A quick thought on hip-hop culture

This is one of those thoughts that has been kicking around in my head for a while that hopefully won’t get me in trouble.

So, since I was exposed to Christian hip-hop recently, I’ve been thinking about hip-hop culture. Folks like Lecrae, Trip Lee, or Thi’sl are always decrying the state of the black community, especially the glorification of sin that is a part of hip-hop culture. Just think about the stereotypical rap video: barely-dressed women draped over some rapper who is dripping with gold chains and giant jewelry, maybe driving down the street in a car with shiny rims, maybe smoking a joint or drinking from a champagne bottle. (Now, perhaps I’m a bit out of touch with the current scene, though, honestly, I couldn’t bring myself to go poking around too much for music videos to illustrate my point.)

And so, we look at this sort of thing and shake our heads in disgust. The filth! The depravity! The degradation of women! And, yeah, it’s all true.

Ah yes, the hip-hop dream: money, sex, and power, all on display. But then I ask myself, “How is this really different than rest of America?” Look at the mainstream culture. Think about the movies, the music, the magazines. Maybe the skin color is lighter, but aren’t there the same trends? Barely-dressed women, offering themselves? Fast cars? Pompous displays of wealth and power?

When you stop and think about it, we’re all chasing the same paper and lusting after the same things. Hip-hop culture is just more honest about it. (Well, it’s also gaudier in its pursuit, but that’s not really relevant.)

So, once again, the problem isn’t race or class or wealth. The problem is sin. And the answer, for both black and white, rich or poor, is repentance and faith in Jesus.

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3 responses to “A quick thought on hip-hop culture

  • jon

    in a sense, I think ‘whiter’ folks dislike the hip-hop scene for all the reasons you mentioned (the nice cars, the money, objectification of women), but i think one of the bigger reasons we tend to dislike the hip-hop culture is because it loudly parades the same vices we’re guiltily trying to disguise as ‘class’.

  • John

    I totally agree with you on this.

    The same traps in different, *ehrm*, trappings.

    The gospel is needed in the inner city, and at the Lexus dealership.

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