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As hip hop approaches the age of 50, it continues to shift world culture. As a spectator rap has a been an important genre for all 36 of my years. A lot has been asked of hip hop, and now middle aged, it has the job of being wildly entertaining with a minor in moral responsibility. As I look back on the year 2022 Hip Hops dirty laundry was on display like no other year. Sure, rappers have ALWAYS been the TARGETED poster children for misogyny, violence, and chauvinism but somewhere along the line HipHop became pure hip-ocrisy. Stop the violence turned into countless murders, drug dealing turned user friendly and past homophobia is no longer championed. That last one is a good thing.

As of late requests were made for Hip Hop and Rap to labeled as separate genres. In the early 70s Hip Hop was fueled by the undesired who told tales of a land unseen and unheard. Collectives like the Zulu Nation and The Native Tongues were born out of the need to express despair. Years later it is a lifestyle desired by every young person on the planet, carrying a VASTLY different message, but strangely more profitable than any stop the violence movement. When was the moment it became more lucrative to glorify the flaws instead of correcting them. Next, when did it become more gainful to EMBELLISH on those faults? Lastly where do we go from here?

The art that once Imitated life is now imitating a life most of us don’t live nor want to imitate. When did it become a problem? Is it when we paid the rappers to deliver a street code, that is abandoned when they take the stand? How about when your favorite rapper is murdered trying to live up to your expectations? Can we not party to raps about graduations, two parent households, and working a job? So the real question I have going into the new year…is what do we want from hip hop..because it only gives us what we ask for.

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