Learnign to Accept Rap's Generation Gap
This J-Zone article is an absolute must read for all of you. You can read the article HERE. I have a few thoughts in response to the article.
IN DEFENSE OF THE YOUNGER GENERATION
Since 95% of my students walk into class with their headphone on, I spontaneously asked all of my students in class one day to write down on a piece of paper what they were listening to as they walked into class.
Paper after paper read Beatles, Rage Against the Machine, NWA, Wu Tang Clan, Amy Winehouse, Pink Floyd, A Tribe Called Quest, Gang Starr, Immortal Technique, Dr. Dre, and Kendrick Lamar. Ask yourself, are my students really listening to anything different than what you were listening to during your college years? Sure, most of them are not familiar with Group Home's classic freshman LP, but they've managed to find the classics that have stood the test of time just like we did. Yes, it's annoying that most of them listen to A Tribe Called Quest but have no idea what a Low End Theory is because their ipod plays songs by shuffle, not by album. BUT AT LEAST THEY'RE LISTENING TO ATCQ! We can't hate on them because they're unaware of every album that dropped in the 90's anymore than our elders could hate on us for being ignorant of David Axelrod's entire discography (or pick your favorite heavily sampled artist). In the end, only deejays know music well enough to be aware of most album releases across genre and generation. Holding the average music fan to the standard of a deejay is just stupid and unfair. With that said, deejays new and old should get no slack here. So newbie deejays beware, THE BAR STAYS FIRM FOR YOU.
IN DEFENSE OF THE GRUMPY HIP HOPPER
Yes they are grumpy, hypocritical, unfair, and a touch elitist. But, wouldn't you be a tad bit arrogant if you were apart of something early on that has taken the world by storm. For better or worse, hip hop culture and its preferred music of choice, rap, is a global phenomenon. From the baggy shorts of the NBA to heads of state saying "it's all good," hip hop is the single most dominant culture (perhaps you may consider it a subculture) to hit the world in over 100 years. So, please cut the original generation of hip hoppers some slack as they attempt to preserve the foundation of their beloved culture. Every society needs its share of conservatives to remind all its members of their roots. Just because they're a little bit grumpy and resistant of the times, doesn't necessarily make them wrong. In the final analysis, we all need what Mr. Miagi would often remind Daniel Larussa of over and over again, "Balance Daniel'son, Balance."