The Corporate Exploitation of Hip-Hop

Huge media corporations literally bought up Hip Hop in the early to mid-1990s, imposing “cookie cutter themes of senseless violence, excessive materialism, and misogyny.” Progressive voices in rap were silenced. The clear message was, “the minute you dare try to step outside of the ‘box’ and attack their power structure, you will be omitted.”

Hip hop culture (rapping, graffiti art, and breaking, etc.) was unequivocally created by youth of color in the Bronx during the early 1970s. Even though the origins of hip hop are entrenched in black and Latino communities throughout New York City it is currently pimped/used by large white owned corporations (media, record labels, etc.) to create astronomical bottom lines, reinforce capitalistic ideals, and adversely mass program black and brown youth. Hip hop has been co-opted, from the black community, by the white corporate establishment in much the same manner as was rock-n-roll (originally called rhythm and blues). Everyone from Allan Freed to Pat Boone cashed in on the original works of black artists, many of whom died penniless. However, where the corporate establishment left off when it came to thievery of rock-n-roll they picked up with hip hop. Once white corporations recognized the multi-billion dollar earning potential of rap music, the mass commercialization of hip hop began. They bought out everything from record labels to urban radio stations. Their unfettered corporate feeding frenzy was similar to that of the European conquest of lands inhabited by people of color.

RAP (rhythm and poetry) music has provided corporate radio stations and record labels, alike, with gigantic revenues almost beyond their wildest capitalistic wet dreams. The corporate takeover and accommodation of hip hop began to grow exponentially in the early to mid 1990s. The more money they made the less diversified rap music became on the radio and television airwaves. Balance on the mainstream airwaves rapidly became a thing of the past. Before corporate usurpation of rap music record labels, and subsequently airwaves, the fledging genre (RAP) was the embodiment of resistance for many. During the late 1980s and early 1990s rap music provided many black and Latino youth with countless hours of culturally edifying and politically oriented music.

 Corporate Exploitation of the African-American Community 

Rappers such as Jay-Z and Kanye West who are supporters of President Obama associate themselves with the political and corporate elites are immune to reality of the problems Black America faces although they both come from inner-city ghettos.  Money and influence has corrupted their minds with music that has “dumbed–down” their fan base.  Jay-Z (Shawn Carter) actually helped Lupe Fiasco with the production of his debut album in 2008 called ‘Lupe Fiasco’s Food and Liquor’ . However, Jay-Z has reached a plateau where he became partners with major corporations.  The major corporations include Budweiser, Hewlett-Packard, Coca-Cola, Reebok and Microsoft.

Major corporations are exploiting many rap stars that target their communities to sell their products which are harmful to Black and Latino communities.  Jay-Z also represents Budweiser.  Alcoholism is a major problem for the black community.  Jay-Z is not the only rap star exploited by corporations.  You have hundreds of artists that contribute to the degradation of the African-American, Latino, White and Asian communities such as Nicki Minaj, Kanye West, 50 Cent, DMX and many others whose lyrics degrade women and glorify gangsters.  They rap about how much money they got and all of the gold chains they possess.  These are songs that have a hidden message to consume or to become a “Gangster”.  Rap music is a weapon used by the elites to keep certain segments of society in control.

One particular story during President Obama’s inauguration did not make headlines in the main stream media.  Rapper Lupe Fiasco was performing live at the StartUp RockOn concert to celebrate the re-election of President Barack H. Obama on January 21st at the Hamilton in Washington D.C. 

Lupe Fiasco (Wasalu Muhammad Jaco) was kicked off the stage by Obama’s secret service detail because he was singing Anti-Obama lyrics that annoyed many of the President’s Supporters.

He was singing one of his most political songs called “Words I never said” which was released back on 2011.

The lyrics to the song that got Fiasco escorted off the stage was “Limbaugh is a racist, Glenn Beck is a racist. Gaza strip was getting bombed.  Obama didn’t say sh*t. That’s why I ain’t vote for him, next one either.” 

In an article published by the London based newspaper The Guardian who interviewed Lupe Fiasco in April of 2008 called “Lupe’s Dreams”.

Lupe said “With my mother in the ‘hood, it was a house full of National Geographics, political and social discourse and no television,” he remembers. “Then all this stuff I would read about in those books, my father would be doing. I saw him shut down crackhouses, open karate schools for free, run non-profit organisations, pass out Black Panther party literature…”

Read The full Article : Hip Hop and the Politics of Social engineering

Source : Global Research

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