Hip Hop, Homecoming and Hoes:
How HBCUs Fund Gangsta Rap
It's Autumn. A time when HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) across the country celebrate homecomings. It's a season of football games, marching bands and step shows. It's also a time when universities pay major dollars to rappers who act like they have never seen the inside of a classroom.
Recently, students at North Carolina A@T and FAMU protested the inclusion of Gucci Mane in their annual homecoming concerts. The students felt that with the spilling over of gang violence onto college campuses, to roll out the red carpet for one of the major purveyors of all that is wrong with Hip Hop would not be a good look.
Although the Gucci guy is still scheduled to roll into Greensboro Halloween night, because of the student protests, the university's administrators decided to take the school's name off of the marquee.
I don't know why the "Aggies" are singling out Gucci Mane since there is nothing, even remotely, unique about his Dirty South swagga and "trap tales." But I really don't care why they put Gucci on blast. The revolution against this foolishness has to start somewhere and I can think of no better place than a predominately black institute of higher learning and I can think of no better time than now.
This is not the first time that college students have taken a stand against the violence and misoginy in most commercial Hip Hop. Back in 2004, the sisters of Spelman put heat on Nelly in response to his Tip Drill video that featured a black woman's derriere being used as a credit card swiper.
But it has not happened nearly enough. While many people have looked to the teeny bopper "106 and Park " crowd to be the vanguard responsible for stopping "gangsta rap" the real responsibility lies at the feet of college students.
It is a well known fact that most entertainers don't make their money selling cds, especially in the age of youtube and Limewire but they make their spending cash via concert tours. Many of theses concerts are held in conjunction with college activities such as homecomings and spring break events.
So, in essence, it can be said that HBCU's bankroll much of the music that promotes black on black violence and the disrespect of black women.
Although, some my argue that college coeds are old enough to know the difference between the fantasy world of Hip Hop and real life, their little brothers and sisters are not. By supporting artists that promote negativity the students are helping to fund the destruction of the generation coming up behind them.
Despite the fact that some of these colleges have Hip Hop classes and frequently sponsor Hip Hop conferences that bemoan the current state of Hip Hop, unfortunately, these initiatives have not helped the students develop a workable strategy that would force Hip hop artists to produce the type of music that many college educated students profess to want.
This is not to say that white colleges are bastions of morality, by any means , as the keg parties and "girls gone wild" scenarios are things that legends are made of. So, the question that some may ask is whether black institutions should be held to higher standards.
Of course they should.
Our ancestors did not sacrifice their lives so that black students today can listen to "tha Gooch " rap about gettin' wasted.
More than that, they owe it to the future generation who should be looking to them as the ones who will finally end centuries of perpetual black misery.
Black colleges across the country should ban together and place a moratorium on the minstrelsy so prevalent in much of today's Hip Hop. The student body presidents at HBCU's should draft a "manifesto against the madness" and vow not to spend student funds to bring rappers that shame the black community to their campuses. Instead they must seek out those artists that seek to encourage young black children to strive for college yards instead of prison yards.
So, intelligent brothers and sisters of HBCU's, the choice is yours. Are you going to raise your voices against Gucci gangsta-ism or are you going to be at the next concert singin' "Freaky Gurl " at the top of your lungs? "
Paul Scott writes for No Warning Shots Fired.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (919) 451-8283 For more information on the Intelligence Over Ignorance Campaign go to http://www.ioimovement.com/