“The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.”
― George Orwell
Over the years, I have engaged many young folks about the state of Hip Hop & how it has in some ways gotten better in terms of production/mixing techniques, but in other ways worse (commercially speaking) in terms of its one-dimensional lyrical content & hyper-sexualized & violent images projected & disturbingly normalized worldwide. Many of our young defend it by saying things like, “I don’t care about the lyrics, it’s the beat, man!”, “You’re too serious! It’s just music” , ” That’s just how things are in the streets–it’s real no matter how ugly it is so accept it as is” or this, which is oftentimes true, “Progressive rap is OK but the beats are whack so I don’t care for it”.
I gotta breathe….feels like we’re under attack…know what I mean?
I stumbled upon this excellent presentation produced by Arrested Development’s Speech last night & was quite impressed with it. This three part series exposes what he considers to be the deeply destructive campaign to devalue the perception of Blacks not only in the US, but across the world.
I was curious about the title of this series & did a little digging. I discovered that the late great poet/musician/activist Gil Scott-Heron (considered to be the Godfather of Rap by many music historians) wrote a book with the same title in 1972. The Nigger Factory is a powerful parable of the way in which human beings are conditioned to think. I am sure when Speech did this series, he had this book in mind as the parallels are striking, thematically.
I would highly recommend to all to share this series with the younger generation. We have to shift the direction we’re heading in….feel me?