Friday, November 21, 2008

Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhythms

Byron Hurt
Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymns (4:52)
Why can't America leave Hip-Hop alone? Byron Hurt, an African-American film-maker, produced a film which "weighs in on manhood in hip-hop culture." In this film, violence, misogeny, homophobia, and how each relates to the culture are used to explore Hip-Hops degenerate appearance. Interviews with music artists, music video clips, and documentary-styled narrative reveal the producers displeasure with the image of the culture as it evolved from an innocent beginning to absolute sin.
At one point in my life, my desire was to become a Hip-Hop artist, but, perhaps, I just wasn't "gutta" (slang for extreme mischief) enough. Hurt's film, however, included statements from Dr. Michael E. Dyson, a cultural critic who claims "violent masculinity is at the heart of American identity," and Jackson Katz who says the culture itself is to blame for black-male aggressiveness. Though, seemingly, neither of these men are connected to the hip-hop culture, their statements are valued because black men are Americans and Hip-Hop has become their way of expressing the sins of a nation. The film also discloses just how "gutta" the culture has become. In the segment on misogeny, rapper Nellie from the Saint Lunatics, is seen swiping a credit card down the backside of a young woman. I only hope he called the credit card company and reported his card lost or stolen. But, the courage it took to expose such offenses is truly impressive mainly because, as from my experience, Hip-Hop, rather, frowns upon anything that divulges its filth.
This film, I think, is significant to all who understands and sympathizes with the culture and in many respects its inspires us to pray and never give up on humanity. In saying so, I reflect on the sister in Nellie's video. Then, my mind reflects on Tupak Shakur and Christopher "Biggie" Smalls - both victims of a culture which refuses to see the light.
posted for Michael D. Cole

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Rap artist Coolio talks about his tough upbringing on the tough streets of Los Angeles. Produced and directed by Pogus Caesar