For many years there’s been conflict over the consciousness Hip Hop and the commercialization of the art form. Back in the ‘80s, when the music and culture were still very much an underground movement, while many were fighting to bring Hip Hop to the mainstream the “cross-over” was considered the ultimate “sell-out.”
On one side of the argument, you had visionaries like Russell Simmons fighting for the advancement of the culture saying, “don’t treat our music and expression any different than you do Rock N’ Roll or pop”—and on the other side of the table there was a segment that believed an embrace by “mainstream America” would mean the rapping of the culture.
As a result, we began to see the divide and conquer strategy play out within the culture itself, where now we have the so-called “God-conscious” artists and the “elite” of Hip Hop, with a notion that if you’re making money in the industry in 2013, and a lot of it, you can’t have a “God-conscious”—you must be demonized and member of Illuminati. This piece is not meant to argue the existence or non-existence of secret societies or the impact commercialization has had on Hip Hop culture—but to take another look at the game and the players in it and God’s hand on both sides.
Let’s start with this simple truth—Black people DO NOT control the entertainment industry. Not in film, music, fashion, TV, radio, distribution, NOWHERE are we “truly” in control of this industry. That’s a fact. Therefore, if we’re going to play the game—then it’s about playing it to the “best” of our ability and masterfully using it to gain some benefit while we live—that is luxury, money, good homes and friendships in all walks of life.
The other truth is that there is no such thing as a “poor” God. The notion that some Black people and some White people have is that “money is evil” and there is “righteousness” in poverty. There is nothing righteous about being without. God is a material God—if he wasn’t then there would be no universe. Let’s get that clear.
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