Monday, December 11, 2006

Crouch: Women Can Change Destructive Hip-Hop Culture

Stanley Crouch offers an exceptional dose of Crouchism today.

The greatest living fan of Louis Armstrong once again decries the degrading effect of hip-hop thug culture. There's nothing new there, but it's a tasty serving of Crouch's vigorous prose. We quote one passage strictly on style points:

Added to this low-lying mix are the supposedly sympathetic white liberals, who are more than happy to submit gutlessly to the black middle class. These white liberals have been intellectually hustled into believing that the inarticulate thug and the freelance slut are young black people in their natural state.

The black middle class, terrified of being defined as a group that kowtows to "white values," does not tend to have the nerve to stand up to this crabbed vision of life or ethnic "authenticity."

But, at the end of the ride, the ones losing and left holding the bag are neither white liberals nor the black middle class. The tragic losers are those black kids who believe that their true identity is achieved through illiteracy, thuggish behavior, dropping out of school and psychologically ingesting the subterranean attitudes toward women that are espoused by pimps. They are sloughing through a spiritual sewer, incapable of knowing just how much it stinks.

That's enough for one column, in our SWNIDish judgment. But Crouch adds an additional and most telling observation: thug posturing has become the key to the affections of many young women. Consequently,

The solution may have to come from the women, who have been known to get men to act right when they have gotten tired of them acting like animals.

Does feminine realignment have the power to overcome the vast commercial interest that underwrites the thuggification of much of America?


Calus The Great said...

You won't find a better example of hip-hop ridiculousness than this.

And of course, liberals assume that whenever a conservative says "This is in bad taste" he means "The government should censor this."

Bryan D said...

Perhaps some will remember the degrading "jungle" themed cabarets the King Louis himself participated in order to get his edge in music. It was more than common for upper class whites to look on this sort of performance with disgust (although southerners often ate it up and paid top dollar to see black musicians hoping around on stage in loincloths playing their "jungle music").

A tentative observation, that is most likely in the end in concordance with the SWNID perspective, is that neither rap nor rappers themselves are to blame here. Rather, it is the pervasively violent and misogynistic audience theat they market to that illicits these same sort of elements from their music.

Of course, I am not placing ultimate responsibility on society, however it is unfortunate when young musicians are forced to act such a tragic play in order to have their shot at making it in the music world. By the time these musicians become successful enough to dictate themselves whatever they think their music should be they have often become the part they acted for so long.

Certainly there will be those musical purists who posit that musicians whould never "sell out" to what the market expects of them. I would stipulate that such purists ought to acquaint themselves with reality before making this claim.

Podigal Son of SWIND said...

As a product of the hip hop generation (although an older one!) I agree somewhat with Bryan D. Hip Hop was not the cess pool it is now until the corporate fatcats realized that more money could be made hyping the thug life. Then politically conscious rap like Public Enemy and "light" rap like Fresh Prince went away. You can't lay all the blame with the artists; all elements must be discussed.