This I Believe

Yong Jun - Palm Desert, California
Entered on May 31, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: freedom

To the ears of the public, Hip Hop is just recognized as an annoying noise. The stereotype that is aimed at this culture(Hip Hop) is nothing but negative. The listeners and critics are stating that you have to be a “gangsta” to be a part of the Hip Hop world. Also, people are determining whether a rapper is good or not by his/her fashion sense. However, Hip Hop is being viewed by only one side; there is a deeper meaning than what you hear or see provided by the media.

One big misunderstanding by listeners and rappers is the belief of having to relate to a gang to rap. However, everybody has to understand one fact; a microphone is not a gun. The media is responsible of pushing and instigating rappers to have street credibility to receive the love from the fans. It is true that there were some rappers in Hip Hop that have created “gangster rap”. However, it is unfair to view Hip Hop by a little piece instead of viewing it as a whole. Fortunately, there are many rappers who have acknowledged the true meaning of Hip Hop which is freedom. For example, rappers such as Common, Lupe Fiasco, and Sage Francis have stepped out of the stereotype and widened the themes of their songs. Some songs that would differ from violence would be “Runaways”, “Kick, push”, and “I used to love her”. Also, the theme of Hip Hop is shifting to many other things, varying from deep political issues to discussing the problems I have been stating about Hip Hop.

Nowadays, people judge a rapper’s talent by the way he/she is dressed. The general fashion the media and the public is familiar with is the typical baggy pants and big shirts. However, to say a rapper you have never heard is not good because you don’t like the way they dress is irrational.

To show not all look alike, the rapper Bus Driver would be a perfect example. Bus Driver is someone who dresses nothing like your average rapper. He would come out on shows with pants that doesn’t reach below his ankles, big thick glasses, and tight, bright shirts to top it all off. However, he is well respected by the listeners because of his unique style that distinguishes from the rest of the rappers in this Hip Hop culture. Music is something you listen to with your ears; it is hard to decide if someone has skills just by looking at them.

Hip Hop has been existing now over thirty years. It is more than just a sound we hear in the streets. To the “Hip Hop heads”, this is their lives. However, there are many negative stereotypes from the media towards Hip Hop but some are understandable. From lyrics that stress the mind of a gangster to the rambling of money, girls, and cars is a definite reason why Hip Hop is being put down by so many people. However, everybody has to know the fact that this is just one piece of the pie of Hip Hop. Music in general should have neither rules nor limits on what you can and cannot say in your own lyrics. This is one special way of musicians to express their freedom; no one can take this away.