Why We Need a Soul Selfie:
Black Culture Ain’t Hip Hop ! TRUTH Minista Paul Scott
“What’s good for Hip Hop might not be good for my soul” Mt. Olympus -Big KRIT
Back in the day the elders used to tell us about the value of looking at the “man in the mirror” because the image staring back at you doesn't lie. But today in this age of Facebook “selfies” many black people can't see their own images, they see themselves through the distorted lenses of Hip Hop. Call me old fashioned but I ain't wit the "selfies." I still look in the mirror and when I do, I don’t see Hip Hop, I see a Black man… For years, there has been an ongoing argument between those who seek to define the parameters of “Hip Hop culture." Many purists have almost come to blows discussing who is and who ain’t Hip Hop. More recently the racial aspect of the discussion garnered new attention when artists like Lord Jamar of Brand Nubian and Scarface accused white people of the hostile invasion of the Hip Hop Nation. But the reason why the obvious validity of the rappers' points have been able to be shaded by their critics is because of the context of the argument. Many people believe that Hip Hop and Black culture are one in the same. So, the problem is not white people in Hip Hop, the problem is Hip Hop itself. First, we must recognize the fact that “Hip Hop” is not a culture. At most, it is a synthetic sub-culture created out of aesthetic elements of the Black experience. Although, people may argue that Hip Hop started in the 70’s, it did not really become popular until it was stumbled upon by white explorer’s of the ‘hood. Kinda like how Christopher Columbus “discovered” America. So, when the issue of the white theft of Black culture through Hip Hop is brought up, it quickly devolves into a straw man argument over the contributions of a few white rappers to the so called “culture." However, this argument is not totally without merit. In reality, one of the first rap movies, Wild Style was not exactly a Pro-Black Spike Lee- type flick. Also, the influence of the Beastie Boys', Licence to Ill cannot be denied. We must also remember that a white punk rock singer, Deborah Harry of Blondie was the first female “MC” with a #1 record. Even politically, one of the coldest disses against white America came courtesy of MC Search of 3rd Base on "Gas Face. " "Black cat is bad luck/bad guys wear black/ must have been a white guy who started all that…” During the modern era few can say that Brother Ali ain't droppin’ science. But although they may be “Hip Hop,” they still ain’t Black. The sad reality is, “Hip Hop” was never created to be ,exclusively, African. Although many movements have impressed white liberals and scared white conservatives with their super, black militant swagga, Hip Hop has, historically, been more integration-ist than the NAACP. Matter of fact, during the four year reign of Black conscious Hip Hop (1988-92) only the first two years were made to give young black kids a “Knowledge of Self,” the other two years were all about giving white college kids a crash course in Black History 101. It’s almost as if 40 -something years ago, a black Yacub-like scientist in the Bronx had the idea that if he could mix together mc-ing, graffiti, break dancing and dj-ing, he could come up with a formula to destroy the white supremacist gene. Of course, the experiment was a miserable failure. Instead of making white people more righteous, it made the “original people” more unrighteous.
Unfortunately, instead of admitting the failure, many Hip Hop apologists have insisted on “integrating our people into a burning house,” as Dr. Martin Luther King is said to have told Harry Belafonte regarding the Civil Rights movement. What we must realize is that there is a non- compatibility factor between the cultural norms of the African and the European that makes any attempt to reform white supremacy via an artificial culture doomed to failure as Michael Bradley discusses in his book, The Iceman Inheritance. Two turntables and a microphone cannot erase cultural norms that existed thousands of years before RunDMC brought their first pair of Adidas. What Hip Hop has produced is a “Negro-pean” or what historian St. Clair Drake would call a “creole culture” that is neither black nor white. This has made Hip Hop a major deterrent to the Liberation of black people. Suppose instead of reppin’ Hip Hop culture for 40 years , we had put all of our energy into reppin’ Black culture? When Black people embrace Hip Hop as a “culture” they ignore the warning of former Black Panther minister of Education George Murray who said, “ The only culture worth keeping is a revolutionary culture. Our culture must not be something that the enemy enjoys, appreciates, or says is attractive. It must be repelling to the slave master..” But in the “Hip Hop Matrix” anything goes. So much so that a white radio personality like Hot 97’s , Peter Rosenberg can feel comfortable questioning the contributions of the legendary Chuck D to Hip Hop. And also, Justin Bieber could be given a 'hood pass to use the N-word. This could not happen under the auspices of black culture. Remember Kwame Ture did not say "Hip Hop Power," he said " Black Power." And James Brown did not say "I'm Hip Hop and I'm Proud." He said "I'm Black and I'm Proud!" So, this being Juneteenth week, I am not saying that Black people should kick white folks out of Hip Hop, I am saying that we should leave it. I am calling for a mass exodus of Black people from the “Hip Hop Nation.” Take a good look at your selfie, you ain’t Hip Hop, you are Black! Like Lil Boosie says “ We gonna show the world, the definition of real….my Brotha..