there are so many opportunities out there now that we don’t have to lean on the government. Some of us still do need that extra help, and I don’t believe that you are any less of a mother if you have to accept help. It is for your children, and no matter how people rant and rave about the tax dollars everyone was not born with a silver spoon in their mouths.

Of course in the early part of the twentieth century the father was mostly married to his children’s mother. if he was to go out and cheat, and have other children because marriage was such a powerful union in say the 1920’s there was no divorce or separation. Though the absence of black father’s is still an issue in the black community I do believe that it is beginning to register to black men that it’s time to step up and be a man. It is not at all rare to see a young black father in the store with his baby buying diapers and milk. We are taking ownership of our responsibilities, because in the past we were held responsible for that gap in the homes where the father was not present.

Fatherhood as well as motherhood can be very rewarding. I believe if we encourage our young men more, nurture and guide them to the right paths in life along the way, that they will turn out to be wonderful, strong father’s not so willing to abandon their children.