Why Dumb Down?

In my opinion, the most ignorant thing you can tell a person is to purposely “dumb it down.” Still, I’ve heard people say this to rappers; I’ve heard people who write scripts for television shows and movies say this; and Jay Stephens, the VP of Programming for Radio One, and a morning show coach named Steve Reynolds said something similar to me.

They said, and I quote, “The 18-34 demographic in urban radio doesn’t want to be enlightened, they want to have fun!”

I explained to them that this is the Barack Obama Era. People want to be educated, enlightened, as well as entertained. The higher ends of my demo are watching CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News more than ever. We had the highest youth voter turnout ever in the history of the U.S. during the last presidential election so that showed that our demo cares about things other than Lil Wayne or Drake.

I was told by Jay Stephens and Steve Reynolds that I was wrong, and to quote Jay directly: “20-year-old Black kids are still watching Nickelodeon.”

Really, Jay, 20-year-old kids?

At 20, most young people are in college, some young people are even married with families with kids who are watching Nickelodeon. These guys really think that we are so dumbed down that we’re watching Nickelodeon at 20-years old? I proceeded to tell them stop insulting my culture and left another meeting with them shaking their heads like, “He just doesn’t get it.”

They’re right, I don’t.

I can’t understand the mentality of this society that makes bright, intelligent people tell other bright, intelligent people to “dumb it down.” I totally get giving it to the people in a way that they will understand. It’s called putting the medicine in the candy, but all that “Fuck that intelligent shit, give people the dummy shit” talk, makes absolutely no since to me.

When I first started studying the 5 Percent teachings of Islam one of the first things they teach you is to show your greatest intelligence at all times. I feel like this is the way we should move all the time whether we’re doing radio, comedy, television, music or whatever. Show your greatest intelligence at all times.

I hear people call Gucci Mane, Waka Flocka, and Soulja Boy dumb. They aren’t dumb; they’re just giving you what they know. I enjoy their music when I’m in the club the same way I enjoy Pillsbury Big Deluxe Cookies on my cheat days Friday and Saturday. The rest of the week I’m working out and eating things that are healthier for me.

Jay Electronica, Killer Mike and the Strong Arm Steady Gang are the people I’m into. They don’t dumb shit down for nobody, but they’re still human so they rap from a human experience. You’re going to hear them talk about sex, how fly a chick is, or blowing on some good green. We aren’t perfect, we’re just spiritual beings living a human existence and we have that kind of balance. Elijah Muhammad said it best, “You’re not going to walk through the mud and not get dirty.”

But back to the point I was trying to make…

  • http://Pierzy11@gmail.com Pierzy

    I feel the point you’re making (and agree to a point) but it’s hard to take the position seriously when you mistake the difference between to, too & two.

    ‘In my opinion, the most ignorant thing you can tell a person is TOO purposely “dumb it down.”’

    Or, maybe you were dumbing it down for us for the sake of irony?

    • Avenger XL

      HA HA funny

      I still won’t proof read my comments. Cause I am a lazy bastard and this is a freaking message board not a literature class.

      He is correct and if anybody doesn’t see that let me know so I can dumb it down LOL

    • Truth Be Told

      Unless I missed something, “too” (which means “also” or to describe something as excessive) would not be used properly in a sentence that states,
      “In my opinion, the most ignorant thing you can tell a person is TOO purposely “dumb it down.”

      Son’s post used “to” correctly, yet you corrected him by using “too” incorrectly.

      Unless I missed something…

      • http://Pierzy11@gmail.com Pierzy

        Yeah, you did miss something.

        “The most ignorant thing you can a person is ALSO purposely dumb it down”? That makes zero sense. Go back to your grammar book.

        • Truth Be Told

          Son, did u even read what I said cause u just made the same point that I did.

          “In my opinion, the most ignorant thing you can tell a person is to purposely “dumb it down.” — That’s the first sentence of his blog.

          How is that sentence grammatically incorrect????

          I’m saying… did they go back and spell check this shit after you left a comment cause I don’t see anything incorrect about the use of “to”.

          Normally I wouldn’t even respond to all this but since the piece is about “Dumbing Down” I figure we can take a minute to make sure everybody’s at least on an 8th grade reading level.

          One Love

        • http://Pierzy11@gmail.com Pierzy

          Yes, they did change it after my comment. It was ‘too’ and now it’s ‘to.’ It is now correct.

  • harmen

    yeah i’m 16 and i rap, and sometimes i have to dumb down so my friends know what i’m talking about, it really is sad to see how uninformed and stupid the media has made the average person

  • http://www.facebook.com/maxprofit Max Profit

    “The higher ends of my demo are watching CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News more than ever”

    Aw man all three of those channels deal in some serious tricknology!

    As far as dumbing it down goes, you need simple ass rappers. When I was a kid I loved the Fat Boys and as I got older I listened to more “serious” rappers.

    People like to get high and have fun. Nobody likes depressing music. Somtimes these so-called lyrical rappers just kill your buzz!!

    Lupe & Mos Def are good examples of how to be “lyrical” without losing the fun part of Hip Hop!

  • freakzilla504

    Fuck that 5% bullshit and fuck the illuminati

  • Jhon da Analyst

    Gee what happen to that Precious post, C tha God?? Yep, just as I figured and none of the dummies on here even realize what’s going on. @Freakzilla504…….don’t you have to go build some new houses in the 9th ward or somethin

  • buffalo_soldier667

    The more I heard human the most I love my dog.

  • http://bones_42@hotmail.com doobie42

    most pretentious article i’ve ever read.

  • John Cochran

    I kinda agree with Profit, sometimes super lyrical rappers don’t know how to have fun. Nas is my favorite artist, but I can’t lie and say I would throw his shit on at a party. What’s wrong with the game now is there’s an oversaturation of one side without the other. There’s too much silly shit going on now. The powers that be are seriously out of touch.

    I agree with C tha God’s comment about Christmas though. I tried to school my wife on the reason for the season, she was too busy running around spending money to actually realize what the holiday is about. All my people with kids, stop telling them that santa claus shit. Christms is about Jesus, if you’re not Christian you shouldn’t be celebrating.

    • Buddywhite

      i agree with you on the santa claus shit. But how is christmas about “Jesus”? Where in the bible does it mention December 25th as THE day to celebrate Jesus. BTW, im n ot flaming, i seriously want you to direct me to this scripture. . .

      • John Cochran

        Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Christ. It doesnt say anything in the bible about Dec. 25, the holiday itself is man made. Some historians say Jesus was actually born in spring, but it doesnt matter. Thats the day we’ve designated, so even if someone were to choose thier own day to celebrate Christ’s birth, it still would have nothing to do with a fat white man, or fighting someone in walmart over a 42″ inch TV.

        • BuddyWhite

          if. you. say. so. . .

        • lala

          Christmas is a PAGAN holiday, do your research, Jesus has nothing to do with it

  • venemez

    The ratio of Dumb to Smart is approx. 3 Dumb to 1 Smart.

    So should you go after the 66% of the Dumb peps money or the 33% of the Smart peps money?

  • John Cochran

    I kinda agree with Profit, sometimes super lyrical rappers tend to get boring. Nas is my favorite MC, but I’d be lying if I said I’d throw his shit on at a party. There has to be an equal mixture of everything. The powers that be don’t understand that, they’d rather oversaturate the game with one style. They think we’re mindless. I can’t lie, some of us are.

    And about C Tha God’s Comment on Christmas, I absolutely agree. All my people with kids, stop with the Santa shit. CHRISTmas is about Christ, if you’re not Christain, you have nothing to celebrate.

    • El Tico Loco

      Co sign the Christmas comment I refuse to max my cards at the end of every year to give the credit to some imaginary fat white man, tell your kids “I bought that shit and I’m still paying for it”

  • http://www.jamal7mile.blogspot.com Jamal7Mile

    One of the greatest Hip-Hop acts ever is Public Enemy. They never dumbed down anything as far as the music goes (Flavor of Love is not a part of Public Enemy). They have great music, stage shows, production, DJ, lyrics, message, knowledge, etc. They aren’t boring to me. WHAT HAPPENED?

    On my first day of 8th grade in Pre-Algebra class, I opened my text and had absolutely no ideal what A+1=4 meant. But I listened to the teacher that day and did the homework that night and found out what it meant. For some reason nowadays, the students don’t want to do the homework to find out what the teachers (lyrical emcees) are trying to say. Just do the damned homework! You just may surprise yourself and realize that knowledge is fun (entertaining).

    Oh yeah, A=3.

  • http://museiciansnotes.blogspot.com MusEician

    Honestly, I’ve been saying the same thing to people, but a lot of times I just feel like it falls on deaf ears. The point about oversaturation is exactly right, and I wouldn’t exactly put Nas or Lupe (yes I’m a huge Lupe fan…) on at a party either, but that’s the whole point. So many artists are looking for money instead of perfecting their craft, and way too many are dumbing down and thus numbing the minds of the listeners as well as making themselves look dumb.

    I use the example of Plies: the man can speak intelligently, and people are actually criticizing him for it.

    I guess ignorance is cool.

  • http://-- gaddic

    Completely agree with this post

    @Max profit
    What the hell was that?
    “sometimes so called lyrical rappers kill your buzz”

    You fools are the reason crunk and ringtone fake rap music was created!

    Wanna dance in the club?
    listen Lady gaga and Black eyed peas

    Every super-lyrical rappers has dropped quality “happy” party tracks

    Andre 300 – Hey ya BOB Mrs. Jackson
    Busta Rhymes – Touch it, Put your hands..
    Eminem- Without Me
    and the list goes on

  • devi gargon

    In the eighties, me and sis could hear kid music or adult music. Its like music now is only made for that 18 to 24 demographic. Its insulting to me. And that Nickelodeon comment has me enraged. I haven’t seen that shit in almost 20 years. How do we redevelop a dumbed down industry. How do we inject intelect. And how do we get these tastemakers to stop signing these dudes built for 15 minutes, and start finding the guys who carry the torch. 2010, and still the best rappers are from the 90′s.

  • El Tico Loco

    The PD’s might be surprised to find out how many people in their target demo wouldn’t mind some extra lyrical content after all if you’re listening to radio more than likely you’re driving and you gonna pay just as much attention to a hot 16 as much as you would the news and traffic when you’re behind the wheel, which is kinda hypocritical, if the target audience still watches Nickelodeon then why are you broadcasting news?

  • C. Hop

    it seems that they keep feeding the target demographic what they think they want without even listening, understanding or interacting with them. and the 20 year old niggaz watching nickelodeon regularly sounds like a fox news/pat robertson made up fact to support what they think anyway. Sounds like people need to really read up on the history of Christmas and get educated.

  • http://tonygrands@blogspot.com Tony Grands

    I hear you, C. In a perfect world, all logical things would be just that.

    Don’t worry, though. When you get your own shit up & start running things, you’ll have your platform.

  • MorganWacka

    lol I’m so mad I added Wacka to my name. What can I say. That song fuels my inner reckless hood. No shade to Wacka and get well…

    Anyway.

    I agree with Charlamagne about people rapping from experience. The same way I get annoyed when critics ridicule Soulja Boy, I get annoyed when they ridicule Drake or Kanye. Art is a manifestation of past experiences and dreams of desired future experiences. If Drake doesn’t rap about the same thing The Game does, its because he CANNOT. And if he did he’d be a charlatan. He hasn’t experienced and doesn’t desire the same things. And he clearly has a following. So let him rock…

    If one’s critique is of so called “gangsta rap” or “violent rap” then their critique is misguided. Poverty, lack of exposure, institutionalized racism has to be eliminated first.

    But I digress… I like all types of music. And I mean ALL types. You’ll find Kanye, Wale, Trick Daddy on my iPod just as easily as you’ll find Winehouse, U2, Lily Allen and Enya. I appreciate music for what it is. Depending on my mood, different artists, genre’s pique my interest. Sometimes Drake annoys me so I put on Donk for shits and giggles and FUN. Either way. I like learning and understanding other’s POV and life experiences, which is easily showcased in the art they produce.

    WISE UP PEOPLE and just enjoy music.

    As far as the execs claiming “20-year-old Black kids are still watching Nickelodeon.” STFU and F*** your life and all that you stand for. I just turned 21 and maybe I still laugh at Spongebob (that show is edgier than most realize though lol), but I read The Economist, and watch CNN, and MoneyTalks, and have a functioning, ingenious, and valuable mind and an Ivy League DEGREE.

    Rant over.

    Good blog post Charlamagne.

  • Curtis75Black

    I feel you Charlamagne but if this Era of fans was to really listen to what we was listening to back in Hip Hop’s early years, they would trip !! “You Talk to Much”, “Big Mouth”, “All you can Eat”, “You can’t Dance”. And those 4 examples are from the more prominent emcees that made a killing !! We must’ve forgot we used to dance back in the day. Hip Hop wasn’t so serious to the point where we wasn’t having fun. As far as the 20 year old watching a Kids channel, Fuck that !! Might be playing video games though. Funny how the “Dumb it Down” phrase came from Jay-Z, everyones “So-called” current favorite.

    • El Tico Loco

      c75b

      That’s a bad comparison because you’re talking about an era when that’s ALL we had as far as hip hop is concerned and you would be glad to hear even one rhyme on the radio without staying up til midnight, plus for every “All u can eat”, “You can’t dance”, “Big Mouth”, or “You Talk too Much” there was a “Stick em”, “Rock the Bells”, “5 min of funk”, or “Darryl and Joe” and they were all danceable to whatever move was out then. Now the programmers think there’s only one formula for success and they’re failing terribly look at Soundscan the mainstream artists aren’t doing any better than the undergrounds.

      • Curtis75Black

        @Tico,

        I wasn’t comparing. I was stating that we had those type of tracks and to say ” that’s all we had” is false because with those tracks, those emcees was also spittin’ real shit on the rest of the album. What I was trying to say is that we grew up on danceable Hip Hop tracks, so what’s the problem now ? Hip Hop didn’t start with Nas and Illmatic or Wu-Tand and 36 Chambers !! 2Pac with all of his passionate lyrics was also ripping the “Same Song” with Digital Underground. Was KRS dumbing it down with “I’m dreaming about being a Blunt”? Sometimes I feel we forget about all the elements of Hip Hop and just focus on a few. Hip Hop isn’t just about bobbing your head and rewinding the track to quote what Eminem just said over Dre Production and even he gets stupid with his 1st singles !! Is he dumbing down ? Now of course I agree, that isn’t the only formula that programmers should use but we’ve been dealing with that since Hip Hop was allowed on the radio “Suckers Never Play Us”

        • El Tico Loco

          So we’re saying the same thing. lol But like they say in is all in the presentation, effrort and execution, and lately artists don’t show effort some I wonder what would they write or recite about if they never had a dime.

      • http://www.facebook.com/maxprofit Max Profit

        “That’s a bad comparison because you’re talking about an era when that’s ALL we had as far as hip hop is concerned”

        I don’t know how old you are so I can’t blame you but we had very serious rappers back in the day that got overshadowed by the fun loving stuff. Just like it is now!

        Think about the young kids, they need music also. This so-called “dumb it down” music brings in the youth, and nobody is a kid forever.

        • El Tico Loco

          I was only refering to radioplay of course that’s why I went on to say that for every “You talk too much” there’s a “Darryl and Joe” which can still be played to this day. If wanted to hear some serious shit you had to stay up all night with the record button on pause waiting on the hot shit so you can play it during the day. Other than that you had to go to the back of the record stores for 12″ and the silly and serious shit would be there together and if you saw a rapper of any kind on TV you would go ape shit because it was rare.

  • Joe

    The sad part is that the more it saturates everyday hip hop, the more it WILL get into your brain and afect how u listen to stuff.

    Pefect example is the cookie example. To add on, its kinda like the avg person and fast food. If theres a fast food restaurant on every corner, and the healthy spot/grocery store is 5 miles away, more and more u are gonna eat McyD’s.

  • http://planbshows.com Delvis

    wow is Jay Stephens A white man telling black folks that all we watch is nickolodeon thats a little racist to me!!!And I am VERY OFFENDED BY THAT STATEMENT!!!!!

  • Worley

    “20-year-old Black kids are still watching Nickelodeon.”

    Negative. I didn’t even watch that bullsh*t when I was 10.

  • http://www.bboycult.com $ykotic/Don McCaine

    “20-year-old Black kids are still watching Nickelodeon.”

    “The 18-34 demographic in urban radio doesn’t want to be enlightened, they want to have fun!”

    ^ FU Jay

    • Detroit P

      Ayo Syk i saw you fucked with that freestyle i posted on nahright…I got some more shit you can hear and tell me what you think about it.

      But also there are tons of 20 year olds that still watch Nickelodeon and Cartoon network…Spongebob and Flapjack are GREAT cartoons…being able to enjoy the simplicities of life doesnt make you immature or childish.

      and Hate it or Love it, he’s right most people in genral dont wanna be enlightened, really ask yourself, how many people do you come across that are ignorant about a plethora of things and could care less as long as the shallow short term things in their lives are taken care of….you guys give people too much credit

      • http://www.bboycult.com $ykotic/Don McCaine

        *2nd post*

        I know he’s right. The FU is for taking advantage.

        Click the name and leave the music there homie. You surprised me with the 3rd verse.

  • insanegenius

    I agree with all you cats but it ain’t just the rap shit or the black shit. I’m a screen writer and they tell us the same thang. Don’t make the script too intelligent dumb it down, that’s why you got all these silly ass movies makin a trillion dollars. If the movie has special effects in it then it’s gonna make that money no matter how dumb the story is. The best television show ever THE WIRE didn’t win any awards. AKEELA THE BEE made five dollars at the box office. THE DEBATERS, and so and so on. Television is ridiculous, the only thing that I watch now is sports. As far rap goes these mofos ain’t rappin’ about their experiences they rappin about shit someone told them. Most of them fake, studio gangsters rappin bout shit they know will MAKE A BUCK.

    • http://www.bboycult.com $ykotic/Don McCaine

      Even in Inglorious Basterds they say and show how Hitler used movies for propaganda. America did the same too, see John Wayne.

      There’s always been a rumor that they (Hollywood) refuse to make an Elijah Muhammad movie yet have seen many scripts. There shouldn’t be anyway that Spike cannot get financing for anything he does, or the Hughes Brothers. These men have put out profitable movies and still can’t do big business.

  • Brooklyn

    it depends on your level of intellect, not your age, which type of music you enjoy. rap started to take a turn for the worse around the time that i was 14, and while my peers were getting crunk and shit, i was digging in my father and older cousins’ crates looking for old school shit that was more appropiate for my intelligence. i’ve never been a clubber, never been a partier, never been a dancer, so all that type of music never appealed to me. you can be 20 and still watch nickelodeon, but that don’t mean you trying to hear some bullshit music all day. hell, i’m 22 and i watch cartoon network and boomerang, but at the same time i can school a nigga on history, philosophy, theology, as well as rap, rock, the blues, and jazz. i like to be enlightened, i enjoy acquiring new mental wealth, and i enjoy my music to be intelligent enough that i don’t feel my iq lowering by listening to it. some people seem to think that fun music can’t be lyrical, but that’s not true. a tribe called quest was fun, leaders of the new school were fun, special ed was fun, but their music retained it’s intelligence and intellect. and for the record, more white 20 yr olds watch nickelodeon than black 20 yr olds. sadly, many black 20 yr olds are addicted to black extermination television.

  • mousie

    I believe I remember you speaking on this before but can’t remember when. I agreed with you then and I agree with you now. The groups out when there was more variety in Hip Hop helped to inspire many to seek out an education. Sparked a desire for it in some. These individuals have now grown into intelligent, productive and successful adults. I’m glad you spoke out and remain unswayed in your stance.

    “Show your greatest intelligence at all times” will stay with me. Excellent job.

  • http://www.merc80.com Merc80

    I’m 27, have a master’s degree, and I still watch Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, and other cartoon movies.
    Know why?
    Cause the shit is more creative and intelligent than these fucking “reality” shows.
    Peep my blog on what young people are actually listening to, the answers might shock you.
    http://merc80.com/?p=13

    • Curtis75Black

      Damn, I loved those video interviews Man !! That was truly the shit !! I guess the just of it is, don’t be fooled by what they play on the radio and the demographics you see on 106 & Park because it might not be the case. They young High Schoolers ain’t fuckin’ with today’s music either. They on some Talib, ATCQ, Biggie, Jay-Z and Curtis Mayfield type shit. Music with some kind of substance. I know, you as the interviewer was shocked by these responses. They not even turning on the radio!! Deep shit. We all should peep it.

      • http://www.facebook.com/maxprofit Max Profit

        Good point! Teenagers don’t dig todays music.
        Imma older head so I aint tryin to hear the 90′s come back. It was cool while it lasted but i listen to the type of hip hop niggas didn’t make in the 90′s.

  • NotoriousAGC

    I also have to agree with Charlamagne tha god, It’s not that “dumbing it down” wasn’t done back then, only that back then it wasn’t mainstream as it is now, now rapper’s don’t even complete full sentences let me give one example:
    AYE AYE OK AYE AYE BURRR”, and THAT was said by a GUEST BLOGGER in XXL, if that isn’t “DUMBING DOWN” i don’t know what is, and Eminem being silly with his singles doesn’t discredit him from making Real songs(and i’m not a em stan far from it).

  • ShowTIme

    Dope Blog read that shit so fast. A very easy read.

    http://www.myspace.com/showtimeny

    I dont dumb down shit. Dumbing down is having an off day. lol.

    I roll like a rock but Im rough around my edges
    Tell true green to Hem me Up
    No Lie got a Drive Like a Hemmi Truck
    I can Scalp you like Indian wit my Semi Tuck
    As A high school dude the jewels was foolish
    Now Im natural like Erb from the Ground
    But I shine like Rims that move around
    Like Planets around the sun
    Too many Hamlets tryna get it done
    See the Sun, Knows his place, So the Planets fall in line
    Alcoholic Mind, I burn with Proof
    Trees and LIks the evidence of my Hardnock life
    Had a killer by side and made it my wife
    A down Bitch she Hang wit me when I bang with Niggas
    A loud bitch but Dress her up, she get Quiet
    I was taught why buy if you can Supply it
    So the only thing I bought Musical was a Mic , in Eight Years
    On my Grizzy like Eight Bears, I Shakes Spears, I make motherfucker wanna make Eight Swears
    Im Like a Veggie burger, I just want the Doe Fuck the Beef
    Gotta thing for that Hide and Seek
    Hoes nosy but Im So Discreet
    I can Fuck Her and her friend and they both don’t know it
    So poet, So Stoic, Im like seeds un planted one to grow wit
    From, friends with guns who asked me to hold it
    To stages, I appeared flowing, to my first car, to that trip in that sky in that Boeing
    Like the Statue of liberty cant keep me from Pointing to the Sky
    Wouldnt Know how to do so If I try

  • G!

    Hip Hop is the only music that they ask artist to do this. The club is not everything. We are at a real pivotal point in history and if you watch bet or listen to your local radio station you wouldn’t know. Most black people are not even interested in global issues, or even adjusting to a more global society. Most Black people are severly uninformed, and as a result will fall behind the rest of the world as far as competitiveness goes. You have immigrants coming over speaking more than one language. I have heard black people look down on that like “Why would I wanna do that?” “Them niggas better speak english?” or something along those lines. Totally refuting the fact that english is not your original language as a race, nor is Christianity or Islam (no dis respect intended I dnt discriminate), and any other portions of our so called “culture”… (Soul Food, or over indulgence in careers in entertainment and sports). We need to seperate ourselves as a people to earn real respect globally. The longer a nigga “dont wanna hear that sh**”, or think that everything is supposed entertain you. The More steps we take backward as a people. We went from Egypt (Kamit), Nubia (Kush), Kingdoms in South and West Africa (Mali, Zimbabwe, Ghana), Indus Kush (Original peoples of India before Aryan Invasion) To a group of people that don’t even associate with their native land, mistake the culture that was given to them with their culture (something that the original slaves died trying to preserve). Dont get we wrong we definitely need balance, but in our case the scale is overly tilted toward the club, smoking, drinking,and way too much attention on sex(its cool to talk about but we over do it). All things that distract us from what is really going on.

  • G!

    Oh Yea and I watch Bloomberg most of the time not CNN or MSNBC or Fox. I check on them, but Bloomberg is more unbias and focused on actual news that informs you about what going on economically in the world. And their journalist dont purposely mislead people!

    • http://www.facebook.com/maxprofit Max Profit

      True Dat!

  • caino

    You gotta trust your audience!!! if they dont get it , then they aint supposed to get it!! There is no need to dumb down everytime ! thats why our kids are growing up dumb!!

  • http://sn3akrfr3akr.blogspot.com sn3akrfr3akr

    I think we’re overlooking the point and spending too much time on grammar correction. I applaud everyone who noticed, though – because that means you’re educated enough to know the difference. In the age of texting and Twitter- it seems like everyone’s trying to shorten expression to 140 characters. Charlemagne is totally correct. Sometimes like me, it takes graduating high school and moving to higher learning to realize how much we dumb ourselves down to fit the molds of society. It’s those who break those molds, though – who are memorable and who make history. Reference Rihanna, Jay Z, The Dream – people who were innovative in the music industry. Who remembers any of the copycats? I sure don’t. Never reduce yourself to less than you are worth – for instead of being a great soup, you’ll end up being a simple broth. God bless.

  • http://www.hiphophopedealers.com Mark P

    Great post. I agree with your position. I think everyone can agree that we don’t want to see artist’s be unable to make the kind of music they want to make. The outlet music provides is a gift. The thing is, too much attention is being paid to Hip Hop artists that aren’t communicating ideas of peace. Or any ideas other than the status quo. Music isn’t only intended for celebration. I use Hip Hop for inspiration and encouragement. Those mature enough understand that life isn’t a non-stop party and issues arise that are unpleasant, difficult and require some thoughtfulness (you can’t listen to what’s on the radio and be thoughtful). I’m all for dancing in the rain (shout out to Blu) and not taking life too serious but when our communities are in such ill situations a larger percentage of the music made available to the masses should communicate messages of peace, hope, encouragement, inspiration and unity.
    The messages in Hip Hop that are not or have not been communicating such things has had it’s time. Hip Hop and it’s people are in no better position now, because of our time spent being clubbed over the head with ‘club’ music. So why not slow down with all the negative energy and scale back on the smoking/drinking/partying and let’s take strides to make the situations of more, not less, of us, better?
    If we turn off the radio and are given the opportunity to actually hear what else is out there, the music will reflect a broader spectrum of people and be better for it.
    It’s an unfortunate burden but Hip Hop has to become educator. The schools ain’t doing it. Too many parents ain’t doing it. Hip Hop is the only place we can turn and see our reflection.

    Peace

  • maximus32

    I normally talk shit about your hatin ass but I have to agree with you on this one. I am little too old and too smart to listen to niggas talkin about juicy fruity cars and weed and shit like that. We need to promote and support young artists with some sort of intelligence. We need to switch the culture to support young Mos Defs, Scarfaces, Public Enemies, Brand Nubians and Outkasts. With that said, I like Jay Electronica and Killer Mike and I kinda like Lupe. TI is the closest current mainstream rapper who has some inspirational shit in his music. This dumb shit going to have kids thinking snortin coke and wearing tight ass clothes is cool. That is some 70s – 80s shit man. Some of them muthafuckas outside right now getting served and them old ass broads are turning tricks right now man. That is some real shit.

  • staytrue

    as someone who actually graduated from a four year college I can tell you that a lot of college kids do watch cartoons…they watch news channels, discovery, bet, and mtv as well…I think college kids…unlike you other people who didn’t go to college…can take in tv shows of different formats without their heads exploding

  • g money and Gregory

    last monday on my way to work i needed a boost some agressive energy so i listened to so i was bumpin some 50 cent heat/ poppin them thangs / eight mile remix etc
    tuesday . i was feeling upbeat so i bumped a little lost boys / some grand puba and some das efx …..as a old head i really dont need hip hop to teach me

  • 3Stacks

    @Charlamagne

    Dumbin’ down in Hip hop is a matter of economics(marketing) rather than a measure of intelligence.The demography that buys(affords) records is usually middle-class& predominately White.Record labels know it,and they A&R rappers towards this market of ringtone&sing-along-raps.

    That’s why a rapper like Nelly,who sings his raps is a top selling artist compared to a superior lyricist like Nas or Raekwon.Same with 50,them catchy records like candy shop & in da club are what made him popular though an inferior MC compared to Jadakiss or Talib.THAT’s Why BISD flopped because the dumbed down catchy tracks went there.Make a hardcore album & da majority of hood niccas just bootleg!

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  • sway-z

    This all really comes back to the same problem, which is that niggas don’t support the music. It ain’t that we don’t like deep music, its just that niggas won’t buy it.

    The difference between dumbed down pop shit is that it crosses over to the white market who WILL buy it, and that’s the real issue. Niggas used to buy everything, that’s how you could have Hammer selling records but EPMD could still go Gold, it wasn’t no white people buyin that shit, it was niggas!

  • http://??? PharoeTheGreat

    Whats wrong with cartoons? I still watch em. I’m an air traffic controller by day (or night depending on my shift) and when I get off I like to watch cartoons.

    That makes me a kid? By the way, 34 years old.

    I’d rather watch cartoons and trip out than jack up my mood by watching all that misery on the news. Doesn’t mean I dont keep up with current events. I’ll tune in to the news for about 45 minutes and thats it.

    Most of the time I watch cartoons or old school kung fu flicks which are way more entertaining ya know. Hey thats me.

  • Illijah09

    I see what you are saying, but coming from a prior military background and studying business, these people want a focused, streamlined product(that come from the Six Sigma training all these marketing and business types buy into). Take any two artists on opposite ends of the spectrum, say Pharoahe Monch and Gucci….. Pharoahe Monch will bring you a complex product that will take you in a lot of directions, but the money, cash, hoes that Gucci brings is just easier to push for that company. The 5% thing I think may exist, but I dont think what is going on. They are gonna try to pull at least 3-4 songs(if its a 12 song album) to sell the album. If these aren’t radio/club ready in their eyes…. DUMB IT DOWN. They want catchy stuff that will stick in your head. Maybe these people are racist, maybe not… maybe they have an agenda, but I think they just want a product that they know will sell.

  • IMMTECH

    Everything’s dumb down because corporations want us that way. It’s easier for them to get us to join the military, buy their products, watch their shows, and not challenge them in any way or form.

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  • Wally

    Thanks for emphasizing a very important societal need. Dumbing down is what got us where we are. TV & stupid movies, simple music, etc. They start making the kids think simple stuff is hip, cute, etc., and intellectual study is uninteresting. To me, seeking truth is where it is at, and you can’t find it that easily. What you can find is a bunch of rich folks feeding you disinformation cause they have the money to do that, presenting it in easily found formats. Thanks a lot.