What is Hip Hop’s Role in Educating Today’s Youth?
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By Miguel Lloyd
This week on #LFCRadio, we are talking about hip hop’s responsibility to educate todays youth.
Admittedly, my teenage years were at the beginning of what is known as the “Golden Age of Hip Hop.” During this time, hip hop was full of emcees and deejays who truly were still hungry and thought of the rap game as a mode of competition that eventually could help them make a living. Of course, depending on who it was and where they came from shaped their lyrical content. I’d be disingenuous if I fronted like all the hip hop then was “positive.” Matter of fact out of all the “clean” rappers from that era, only two come immediately to my mind as making a lasting impact…Heavy D (RIP) and The Fresh Prince (most of us now know him as Will Smith.) Most other rappers were the personification of bravado and machismo. It WAS about how tough you were, how clever you could be with your verses and who could dominate the cypher. But what was key, especially in the late 80’s and early 90’s, was part of that flow had to include your “knowledge of self” and how relatively learned you were. Artist like Rakim, Nas, Chuck D of Public Enemy, Brand Nubian, and the might KRS-One, demanded their listeners to challenge themselves on their knowledge of cultural history and current history. Many of their videos and their tours thrived on college campuses because that’s where their audiences were centered around.
Fast forward to today. Hip Hop has evolved to pop. The artists are focusing on the after party, instead of the day that led up to it. Opportunities like Trayvon Martin come and Sinead O’Connor stands up before Lil’ Wayne or Diddy. All while there is a steady decline in the self esteem of their male fans, as well as their attendance in college or at minimum graduating high school.
In this Beyonce era, as well as the era of Elvis, Madonna, or the Beach Boys, to kids the ones with the biggest microphones and influence are those in entertainment.
This week on Life Full Circle Radio, we are going to have Larry Henderson A.K.A. Lak as our guest. He is the lead artist on the Smart Music label. He uses hip hop to educate and advocate. We’ll talk to him about why he took up this mission, how it has impacted the kids he’s come across and how the old school artist influenced his craft. Tune in tonight!
Miguel Lloyd is a blogger, radio host and Media entrepreneur. He hosts a weekly talk show called Life Full Circle Radio. The show includes super producer, Nikkia Ganey with hot topics, Seshmi Robertson with Entertainment, Elton Gumbel with Sports and Alton Drew with the Politics365.com Politics segment. Join us this and every Wednesday night for the lively conversation by clicking HERE!