The End of Hip Hop

The proof can be found on any episode of MTV ?Cribs,? a Right
Guard antiperspirant commercial featuring Red Man and Method Man,
or the latest DMX Jet Li movie: Real rap culture is dead.? And all
that?s left are the shameless hangers-on intent on squeezing a few
more drops of blood from the corpse. ?It?s had a good run, but it
no longer serves the community that spawned it,? says Pierre Bennu
in Pop and Politics.

Aside from all the ?bling bling? and gross display of self-love
and wealth-love, which rank supreme on hip hop?s current industry
standard, there is the notion that the very language created by hip
hop culture has failed to hold any valuable meaning. ?Gangsta
shouldn?t be shooting someone you grew up with in the face;
?Gangsta? is calling the United States to task for not attending
the World Summit on Racism in South Africa,? says Bennu. ??Baling?
shouldn?t be renting a mansion; it should be owning your own
distribution company or starting a union.?

Just below the surface, though, underground hip hop is alive and
kicking. And projects like Camp Cool J and Russell Simmons? rally
to stop budget cuts for New York City schools are great examples of
rap pioneers putting a little back into the community. But while
these things soften the blow, they?re not enough to mend a broken
heart. So Bennu parts ways with hip hop, his first true love,
saying, ?I will always love you, but it?s time to move on.?
Nick Garafola

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