Time to Occupy Hip Hop
TRUTH Minista Paul Scott
"Y'all been eatin' long enough now, stop bein' greedy
Just keep it real partna, give to the needy"
Stop Being Greedy-DMX
One morning last month, tired of the state of corporate-owned Hip Hop, a small group of people gathered in front of Intergalactic Records with picket signs saying "Hip Hop Sucks!" That night, a DJ rolled up with some old school Kool Herc-type speakers and started blastin' classic, underground Hip Hop, shaking the walls of the building. The movement has since spread like wildfire across the country as thousands of disgruntled former Hip Hop fans have begun gathering at radio stations across the country yelling "Give Hip Hop back to the 99%!"
Think this can't happen? Think again.
With the Occupy Wall Street Movement in full swing, it is only a matter of time before somebody asks the question that will spark the rap revolution.
"Hey, don't those 1 per centers also control the entertainment industry ?"
I think that I can safely say that 99% of the people reading this are fed up with the current state of Hip Hop and are ready to take it back from the 1% that are controlling the direction of the culture. There are only a hand full of major record labels (Sony, EMI , Warner and Universal) most of the radio stations are either owned by Clear Chanel or Radio-One and the major music video programs are all controlled by one company; Viacom. This explains why the same five Hip Hop artists are being played over and over again.
Without a doubt, Hip Hop is one of the most lucrative commodities on the planet and generates billions of dollars, annually, not only for entertainment companies but also for the other Big Willie corporations that the Occupy Wall Street warriors are fighting against. Also, it can be argued that, unlike many of the resident Wall Street tycoons, the entertainment industry moguls are most dependent on "the streets" for their economic survival, making them the most vulnerable to successful protests.
In his book, "Black Labor, White Wealth," Dr. Claud Anderson wrote that " black music is the basis for one of the world's wealthiest industries." He also argues that "the historic exploitation of black music and other art forms provides a strong philosophical reason to target these industries as visible examples of a new black economic agenda."
So, the question becomes not whether an "Occupy Hip Hop" movement will happen but why it hasn't happened yet.
To jack that famous line from Public Enemy, " the reasons are several, most of them federal."
It has been reported that Hip Hop was one of the major motivating factors in the "Arab Spring" uprisings, as it captured the frustrations of the youth overseas. While the average person in the US may not fully grasp the international power of Hip Hop, the government has long recognized the tremendous influence that entertainers have globally: a power that they are not willing to let fall into the " wrong hands."
According to Dr. Penny Von Eschen in her book, "Race Against Empire," during the 1950's the US State Department set up "Cultural Affairs, Psychological Warfare and Propaganda" programs to control Uncle Sam's international image. According to Von Eschen, the State Department recruited entertainers from jazz musicians to the Harlem Globetrotters to travel the globe proving to the world that living in America wasn't that bad.
This is why, even today, despite poverty and record high unemployment, the Feds still need the image of millionaire Hip Hop artists destroying $300,000 cars in videos and throwing up hundred dollar bills in the clubs beamed to every country on Earth. Despite what the Occupy Wall Street "whiners" are crying about on CNN, the Feds need to project the international image that all is still good in the 'hood.
Another reason why Hip Hop has not been occupied is that the people who you would think would be on the front line fightin' the power are actually part of the power structure. Despite the revolutionary rhetoric of even some of the most socially conscious Hip Hop writers and artists, they are still trapped in the corporate matrix and aren't really gonna spark the Gil Scott-Heron "Revolution that Will Not be Televised" or heard on the radio. Like most folks, they are just tryin' to eat and they ain't gonna go back to eatin' Oodles of Noodles for dinner for none of ya'll.
But then you have that pesky 5% at the bottom of the oppressed 99% ladder who really want to see complete constructive change and are willing to do any and everything to get it. Even if it means camping out in front of the Hot 99.9 station and starting a bonfire with Rick Ross cd's and Lil Wayne posters. These are the ones who will put Hip Hop back in the hands of the people .
I know that I speak for the rest of the 99% when I say, "Enough of the Maybach music. It's time for some "payback" music!
TRUTH Minista Paul Scott can be reached at (919) 451-8283