An article in yesterday's Washington Post, very succinctly said what I have been trying to say for some time, and that is, simply, that hip-hop is NOT black culture.
Oh sure, it is one part of our wide and varied culture, but it certainly isn't, or at least SHOULDN'T be the centerpiece. Indeed, hip hop is a sub-culture... and not just a black one, either.
Black culture is a constantly growing component of the wider American cultural garden. A garden in which many things grow... soul-satisfying foods, our churches, our entertainers, scholars, soldiers, jurists, statesmen (and women) and professionals of all sorts. The soil in this garden was prepared, seeded and tended by those who came before us, who intended that we should all be fed, economically, culturally, and spiritually, by the fruits of their labor. We should be fed from that garden and prosper.
Hip hop is is a weed in that garden. Like Poison Ivy, growing in your Azaleas, hip hop has attached itself to black culture and won't let go. Like Poison Ivy can choke and kill your Azalea, Hip Hop has the potential to destroy not only black culture, but our community as well.
Hip hop is a danger because it is a celebration of immorality, poor (or non-existent) values, crime, bad ideals, and low expectations. Worse yet, too many middle-class blacks are clinging to it on some sick grasp at authenticity, also known as "keepin' it real"
Hip hop is overgrowing in our cultural garden and we had better eradicate it now, or we'll never get anything good out of that soil again.
In his article, I think that the most important statement that Chatterton-Williams makes is that "...the glorification of lower-class reality in the Hip hop era has quietly taken the place of white racism as the most formidable obstacle to success and equality in the black middle classes".
I think he is right.