I know most people are familiar with the plot of “Footloose,” involving the super-conservative preacher of the town where rock music and dancing have been banned because of the loose morals and pervasive sexuality they represent.
While the concept seems funny today, I find myself thinking it relevant again. Not about rock music, but about rap.
Here’s the rub, though. I love rap music. In fact, many nights as I write for this paper, I find myself listening to my Jay-Z Pandora station, or possibly my Outkast-inspired one, or my Morris Brown station. When I was younger, I never liked it. But once I went to high school, I started to hear it more frequently. It grew on me, and by the time I left for my freshman year of college, it had become a genre I loved.
But that was 10 years ago. Yes, it was the beginning of today’s rap industry. That was the era of “artists” such as 50 Cent and Ja Rule. But that wasn’t who I was listening to.
I was listening to Tupac Shakur, The Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z, the Fugees, Mos Def and Talib Kweli. These guys are artists. Heck, Tupac’s a poet.
But today, the industry has … changed quite a bit.
With what I hear on the radio, I find myself going further and further into my rap hermit cave, not wanting to hear anything new in fear of it assaulting my senses in unimaginable ways.
The lyrics churned out by the likes of Macklemore and Nicki Minaj make me want to cause bodily harm to whoever is near me.
I was planning to give an example of the poor lyrics, but I am unable to write anything that would not be edited for the paper because of their grossly foul nature.
Rap used to have a message. It addressed problems in society.
Rap is a way for untalented people to become rich.
What do they rap about? “You’s a stupid ...”
All right, Jon Lithgow, bring out your church.
Let’s put the lid on this and try to get it to just go away. We’ll let the kids dance, but we just won’t play rap songs from the last 10 years.
Maybe a lesson will be learned, and this musical genre can return to its former glory.