Popular culture, and particularly music, is a sore spot for a lot of my peers. There’s a lot of, “What is this shit on the radio,” and “Who watches this crap” regarding television. I’m going to let you in on a secret: YA DONE SON!
What my peers don’t realize, when it comes to the radio, and MTV, and most pop culture in general, is that we are no longer the target audience. Do you realize that MTV’s target audience can barely remember, if at all, that MTV used to strictly be music television? A large chunk of the target audience of hip hop was not even BORN when Lodi Dodi dropped. Beat boxing is a novel thing that boy on American Idol did. Remember being in high school and calling into the radio station? Radio stations are still broadcasting from high school, and places that are frequented by children. Your favorite DJ, is either on some borderline pedo steez, or has moved to the “grown folks” time slot or station. Granted, as a parent, there is the other issue of music that may not be appropriate for your kids, but alas, that’s also part of being in the grown up world. Monitor what your kids watch and listen to, and explain why things are NOT appropriate for their age, or sometimes, for humanity in general. (Author’s Note: NO ONE should listen to a cat named Waka Flocka. Not ever.)
As an adult, unless you are a victim of this economy you should be gainfully employed (and if you are not, more often than not, the stuff on the radio is just your speed, but that’s another topic for another day). It is also likely that you have a car. You’re not at the mercy of your parents or older family members for rides to the mall and the record store. You’re not 16 years old singing into your hairbrush, wondering what the future holds. You are a grown ass man or woman, carving out a future for the next generation. You have a credit card, which enables you to purchase the entertainment of your choosing. Tired of hip-hop? Then carry your disgruntled ass to a Will Downing concert.
We seem to ready to forget that though hip hop was our voice, it was our voice as the “young black youth.” We are now our parents. I am older than my parents were when hip hop made a main stream emergence into New Orleans urban radio. Marinate on that. We have other avenues in which to get our ideologies into the mainstream. We have become “the man.” Can you really say parents don’t understand, when you’re the one setting the curfew? Ain’t so funny when the kid is stealing YOUR Porsche, is it? This isn’t to say that we can’t still enjoy good hip hop, but times are different, so hip hop is different.
I’m going to take it there though: Some of us need to grow the fuck up. That’s really the core of the issue in this blogger’s humble opinion. If we embraced our adulthood, rather than declaring 30 the new 20, maybe we could grasp that certain things are no longer in our lane. You don’t have to hole yourself up in a corner and knit simply because you’re not a kid, but you do have to realize that there comes a time to put away childish things, at least for a time.
We have the right to love and long for our music. Let’s keep it real though, were they playing Sam Cook on the 3-7 set on your favorite station in high school? That wasn’t by accident. I still believe that there will be a resurgence of good hip hop; music that is substantive and enjoyable for the babies. All things go through periods of self-correction, and that includes music. We also pass the torch on to the generation behind us. That still doesn’t mean you’re going to like it with your old ass. And guess what. That’s fine too. BECAUSE IT’S NOT JUST OURS ANYMORE.