Why hip-hop deserves more credit


Rapper and producer K. Flay calls her work “very introspective”

Shiva Mirzahaidar, Voice Editor

As hip-hop continues to grow amongst teenagers, so does parental disapproval from adults and even other students. However, the stimulating and expressive lyrics seem to be overlooked.

Common misconceptions about hip-hop include that the genre itself promotes sexism, racism, violence and other derogatory themes. However, these negative influences found in a small fraction of the songs are not an accurate representation of the genre itself.

After listening to several mainstream and underground hip-hop albums, death, fear, hopes, depression, love, heartbreak and other thoughtful subjects seem to be common threads throughout tracks. These raw and real matters are openly presented, giving off the message to listeners that it is important and perfectly acceptable to dig deeper within yourself to help understand your surroundings.

As I look into the lyrics of artists such as K. Flay, Dj Shadow and Aesop Rock, I notice that they resemble the poetry that has been presented in my English classes. Literature should have no limits; no set of rules that defines what is going to connect with someone or not.

Slam, a genre of modern day poetry, seems to be the main influence behind modern day hip-hop artists, as their lyrics are made up of powerful, yet simply-stated verses. By presenting profound themes through easy to listen to songs, younger generations experience the world of literature through lyrics and beats, making them easier to understand.

Hip-hop is one of the few ways to get younger generations to be a part of poetry and promote self-expression and creativity. The importance of using creativity to voice opinions and views seems to get lost amongst students overwhelmingly busy lives. Reading for fun seems to be a lost concept. Yet listening to a Kanye album seems like a way to escape and feel acknowledged and heard. People should listen to hip-hop for the same reason they pay attention to any other form of art: to grasp some idea of the world around them.