It's not just that hip-hop is, to put the matter mildly, pro-gun rights (most mainstream rappers could be on the NRA's payroll), atavistically homophobic (Byron Hurt documented this convincingly in Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes, where even a "conscious" rapper like Talib Kweli is unwilling to go against the anti-gay grain) and spectacularly patriarchal (male-female inequality has always been the law of the hip-hop nation) -- it is also unquestioningly God-fearing and, not infrequently, proselytizing. ...
Which reminds one of this Onion classic:
The Lord Almighty finally responded to nearly two decades of praise in hip-hop album liner notes Monday, when He gave a shout-out back to all His loyal niggaz. "Right about now, I want to send a shout-out to each and every nigga who's shown Me love through the years," said the Lord, His booming voice descending from Heaven. "I got mad love for each and every one of you niggaz. Y'all real niggaz out there, you know who you are. Y'all was there for me, and it's about time I'm-a give some love back to God's true crew." "All y'all niggaz, y'all be My niggaz," the Lord added.
I bring all this up simply to point out that hip-hop music and culture, while often nihilistic and self-sabotaging, from a political standpoint is almost never radical or even merely progressive. There is a reason the hip-hop generations have never produced a Huey Newton or a Malcolm X. Hip-hop -- when it transcends the gutter and goes beyond the streets -- doesn't want to overthrow the system; on the contrary, it wants desperately and at any cost ("Get Rich or Die Tryin'") to join it.
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