What’s Wrong with Popular Music and Culture?

I love Hip-Hop and I love Electronic music. The problems with Hip- Hop and Electronic dance music today is it’s blatant promotion of drug use and dangerous life styles and values. What’s wrong with having fun? Nothing. What’s wrong with doing you? Nothing. That leads to the question what’s wrong with drugs?

You may ask,why shouldn’t I pop a molly every now and then? Why can’t I get drunk every weekend? What’s wrong with a little weed? What’s wrong with sipping sizzurp? Well I answer by asking, What’s wrong with Crack? What’s wrong with Methamphetamine? Inherently there is nothing wrong with enjoying your life. In our popular culture casual drug use is something that is virtually encouraged and many can claim a casual use of drugs that may never have interfered with their daily living. The majority of people know that any drug use can become out of control very easily. The truth is that there are extremely high rates of drug addiction and abuse in the youth and generations X and Y, the hidden fact is that there are an extremely high number of functional addicts. I personally know many.

 Returning back to those questions, what’s wrong with Crack? Now I can hear someone shouting Ecstasy and Crack aren’t the same thing! How can you compare Methamphetamines with molly, sizzurp, or Cannabis?

I can because they in essence do the same thing, they take a human being out of their  natural state and alter  their psychological, emotional, physical, and metabolic function. Lest we forget at one time Crack was the thing to do. In the early Nineteen eighties when Crack hit the scene, nobody knew how addictive and bad it was for people, they just thought it was the new hip thing to do, Like molly or MDMA, Ecstasy and all it’s variations. With some of popular music’s biggest drug use proponent’s falling ill and other’s dying as of late, I think it is worth asking this question. Should drug use be allowed to be promoted on songs playing on the public airwaves?  Lil Wayne’s recent seizures from  purported constant abuse of Cough syrup, Alcohol and Cannabis highlight this culture of high functioning drug addict behavior.

I am a staunch supporter of free speech, freedom of the press and liberties we as American’s share and have the privileges of enjoying. I also believe our music and culture are being permeated by violence and drug culture that is degrading the minds of the youth and all forth coming generations unless something is done to change it. With The Ultra musicfestival going on in Miami and the underground drug culture that comes with it this issue is very relevant. People are always going to use drugs and alcohol to alter their physical states. It’s as old as people themselves. What we need to do is become conscious of the messages we push to the youth and the coming generations, in music, and in our commentary and conversations. Record labels and artist need to do more!

Many of our experiences as young adults or college student’s experimenting with drugs and alcohol come from our music and culture. Do we want to leave drug use and it’s struggles and health problems as the legacy to our children? I sincerely don’t. If my children one day decide to use drugs, or drink, or smoke those are their decisions. I only wish that they make educated decisions and not biased decisions based on popular novelty music, culture and irresponsible pop icons who promote self destructive behavior.

In the early Nineteen Eighties when Hip-Hop was developing it was merging and growing in its sound and style. One of the reasons for the proliferation of Hip-Hop culture and its growth with new sounds and sampling in the electronic music world was Africa Bambatta, the Soul Sonic Force and the Zulu Nation. The Zulu Nation dubbed the emerging art forms as Hip-Hop. They took this thing we call Hip- Hop and brought it to the world showcasing all of the elements of Hip Hop and adding knowledge to the mix. Through having fun and battling with DJ’ing Graffiti dancing and rhyming the youth developed ways to compete. This prevented the loss of our youth in the minority communities by promoting working out our differences through art and competition instead of violence, gang and drug culture. Hip-Hop developed into an escape from some of the same values being promoted in it today.

The Zulu Nation is involved in a campaign to promote the original Hip-Hop values they helped create and oppose the values being fostered  today by websites and companies such as World star Hip Hop, Major record Labels and  rappers who use the Hip Hop name to promote  the aforementioned destructive values. The Zulu Nation believe that any use of the term Hip–Hop by  companies who promote values that conflict with the original values laid out by the Universal Zulu Nation  are in direct violation of the culture. To the Zulu these individuals are destroying it’s meaning and people.

In conclusion, I just want to remind all of you, who are still old enough to remember  what Crack did to our families and communities in the eighties, of what we experienced. I want you to remember and hold those memories in the forefront of your mind because after those years something went wrong. I am a member of the first part of Generation Y, I was Born in 1981,  and I still remember. The members of our generation failed. We failed in teaching our little brothers and sisters about what we experienced, about our parent’s mistakes. We failed in knowing how to deal with our own problems and many of us have succumb to the same drug abuse and bad habits, but we can still correct our wrongs and succeed in helping our children make better decisions.

 In 1985, if you asked a Crack smoker about their drug use they may have said, Crack is better than heroin, it’s hip, Its fun. Today you may ask an ecstasy user about their drug of choice they may say, at least I’m not smoking Crack, or I pop mollies because its Fun, everybody is doing it, in certain circles it’s hip.  They are different drugs but I see the parallels and the danger in their use and in the use of any thing that is not in moderation. We need to focus more on the positive healthy options we have in order to survive and help our future generations thrive. You may feel defensive at my statements about drug abuse and destructive behavior, but can anyone argue with the statement that being drug free can not lead to drug overdoses, impaired decision making, drug induced health problems, STD’s, Abortions, or unhealthy behavior?

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