In fact, not all hip-hop music is lewd or violent. Artists such as, Common, De La Soul and Digable Planets, are known for their positive and political lyrics. In the same vein, 9-year-old Amor “Lilman” Arteaga — whose rap “Pull Ya Pants Up” went viral — uploaded “Stop Da Violence” on YouTube on Saturday, in tribute to the victims of Sandy Hook.
T.I. believes this latest massacre is just another example of why conventional stereotypes need to be rejected “The people who look like me are not necessarily are the ones to be looked at,” he said. “There is a different enemy in America right now.”
Julia Beverly, who heads the hip-hop publication Ozone, agrees. “Members of the hip-hop community have grieved for the children and teachers killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School much like the rest of the country,” she said.
“If anything, this incident and others like it show that gun violence is not a problem limited to the inner cities or caused by hip-hop music; it is a product of our violent society as a whole and a problem that affects us all.”
“At the end of the day hip-hop is smaller than say something like Rock and Roll, which is global,” said Political Ron, founder of up-and-coming Philadelphia-based hip-hop group Allegheny Doughboys.
“Rock and Roll is more violent than hip-hop. No rap group slaughters animals on stage.”
Instead of simply criticizing hip-hop culture, it’s important to think about what produces these lyrics, said Hagins, who is a former public school teacher. “If people are living in poverty or lack opportunities they are more likely to sell drugs or rob people.”
“When we talk about guns we’re not trying to glorify them,” said Political Ron. “It’s what we see on a daily basis. We’ve trying to empower people to do something, we don’t make the rules.”
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