By: Dariel “DT” Henry
Over the years I have listened as Hip Hop continues to receive some very bad press in the media. It is fairly easy to find criticism of the rap lyrics, or the hip hop culture for influencing the minds of our youngsters towards negative outlets. Though it is true that many young brothers and sisters are influenced by rap lyrics to blow all their money “Popping Bottles”, selling drugs to fund their music labels, and living a hypersexual lifestyle, there are many who grew up on hip hop that did not get brainwashed into believing life is all about Chevy’s riding high, big pimpin, and finding a Tip Drill.
Just as everyone who shows up for Sunday morning service doesn’t walk away a new creature, spreading the gospel to uplift the kingdom, or having faith the size of a mustard seed; it is possible that not all listeners of hip hop are influenced to follow every lyric. Many listeners, especially born in the 1980’s alongside hip hop, have learned to separate the fantasy from reality. They have, and continue to, excel in school, go on to college, vocational training, become great parents, and/or productive members of society. Sometimes we have to look at the entire culture, and not only focus on the high-profile “ghetto stories”. I love hip hop, and many of the lyrics have helped my confidence when sitting as the only one African American in a classroom, or dealing with not being hired, receiving a bad grades, etc. I know I’m not alone in my view, so I ask the question to the reader: Are You a Hip Hop Graduate?