Sunday, April 7, 2013

Talking point #9 Reflection on Tricia Rose

I have never really been a fan of the hip hop world. I was more of an R&B type of girl but I listened to hip hop every now and then because my older brother was a big fan of it. I believe that back in the day the quality of music was definitely a lot better and had deeper meaning than what it had now. I completely agree with Tricia Rose when she said in her interview with TIME magazine that hip hop isn’t not completely dead. We still have some great artist who are out there, granted they are not as popular as Two chains, or Kanye West but they are out there making great music. I respect the fact that people like Common (which I LOVE listening to his music),Most Def, and Talib Kweli decided not to transform their music and follow the dominate ideology of “dumbing” down their music to sell more records. They are doing their job right; they are reaching others and having a positive impact on who they reach. The ones who started to dumb down their music slowly began to change the game(and made it harder for the rap songs with substance). They set the stage for the rest of the rappers who come after them.  There is just something about listening to a song that actually has meaning, it becomes more relatable and people appreciate it more. At the end of the day the majority of artists are going to go with where the money is instead of staying true to who they really are and that in my opinion they are selling themselves short. I believe if we continue on this road in a few years hip hop will be completely dead, there will be no substance in any kind of music.
Question: why do you think people feel the need to dumb down there lyrics?


  1. I think the general population prefers not to think of the fact that there are a lot of people suffering and going through difficult times; that they don't want to listen to something that will make them feel bad, or that will make the struggle. That isn't to say I think this is intentional, but I think it happens. And the capitalist empires in charge of funding the artists they contract know this. I think the pressure to "dumb things down" comes from up top in an effort to sell more music, to make the appeal more broadly stretched. That's just my opinion, though. Great job on your post!

  2. My favorite line of Talib Kweli's is from his track "Beautiful Struggle" when he says 'I speak in schools a lot 'cause they say I'm intelligent, no it's because I'm dope if I was whack I'd be irrelevant". Ha. I don't know why, but it's always been one of my favorite lines. He's such a talented lyricist and story teller.

    In regard to your question: I think people dumb down their lyrics in order to make money. Plain and simple. There's no spiritual benefit from dumbing down lyrics. An entertainer can fool themselves into thinking that dumbing down might lead to a bigger fan base with which to spread their message but the compromise they'll have to make with their message will water it down so as to be nearly ineffectual. It's sad.
    Check out Lupe Fiasco's "Dumb it Down" if you haven't already. you might like it. I don't particularly care for Lupe anymore, but I used to like him.

  3. I think people feel the need to change their music so that it gets played on the radio and so that it sells. If their music appeals to more people and is more popular, those artists will probably make more money than those who are not so popular or who don't get air time on the radio.

  4. I agree with your point that the majority of artists are going where the money is instead of staying true to who they are. It seems now a days artists & people in general regardless of their profession are going where the money is. As Sarah pointed's all about the air time now. Artists want the air time and want their songs played because they get a cut every time their song is heard/played. If artists stayed true to themselves and their creative paths & ideas their work would be a lot more meaningful I think.

  5. I think it is sexist to use such a language but they use it because the people who listen to that music also can be very sexist

  6. I agree that hip hop from back in the day was more deepen with meaning and substance, and yes unfortunately hip hop has suffered and it has been dumbed down to the point that not only it doesn't make much sense but also its just plain stupid. Its very irritating that this is what society think is real hip hop, and therefore judge us who listen to it by it.

    Great post!!!