It’s been nearly 40 years since hip hop burst on the scene and took over the music world to become one of the most popular genre’s in the world. Despite its humble beginnings, the culture has gone global. Although it began as party music and a way for urban youths to share their perspective on the world, it has since become a billion-dollar industry that has had serious affects on young people around the world.
While many see hip hop as just art, a means of expression, others see it as a force that has had both very positive and very negative affects on our communities.
Recently, Dr. Boyce Watkins and Dr. Michael Eric Dyson debated artist accountability in hip hop. The pair often took opposing views on the matter with Dr. Watkins calling out rappers for their lyrics, and Dr. Dyson defending them.
In his opening, Dr. Watkins that he admits he hates Lil Wayne. He says, “I hate him, because I love him. I hate him because his music is so good, that you can’t help but to like it.”
Dr. Watkins goes on to say, “Lil Wayne is possibly the most powerful mega-pastor in America. He’s just preaching the gospel of hatred and self-destruction and kids are just eating it up.”
Dr. Dyson, on the other hand, has a different view. Instead of blaming rappers, he’d rather look at the system that continues to cause the problems reflected in hip hop.
He told the crowd, “I think we can speak about accountability in very serious, while acknowledging all of the critiques that Professor Watkins expressed here today, and still not throw the baby out with the bath water.”
Check out the video and let us know what you think.
Should artists be held more accountable for the music they produce…or…is it all just entertainment?