Kanye & 50 Cent Exhibit the Trend of Debauchery in Hip-hop

The world of hip-hop and rap (what is the difference anyway?) has always been riddled with rivalries and confrontations. It seems that every generation of rappers finds at least two factions drawing PR battle lines and firing insults at one another through the media. The 90’s was overrun with east vs. west references in music with the likes of Puff Daddy on one side and Tupac Shakur on the other. That particular rivalry may have even led to the deaths of Tupac in 1996 and Notorious B.I.G. in 1997. This generation is now seeing the heated professional rivalry between rappers Kanye West and 50 Cent. So far this has been a war of words and “put-downs”, however these things have a way of turning ugly, especially when hip-hop artists are involved. This recent confrontation is as petty and ridiculous as you might as expect from these two hoodlums: basically, my album is better than your album.

I personally place rap/hip-hop (as a form of entertainment) on par with the debauchery of the events of the Roman Coliseum: disgusting, antisocial, destructive and lewd. And in the same way that the bloodthirsty Romans would cheer when gladiators would tear one another apart, hip-hop fans and the media alike seem to enjoy, promote and even participate vicariously in these rivalries.

There have been some who have dismissed these seething rivalries as merely a publicity stunt. If that is the case then the real question becomes “why in the world would fans support an ‘art form’ (I use the term loosely) that promotes its wares through arguments and rivalries?” You never see U2 and Coldplay arguing. You never see Kenny Chesney and Big & Rich putting each other’s country records down. Musicians from every other genre support one another. But the hip-hop industry is built on manufactured images, much hype and pure ego. If you think this criticism is too harsh just read the recent MTV reports of West’s behavior at the MTV Video Music Awards. Since he was not invited to perform on the main stage at the VMA’s, West has sworn never to return to MTV. This of course is a lie. Without the hype machines of MTV and BET, West and his ilk would be nothing. Consider also his juvenile fits thrown at other similar events whereby he establishes and maintains his reputation as a sore loser and a crybaby.

Even as Rome’s fall was brought about by inner deterioration so will the industry of hip-hop and rap continue to decline into moral, creative and professional decay until music fans can no longer tolerate the childish antics of these so-called music artists. That day is approaching, albeit slowly. May it dawn within my lifetime so that I might relish it.

Josh H.


1 Response to “Kanye & 50 Cent Exhibit the Trend of Debauchery in Hip-hop”

  1. 1 kev
    September 16, 2007 at 12:34 pm

    This was very good. You’re right, other musical genres, by and large, get along with one another. Sure, you occasionally have an Oasis or Limp Bizkit that butt heads with numerous other artists, but those are the minority.

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