“It’s only right I hijack your car keys and run, spent all of my advancement on weed and guns” – Bizarre,  D12  (Shit on You)

Words are stronger than we can imagine. If someone we can’t trust owes us money and on the date he was supposed to pay we can’t find him we’ll have hope if the MTN operator says his number is “not reachable” but we’ll feel conned the moment the AIRTEL operator says “the number is switched off”.

A different sentence gives a different idea; even a different word does the same. This explains why the Americans survived the period of recession in their economy: simply because they made sure they never called it recession. The moment that word is used, there would have been panic that may have crumbled the economy.

So powerful are words and so important is what we say that we became believers in our faith by a testimony of words and we may leave it by a single utterance.

While words are so powerful in terms of orientation, there is an equally, if not more powerful, controller of emotions: musical instruments. So when words and musical instruments are put together your emotion is captured while an orientation is given.

Now the question becomes: what orientation is given?

It’s often said that Hip Hop started as a struggle, it began in response to the suffering of the black people under slavery and oppression in America. Another way to look at it is that Hip Hop started as hate for the white man, whether this hate is justified is not the issue under discussion. It started when the black man needed to drive home his point that the white man is the devil. This hate culture is part and parcel of Hip hop and this is why there is the concept of ‘Battle’ and ‘Beef’.

Battle is an act in the street corners, or wherever, whereby two supposedly grown up adults, under no provocation, stand face to face and engage in verbal humiliation of one another. And the subject of this humiliation is most times based on how ‘I slept with your mama’ and ‘how I slept with your sister’. Nobody battles another and says ‘your brother is an armed robber’ because in Hip hop armed robbery is a good reputation.

Yo Momma was an American reality television game show on MTV

Yo Momma was an American reality television game show on MTV

So sad is the situation that there is/was a Battle programme on MTV called “Yo Momma ” And someone gets paid for winning. In other words, he is rewarded because he insults people’s mama better.

And the ladies should understand this: when the Hip hop artist talks of a bitch he is referring to ALL women, that’s why they say good bitch and bad bitch, but all bitches have one thing in common; check your dictionary. Tupac makes the point that all women, according to them, are bitched clear:

I learnt not to trust a bitch from the prostitutes…” (Hell Razor)

money bring bitches…” (Another useless cut whose name I’ve gladly forgot)

Not only is the battle about humiliating women, no one will be polite enough to say “slept with”, you know the word they’ll use: four letters. The same four letter word you find all over these hip hop songs so much so that when it is edited sometimes the chorus is left with just instrumentals.

The Battles they say are not personal, yet “impersonally”, they insult each other’s mothers and sisters. What’s personal is when it’s a beef

Beef, on its part, is an extension of a Battle. Beef is when two persons in the culture have a quarrel and they do not only Battle, sometimes, guns are drawn. The guns are so part of Hip hop that gun cracking forms part of the instrumental sometimes.

So what effect do all of these and those I purposely have not mentioned for want of space have on the listeners?

• Hip hop puts a good reputation to crime by presenting someone you love in that light and giving it a good name. E.g. Snoop Dogg wants you to believe he is a Pimp, Olu Maintain claims Yahoo (Fraudsters ), another artist calls himself Bone Born Crusher , another calls himself Sticky Fingaz (i.e. a thief), and one even called himself Ol’ Dirty Bastard of the Wu Tang Clan (died from drug overdose in 2004), others are called Bizarre , Gang Starr , Outlawz, e.t.c.

• If it doesn’t make you commit what they pride themselves of committing, it makes you forget the severity of success crimes. How many ladies today, some of them even relatively decent, are into M.I yet, the man says “I’m a girl teaser, big booty squeezer,….” and they sing along. I also was unfortunate to always hear people singing a song that was just about saying “I like that booty,…” over and over again. But guess what, it was from a female classmate that I first heard one of the lines from the song “I like that over load…”, when I asked if she heard herself she said “well, well..

• It creates the illusion that life should be all about enjoyment hence people oriented by it will never have true peace of mind and will constantly run after pleasures just like they say life is too short so enjoy yourself whereas the orientation should be that since life is too short leave like a passerby and prepare for the next and everlasting life

• It flaunts imaginary resources like Jay-Z once rhyme about how he “ships a meal…” (Money Ain’t a Thing) i.e. he imports his every single meal! Ridiculous claims like this coupled with show of flashy cars only creates the burning desire to be rich by any means necessary. Any means necessary includes robbing your neighbour.

Rick Ross

Rick Ross

• Creates a thug mentality where the criminal is the deal and the one who reports to the police is the snitch deserving death. A thug mentality that settles issues by the gun, a thug mentality that means if you have a car stereo it needs to be loud so that you can tell those without a car that you are the man, a thug mentality that makes people put their trousers in their buttocks even when it clearly doesn’t make sense and is not even convenient to do so, a thug mentality that creates worthless individuals whose only relationship with society is parasitic in that they compete for air and space with productive individuals. This thug mentality puts pride in people and makes them look down on others, hear the artist Guru of the Hip hop group Gangstars as an example of what I’m saying:

My shit is rugged like the New York streets, disrespect me, stupid you loss your teeth” – Gang Starr (Nice Girl in the Wrong Place)

• It humiliates and gives our women a bad reputation. Ever wondered why the first thing the man who quarrels with you call you is Ashewo (prostitute)? Yes because even when he smiled with you and act as if he respects you, he always saw you as ashewo (a prostitute). Your colleague in school or work may not call you that because they are enlightened: enlightened enough to not call you even when they think you are. Hip hop is part of those things that make every woman seem bad

• Needless to say it promotes drugs, alcoholism, and prostitution, just make your list.

What about the “good Hip hop”? Like we used to call it; Deep Rap, Spitting Jewels, Dropping Knowledge. It’s all a deception because at the end of the day it draws you into a circle that draws you to the same vices earlier stated. An example is seen of Scarface who drops deep lines but in the same album the 11th track he goes “Hotel, Motel,….” I can’t afford to continue.

Hip hop is a culture: A Bad Culture

By: Eseoghene Al Faruq Ohwojeheri

Culled from the unedited version of a yet to be published book “Issues of Our Time” by the same author

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  1. nice work. I just hope lots of people get to read dis nd stay clear cos so cald hiphop is one of d reasons of moral decadence in our society today

  2. I didnt read your writeup to the end though, but along the line i saw something i wanna adress. rapmusic, hiphop is not all about violence…rappers are divided into categories, the luxury rappers, like jay Z, the concious rappers, i:e rappers who raps about every situation going on in their enviroment and bringing the attention of the world to it. they are rappers like lupe fiasco, dialated peoples, the roots etc. and we have the new generation rappers that raps all day about being fresh, and swags…they are rappers like new boys, chiddy bang. know that rappers mostly the consious rappers dont promote violence and a fake life….want a proof and take a time to listen to any of lupe fiasco song… then we have the gangster rappers, these are likes of 50 cent , rickross, lilwayne to name a few… rap music started with consious rappers and they help to give the black community voice over the police brutality back then. gangster rappers came up years after starting with the likes of ice cube and the group.NWA.(niggas witta attitude)..not every rappers promote violence,sex and drugs….rap music has been a great tool for the black people for so many years, the word nigga use to be a really hurtful word back then, but what this rappers did was take the word, and remove the ugly word in it. they turn a word that use to be very hurtful and ugly around…like the rapper jay z said you cant stop people from saying a particular word and u cant remove a word from the dictionary, people wud just make a new word for it instead..
    i guess what i’m trying to say here its that rap music and hiphop music in general is a great tool when used in the right way.

    • I get your point, but if I may ask what positive thing has hip-hop done to the Black America Society? It has only promoted vices and nothing more.

      Conscious rap like that of Talib Kwali, Scareface, Immortal Technique and others only put you in the cycle of the hip-hop that promote vices and immorality.

      Blacks in the US used to be very decent and intelligent. Where are the likes of Martin Lurther, Malcolm X and others?

      • @naijainfoman. to you u will like all of us to go inside our house turn off our radios and TVs notting more. well u are living a dream, is the morality in the north better? people like you who re the elite in the north will not stop to burden the poor ones with rligion and in secrete will enjoy ur lives. well very soon u will call for the ban on nollywood and the nigerian music industry

  3. Hip-hop rap is a simulation of American Black people life style, also and American culture in general. e.g the word “BITCH” or “FUCK” is often use by average Americans, either black, white, red, blue whatever. Also ladies call them selves bitches not necessarily in rap but in real life. There are things that are useful in rap music, some times the vocabulary are poetic and at the same time depicting reality. e.g. ….I’ve been trapped since birth, cautious, ’cause I’m cursed And fantasies of my family, in a hearse And they say it’s the white man I should fear But, it’s my own kind doin’ all the killing’ here… 2pac. There are also what we call studio gangsters, these categories just lie to make the song nice to hear, e.t.c. I listened to rap music when i was a teenager and i learned a lot of English words I’ve never known. e.g paranoid, boisterous, and many more that i unconsciously use till date. Like the out laws says ‘LIFE IS WHAT YOU MAKE IT’ and if u read their names are all anti- America. e.g Napoleon, Hussein (Saddam), Gaddafi, Mussolini (Benito), Edi (Edi Amin), Castro (Fidel). so this is what i think rap music is all about take or leave it. GBAM.

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