Remember when everyone in rap music was down with the ‘Bloods’ streetgang except Snoop. That shit drove me fucking bananas. I know all these dudes aren’t banging on other dudes [ll]. I mean, sure some of these rap dudes are banging other dudes but… I digress.
There was this little vignette in time when Lil’ Wayne, Juelz Santana, Game, Fat Joe and a few other rap stars were claiming the Blood set. Since I’m on this whole SlaughterHouse x rap vampire shit this week I thought I could keep shit popping with the ‘blood’ theme. Where has all the love in mainstream rap music gone for gang culture?
Someone in the recording industrial complex decided that rappers with a jail stint on their resume were more marketable than say, someone who managed to accomplish nothing while in his parent’s basement for the past 10 years. Even if the dude in jail ended up spending his time as a MayTag. This turned out to be a very poor marketing strategy as opposed to say, simply producing great music.
No one has more street cred than Detroit’s Trick Trick. No one will also have more unpurchased albums in the Auburn Hills BestBuy. The days of gimmicky artist programs has hopefully wound itself down in the label offices. Lyrics have returned to the top of the heap. KanYe is murdering every single feature he touches. Raekwon is going to punch everyone in the mouth and SlaughterHouse is, well, SlaughterHouse.
Just because rappers have stopped espousing the rotating prison door lifestyle doesn’t mean that we don’t have a generation of Black and Brown youth dealing with those realities on the daily because they thought that this would be the way they would a) become adults, b) develop courage and c) achieve their dream of being in the music business. Most of these kids will never know the doors that have been shut to them because they have been to jail.
Gang culture going out of style in rap music makes sense to me because rap is so much a part of American pop culture that all trends are recucled and re-sold constantly. There hasn’t been a decline in young people going to jail though. Poverty in America is still the first and foremost creator for crime and decay. The idea that kids will be joining the ranks of the Bloods and Crips less isn’t the answer.
Kids will just create a group that mirrors their values and matches whatever cartoon they are watching. Trust me on that one. The damage that was needed to be completed has been set up. See how many of your friends will come under the control of the government (state property) if they aren’t already. In the meanwhile, the youngest listeners and viewers are being visually programmed to wear their kid sister’s dungarees (no Kid Sister).
Wu-Tang NEVER told me to go to jail.
Wu-Tang is for the kids.