The music of my community is rap and hip-hop. Each element of my community including my friends, the school I attend, and the city that I reside in is permeated by the sounds, beats, and lyrics of hip-hop music culture.
I know countless rappers and producers, who make beats and mixtapes and are constantly developing their own identity through their music. To them it becomes more of a lifestyle and less of a hobby or musical endeavor. This is the same for me, as it has taken over my life. I read about it, research it and most importantly experience it. It is not something that I simply put on and listen to, I analyze it and soak in every note and lyric. This is why it hurts me so much to see other musicians and patrons of music criticize and stereotype it. The critics say that it degrades women, and that it negatively affects todays youth by promoting violence and other negative habits. It is a blatantly unfair stereotype that comes from a lack of perception as well as lack of understanding.
Hip-hop music is inspiring, unique, and uplifting. Unfortunately due to a lack of creativity as well as greed by record labels the songs that reflect this rarely receive air time on the radio or popular TV channels like MTV. The further you dig into the music the more you break the stereotype and the more you understand the true purpose and affect of hip-hop music.