What the critics say and what the artists say are very different…

Posted: December 23, 2010 in Uncategorized

Today we discussed a lot of things. However, the most intense conversations arose when we began to discuss the 10 statements that were made as debatable comments in 2000-2001 about Hip-Hop made by critics and by the artists themselves. Upon discussing these ten statements we found that nothing has really changed since the start of the millennium. All the things that the author said were issues in the past were still issues today.

A few of the statements really stood out to me because of how much we focused on them as a class. One that we just could not get Dionne to agree with us on was that Hip-Hop artists said “We are not role models” and the rest of the class and the critics all agree that they are, whether they like it or not. Our argument for why they are was simple, if you choose to be in the spotlight and you are living the luxurious life of a superstar you should be able to handle this extra title that comes with the role of international Hip-Hop artist. If you are putting yourself in the public eye you have already, without having to verbally state that you are, accepted the responsibility of a role model. Dionne’s argument was that if they don’t ask to be the role models or if they don’t say they are, then they should not be forced into holding such a highly regarded title. She said that they should be able to do what they want and not get in trouble for the sole reason that “they are someone’s role model and their behavior is damaging to others.” Dionne was saying that if they didn’t ask for that responsibility then they can’t get in trouble for that.

An example I wanted to share during class but didn’t get a chance to state was of Minute Bol. Minute Bol was the first player from Sudan to play in the NBA. But aside from being a great player, Bol was also a philanthropist that didn’t forget where he came from. He gave back to the country of Sudan all the time. Basically made himself go bankrupt from all of the donations he made to help improve their education system and economy. Anyway, the reason I bring him up is because one day when he was on one of his trips to Sudan he brought food, clothes, and a message to the people that hit a few harder than others. There were three men that were staying in the shelter where Bol made his speech and donations public who regarded Bol as their hero. When Bol came and spoke he said something along the lines of “Never give up and always chase after your dream because anything is possible and you, my people of Sudan, deserve a better life.” Now, Minute didn’t ask to be anyone’s role model and he didn’t know the influence he was having on all the people. But those three men took what he said and worked so hard for themselves so that they could one day move to America and live the American dream like Bol had done before them. I know all of this because recently I watched an NBA TV special on Minute Bol and the three men were interviewed later. The three men used the words “He was our role model” without Bol knowing. So the point I would like to be made from this verbose example is that whether you are aware of it or not, you, as Hip-Hop superstars, are role models for so many people, especially your fans. Be AWARE!

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