Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Foot in the Mouth

In this coming week's edition of the Michigan FrontPage, we are featuring an interview with the rapper Young Dro. So that I don't spoil the experience for you I will say that the man really needs artist development and media training. And to be fair, it's not just him.

Many of the artists that currently dominate our radio stations and television screens are just plain ignorant, for lack of a better word. Not only have many of them exhibited the fact that they can barely read, they also spew debaucherous drivel to our young people in the lyrics of their music, and they have no grasp on the English language.

Obviously, it is understood that slang is the universal language of self expression amongst young our young people, but it needs to be understood by them that there is a time and a place to speak in that manner. These record labels need to go back to the days of old when artists were groomed to be able to function in the media, and speak intelligently about who they were as artists and the image that they are supposed to portray.

If you are selling yourself as a gangsta rapper, a pimp and hustler, then when a reporter sticks a microphone in your face and asks you why your lyrics degrade women and promote drug usage, ideally, you need to be able to address that question with some semblance of of intelligence. If that's your message, then don't get shy and embarrassed about it when someone calls you on what comes out of your mouth. Know your product, know yourself and what it is that you stand for. If a question from a stranger makes you feel that you need to sugarcoat your response, then maybe you need to rethink the image you are selling.

Ignorance is not cute. Learn when and where to be about business and when and where to be about foolery; especially if you are in the public eye. Like it or not, you are a role model for the simple fact that somebody's kids is looking up to you. Blacks are already often looked upon as less than in White society when it comes to competing, we don't need to give them anymore fuel for the fire.

So artists, at the very least study your craft, examine yourself and read a few books to help you get a firm grasp on the English language so that eventually you can take your foot out of your mouth. Otherwise, don't look to blame the media when you come out looking like an idiot. After all, we can't print it if you don't say it.

Look for the Young Dro interview in this week's digital edition of the FrontPage which drops this Wednesday at



So true! Record labels and publicists should institute additional prerequisites for a rap artist: READ and RE-READ a dictionary AND thesaurus and REQUIRE them to carry it with them AT ALL TIMES to acclimate them to more than just one-and two-syllable words!!!!

Unknown said...

I myself, perform hip hop and have done so for a number of years. While I do agree with what you're saying, I feel the problem is much deeper. Older artist in the music world, especially rap music, are looked upon as has beens or never coulds. The poor language skills of many newer artists relates to the fact that this industry longs to exploit its artist in the first place. Someone who has an education or experience in this field is usually shoned by major labels for this reason. Not because they don't have the talent or "Skills" to be profitable. But, rather, because they have an actual understanding of the business of music. Also, many of our young men and women have no real respect for those who have been there and done that before. Knowledge isn't well respected with them nor is experience. I could DEFINITELY say more on this subject but, I'd have to be paid for it.(LOL!!!) The rappers I listened to growing up were educated individuals who had something to say, even the so-called gangsters. today's artist are so non informed that they don't understand that rapping about selling drugs if you're actually selling drugs is being a witness or "Snitch" on yourself. Kinda dumb don't you think?