(memo to Suggs : there’s a guy in K.C. who thinks you’re a wannabe prison bride).
Now that Big Sexy’s characterization of a “Black KKK” has won nationwide attention, AOL Sports’ Jason Whitlock, clearly replying to his critics, writes “I don’t hate hip hop. I hate what it has become,” claiming “prison culture swallowed hip-hop culture, turning party music into a celebration of violence, hostility, disrespect and drug-dealing.”
Prison culture is winning. It has corrupted a form of music that once gave us great joy and/or offered inspiration. Prison culture — with its BET and MTV videos, popular movies, acceptance in the mainstream media and false gods — Jay-Z, 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg — has perverted the American dream for black youth.
Our children think they’re participating in a culture that is meant to empower them. Hip hop — disguised in low-hanging platinum chains, 24-inch rims, platinum grills and other flossy material possessions — cripples black youth and infects them with a prison mindset that even NFL and NBA dollars can’t seem to shake.
Hip hop is filled with hostility and disrespect, the tools needed to survive while incarcerated. Hip hop cares little about family and knows nothing of the rewards of parenting. You don’t parent in prison; you baby-daddy in prison. Hip hop judges love by your willingness to embrace evil — ride (kill) or die.
Just like the Ebonics language, the tattoos and cornrows are straight from the prison playbook. So are the sagging pants, which started as a way for gay prisoners to signal their availability for action.
The rappers love to tell you they’re keeping it real, but they leave out so much to the hip hip/prison culture story. “Gangbanging” and being a “rider” is glorified. They don’t tell you that much of the violence played out on the streets is directly related to the love affairs that play out behind bars.