Over the weekend, my father sent me this clip of Dr. Menzise speaking. This was right up my alley so he knew I would be interested. In this video, Menzise speaks about the mind-controlling, galvanizing nature of hip-hop (some hip-hop). He asks the audience if they can name more than 5 positive, uplifting hip-hop artists and they could not. What does this show about the genre? It shows that although hip-hop artists are given such respect in society, many are harming the naive, developing minds of the new generation. Menzise refers to videos in which these rappers are shown carrying guns calling each other "niggas". Being an African American scholar, Menzise understands that African Americans always want to demand respect in society: is a gun-slinging music video the right method to do that?
He then points to an example in his own life: before he got his PhD, he DJed at a night club. He used to observe how powerful and controlling the music he played was for the people on the dance floor. Any change in rhythm, flow, or lyrics would cause the dancers to behave in a different fashion. The music he was creating actually changed their course of action. When these people who are creating this music know they have so much power over our minds, why are many making this disturbing music? I agree with Menzise to some degree. I do feel like he was right about their being many rappers like this; however, I feel that this should not be the rapping the people listen to. People need to start opening their ears to better, more socially-conscious intelligent rapping. Once they do, everything will change.
Watch Part 2 of his lecture if you desire.