When something happens in South Central LA, nothing happens……
If the rest of the words to this lyric roll off your tongue, chances are you grew up listening to one of the most notorious rap groups in history, NWA. This group and their music was part of the emergence into adulthood for myself and many others. However, the problem is that far too many have not understood the difference between image and acting (another Dr. Dre reference). Far too many of today’s and even yesterday’s youth get caught up in life imitating art.
The very people who brought us those and similar lyrics have learned from their circumstances and have escaped from their conditions. Dr. Dre is a multi-millionaire (billionaire?) through his music and Beats product, Ice Cube is making family friendly movies (go figure!) and Snoop was hosting a game show and has another show with Martha Stewart! Ice Cube, real name O’Shea Jackson, made sure that his children didn’t have to have the same struggles that he did and provided an opportunity for his son, O’Shea Jackson Jr. to become an actor.
Sadly, we recently saw the life of rapper Nipsey Hussle tragically come to an end. Honestly, I never heard of him or his music. But that doesn’t mean I can’t mourn the loss of another life, another father taken from his children, another black man gunned down, by apparently another black man. We must do something, and can no longer watch as people engage in this reckless nonsense. But what are the solutions? I have a big one. A serious look at the music is necessary and long past due. We can start by refusing to listen to any product which glorifies that lifestyle. One suggestion is boycotting the record label in full or any parent company which puts this trash out there. Hit them all in the pockets. That’s something they understand.
I do know that opportunities must avail themselves in certain environments and people must be willing to take advantage of them whenever they are presented. Some of the members of NWA have taken full advantage of those opportunities and made sure that their children have access to them, even if it cost 70 million dollars as reported by eonline.com.
My heart is saddened by the loss of this man at 33 years old. He was gunned down in front of his store and presumably in front of his child. It seems as if he was trying to better himself and escape his past by becoming an entrepreneur and dedicated father. My heart breaks for the murderer who thought the best way to handle a dispute was to end it permanently even if it cost him his life through either retaliation or prison. I certainly hope that the man who did this heinous act was not stupid enough to broadcast it to the world as reported by TMZ.
For some, the rap game isn’t a game at all, it’s a matter of life and death. We all must take a serious look at the toll that this genre of music is playing upon those who don’t understand what those messages and images represent. When something happens in South Central LA, Chicago, NYC, Hartford, CT or wherever, something IS happening and we, the community, must take notice and actively do something about it.