Writing is not very hard to do. A lot of us make it difficult because we try entirely too hard. 10 percent of writing is putting the words on the paper, 10 percent of it is finding the next big idea, 80 percent of it is marketing it. A lot of people of my own generation hate the latest generation because they realized that what people want are caricatures of real individuals; they want stereotypes, the want amplified personalities, they want cartoons. My generation was real; everything was dark and depressing and if you weren’t ready to slit your wrists at will during the mid nineties there was something wrong with you. Seriously; you should at least pretend that you were willing to do so, even if life wasn’t that great there was a humility and authenticity that we were seeking.
A lot of bad things happened and a lot of people got hurt. Rappers were killed, rappers were thrown into jail and attempts to create something new failed miserably. Then something happened; the next generation rejected all of that “realness” and authenticity and found a way to express themselves through everything that we were told was fake. At first we did not know what to do about it; so we said that the newer rappers were killing the game and killing hip-hop. Our most outspoken pundit stated that hip-hop was dead; our most outspoken hustler declared death to Auto Tune and told us that he was going to wear Black for a year.
But none of that made any difference at the end of the day. You can hate the movement but you cannot stop it. So hipsters did their own thing, dancers did their own thing, you had rappers that were “emo”tional and wore their hearts on their sleeve. Our generation either got with the program or continued to support people our own age. But somehow none of it seemed relevant. Ice Cube complained about the West Coast but no one really cared; his album tanked and he made a television show.
The influence that my generation had on hip-hop is dead. It is the eighties all over again, but the influence on art goes far beyond hip-hop. This influence can be felt in every nook and cranny of popular culture, and I am lame and take myself too seriously and should go take a Valium and sit down somewhere and relax and let the young kids do what they do.
But now we hear pundits stating that the Illuminati has hijacked popular culture. Well that was interesting for about 2 years. As I continue to look at music videos and see the symbolism do I really care if it dark? No I do not; listen, we should shut up about Rakim and Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur and all of our pundits and fallen heroes and let the youth do what they are going to do. When I was their age I wanted someone to take what I did seriously. The generation that preceded me hated the way that rap changed in the nineties. The generation before it hated hip-hop in general. My own generation hated what came of it in the last decade. As usual everyone is pointing the fingers at the industry and the artists, but none of that matters.
If the current generation wants to lose itself it is because my generation did not do anything to change the world that we live in and make it better. We lost the good fight; we talked a good game, but we were seduced by money, just like everyone else before us and we sold out and took our billions and moved into good neighborhoods and let everyone in the ghetto who was starving continue to starve. This is exactly what the generation that is getting their grind on now is going to do, and what their children, who are in preschool now, are going to do.
Some of us have made more money that Americans have seen in over a hundred years, and some of us are still scraping the bottom. If you want to blame the kids blame yourself for being materialistic, blame the generations that preceded us that were materialistic that still worship the ground that Ralph Lauren walked on; put the blame where it belongs! We had a chance to make a change and bring about reformation; we walked on Washington, we talked a good game but what has become of feminism? We went to college but why aren’t men in college right now? What is anyone doing to help out those people in need?
Does it really matter what is happening in the mainstream culture or popular culture when we still cannot get along? We still have strife and people are still dying? During the eighties and nineties a lot of attention was directed at the neighborhood because we wanted to stop the violence; now the television stations are talking about international issues and it is as though the neighborhood does not exist. The cities themselves are safer, but the violence has spread out to the suburbs. Poor people are still killing poor people and are still marginalized, still on welfare, still strung out and are still selling themselves. No one thinks that these things still go on because they aren’t being reported on the local news anymore but they continue to occur in silence.
You would never know unless you find yourself in a bad neighborhood in a real situation just how some things remain the same. So I could care less what influence the latest artists have on anyone because they aren’t doing anything to help anyone make it out of same the neighborhoods they struggled to get out of. No one really cares about music videos anymore, and that is part of the reason why they have become as aggressive as they are because the music video is a dying art form and you have to be aggressive if you want anyone to watch your advertisement for a hit single. Most of these artists are making money on tours; no one cares about record sales anymore. So you should expect to see some strange stuff because everyone is so perverse these days no one is going to accept a normal artist doing normal things.
That is the new reality. One in which Christian artists are going to have to resort some gimmick or schtick to be paid attention because talking about God simply isn’t enough anymore for jaded people leaving the world trying to find a way to worship through that same old sound. These are sick times. But do not focus on all of the diversions because the Illuminati, the man, the mainstream, the industry, whatever term you want to apply to it, is just a diversion. Human behavior has not changed, so if people want to lose themselves in this technology it is understandable why they would want to do so. It isn’t right, but it is what it is.
Stop insulting people’s intelligence by calling them sheep and stop complaining about something that is larger than all of us that none of us have any power to stop anyway. We never had control over pop culture; we thought that we did at one time but someone always found a way to hijack it and turn it into something meaningless. Perhaps these young kids can find a way to get out from underneath the machine and find their own ways of expression. But somehow I feel that the machine is not considered the threat that it used to be. I think the machine is just another tool, one of many, that the current generation is exploiting to get their point across. We found a way to make it pay attention to us and come seek us out; perhaps these young kids can do the same. That is the eternal human struggle, to raise out of anonymity and do something cool and new and interesting that no one else understands, but everyone can learn to appreciate once they wrap their minds around it. The struggle is one that is never ending, but just when you think that people have given up …