Khaos the Magnificent Twitter: @FLYstateOfMind_ Instagram: @khaos_themagnificent Happy Black History Month, my niggas. Today I wanna talk to y’...
Khaos the Magnificent
Happy Black History Month, my niggas. Today I wanna talk to y’all about a topic very near and dear to my heart, rap music. Since rap music went mainstream in the late 1970’s it has always been controversial. I won’t bore y’all with a history lesson, especially since I know everybody watched Straight Outta Compton, so let’s suffice it to say that the more conservative masses have always been concerned with what messages rappers were sending to the more impressionable youth. But what has rap music taught people, really? I decided to ask around.
I’m not gonna lie, even though I myself am a supporter of rap music, the overall positivity of the answers I received surprised me. I expected answers like, “how to properly whip then flip a brick” or that “these hoes is for everybody *insert eye rolling emoji here*” and I did receive a couple answers like that, but I was also given many verbal expressions of love for a culture that has its roots in struggle.
I conducted my investigation via the app GroupMe, a messaging service known for its chat-room style communication. I posed my question in about four groups I’m in: Thee I Love Mass Chat; a group chat for Jackson State undergrad students and recent alum; Outspoken, a group chat for students and alums that are members of the performing arts organization Outspoken Arts Collective; HBCU Nation, a group chat that contains students from Jackson State, Alcorn, Texas Southern, UAPB, Southern U, and many other prestigious universities; and also Anonymous Nerds 2.0, a group chat for young adults that are anime, manga, and video game enthusiasts.
Before I delve into what other people had to say about rap music, I’ll give a brief summary of what I’ve learned from rap music. I was first introduced to rap music through the 1990 classic, X Clan – To the East: Blackwards, at age 9. My mom gave me my dad’s copy of the CD when I transferred to a new, predominantly white elementary school. I was having problems fitting in with my peers while still maintaining my so-called “blackness”. She told me to listen to the album anytime I found myself wondering who I was.
At age 16 I was introduced to Meridian native Big K.R.I.T’s music by his younger brother, my classmate. He would instantly become my favorite rapper and remains so to this day. From X Clan I learned knowledge of the black man’s roots through rap-poetry with no profanity. Because of that album I was “woke” at an early age. Because of Big K.R.I.T I finally had music that glorified my Mississippi upbringing. I had music that spoke completely to my struggle. He finally made it cool to be southern.
Here are my favorite responses to the question, “What Have You Learned From Rap Music?”:
“The struggles and view point of other African Americans/people. How I’m not alone in going through trial and tribulation and that there are others that are going through similar situations. For some they learn to follow their dreams and that just because you grew up in a certain environment doesn’t mean you can’t have success.”
– Stephen Dew, Jackson State student (courtesy of Thee I Love Mass Chat)
“I wouldn’t be me without hip hop. I had a pops but he wasn’t always around and shit basically music raised me. Artists like 2Pac, Lupe, J. Cole, Wale, and Kendrick taught me how to be sincere and that it’s okay to have feelings.”
– Patrick Varnado, Alcorn State student (courtesy of HBCU Nation)
“What I learned from rap music, was to let all your feelings go. Being black comes with so many crazy, angry, cocky, lost feelings. With just a few rhymes and a dope ass beat, stress is somehow alleviated. I mentioned being black because rap music is our culture.”
– Nicole Williams, Jackson State alum (courtesy of Outspoken Arts Collective)
“How to flip bricks, blow bands, catch emotions for strippers, and how to be a gangster.”
– Hannah Burnell, Jackson State student (courtesy of Thee I Love Mass Chat)
I also had a conversation with the Jackson,MS based artist Drevo Coolidge before the end of last year and he had some interesting views as well. He told me that as an artist, when it’s time to rap you have to take all the anger and frustration and pain and happiness and arrogance and put it into a ball and let that raw emotion come out in your lyrics and voice. I think that’s what rap music is all about.
So what have you learned from rap music? Let us know on IG, Facebook or Twitter @thehoodhippiems.