Saturday, November 17, 2007

I'm Sick of These Little Wannabe Thug Bastards!

Someone needs to grab all these little punks by the back of the neck, take them to a maximum security facility and let them talk with the people who have actually committed all the serious, hardcore crimes they idolize and watch them piss their pants!

Maybe then they will realize that the life they're leading right now, is one that ends in jail, dead or as a dredge of civilization.

This venom towards a segment of today's youth comes from two incidents today while I was at work. The first was the little bastard decked in a New Era Cardinals cap - cocked sideways of course - and PNB Nation hoodie that took off like a bat outta hell after stealing a couple movies. The second was the the tilted brim, neck tattoo sporting douchebag who came to the counter and asked "D'you got Menace II Society, yo?" and then was all pumped to go home and watch O-Dogg bust some caps with no idea what the actual message of a film as powerful as Menace truly is. Same goes for Boyz in the Hood...

Seriously, how the fuck did we let our children turn out like this? What the fuck happened?

I'll tell you what happened...

50 Cent happened. Grand Theft Auto happened. Glorification and desensitization of violence, drugs and sex has rotted away the brains of a segment of today's youth and it's goddamn scary. They idolize hip hop artists who glorify "money, cash, hoes" as Jay-Z once rhymed. They think Al Pacino's Scarface is a suitable idol, despite his demise at the end of the film. They think stealing and hustling and being little stick-up kids is a viable occupation, totally oblivious to the damage they do to society, themselves and the people around them. And it sounds corny as hell, but if they're stealing a movie today, next week it's a car and on and on and on until they wind up either dead or in jail. Then it becomes "such a sin what happened to little Johnny..."

Bullshit. The sin is letting it get to this stage in the first place.

Now listen: I'm not going to be another in the long list of people to blame hip hop for all of society's ills. That's too easy and not fair to the incredible artists who have nothing do with this problem - Common, The Roots, Dead Prez and Talib Kweli didn't have nothing to do with this right here...

First and foremost, this is a family issue. Someone along the way that was supposed to steer these kids in the right direction dropped the ball, for whatever reason. Educators too. But after that, a big portion of the blame falls on mass media, some of it's stars and the people that power the machine.

D'you know how hard 50 Cent is now? He's so gully that he lives in Connecticut! That's gangsta!

It's a goddamn shame, but living the Thug Life didn't work out so well for Biggie & Tupac did it?

And all the record executives that want to harp on about freedom of speech can kiss my ass. I'm not saying these bullshit artists poppin' off at the mouth about slinging drugs and bangin' bitches can't say whatever the fuck they please, but that doesn't mean record labels have to put that shit out. No publisher would put out a book of racist poetry would they? Or an instruction manual on how to build bombs? They couldn't do that and then claim freedom of speech without facing the wrath of thousands, so why is this any different?

Unfortunately, the almighty dollar reigns supreme and because such a growing portion of the youth market is drawn to this bullshit - all of it, the music, the image, the bullshit posturing - the cycle just keeps on churning and more and more crap flows into the world. And it's not just music either.

How does a parent let their 7 year old kid play a game like Grand Theft Auto? My old man - for all his shortcomings - would have beat my ass if he caught me playing a game where I could score some drugs, bang hookers in my stolen car and gained points for killing people. When did running around as a little Italian plumber stop being enough?

My solution? I'm taking action - positive action - and getting involved. I'm going to become a Big Brother and perhaps down the road, you know, once this writing thing takes off, do some speaking about topics just like this. If I can help one kid, then I have made a difference. If each of us helps one kid, think of the difference that would make...


Patrick Smith said...

Trash culture is definitely depressing. But I think our reaction to it is precisely why it's there.

I was a punk rock kid and when mainstream types heard (or heard about) Black Flag or the Dead Kennedys, they were disgusted. And that was the whole point. That's been going on for generations.

Hip hop today stinks for a lot of reasons. It's ugly and violent and materialistic. But the people who make that music and listen to it are being further and further marginalized. As the gap between poor and rich gets wider, the tension on the poor side gets higher. That's what drives hip hop, I believe, to make itself completely alien to anyone who's not of that world.

Pop culture has always been disposable. I think when one starts seeing pop culture influenced by generations other than one's own, it starts to make less sense.

What the hell am I talking about? Too much coffee.

stream o' consciousness,

E. Spencer Kyte said...

Smitty My Dear Friend,

The issue I have is with the messages and ideals that are being sent out now. They are not the same messages that were sent out in previous generations... It's not the type of music that I am angered with, it's some of the people and the resulting creations like these little wannabe stick-up kids.

Black Flag didn't talk about drugs, violence and misogyny. Yes, they were anti-establishment and counterculture, but they were also quite intelligent and, like it or not, spreading knowledge to people through their songs.

Hip Hop, at least I don't think, wants to be alien to everyone who is not of the same demographic as the artists. Real hip hop - Common, Talib Kweli, Dead Prez - is intelligent, embracing all cultures and communicates important messages. 50 Cent and his ilk glorify an image and lifestyle that is detrimental and wholly unattainable. If hustlin' was so lucrative, why leave it? Because you either end up dead or in jail, but they'll never tell you that...

Instead, they move to Connecticut, buy big ass mansions and continue to posture like the hardest of the hard...

I can't tell you how glad I was to see Kanye's album smash Curtis...

Chalk said...

Y'all know what THUG LIFE stood for right?

The Hate U Give Little Infants Fucks Everyone.

Now I don't personally plan to be procreating, but if I get custody of a child, that child is going to be growing up on Biggie, Pulp Fiction, Scarface, and lots of other good shit.

The problem isn't pop culture, it's stupid people listening & watching.

Censoring and attacking pop culture isn't going to help, it just makes people want it more. We need to open minds, not just try to keep things out of them.

NA said...

Thanks for not titling this one "the kids are not all right".

I agree with Chalk to a point. Having a two year old and another on the way this topic hits close to home. I want my kids to be educated through their parents enough to know that "trash culture" as it remains today is a form of entertainment not the way you shape your future. I do also agree with some form of censorship because I believe there is no way you can compete with and overcome the media of today without some extra control.
I was always somewhat censored as a child. I couldn't watch whatever I wanted. I couldn't listen to whatever I wanted and I sure as hell couldn't hang out at the mall
after school. This did not mean I was a sheltered child or was ever bored. I had plenty to do within my little censored bubble.

So a fine mix of the two ideas? Can it be done? Semi-Censored and well educated children?
Im going to give it a shot. I will let you know how it pans out in about 18 years.