Courtesy of Clutch Magazine
Earlier this week, Touré published an epic article in The Washington Post detailing “how America and hip-hop failed each other.” The piece explored how the genre that once expressed pro-black sentiments and sang about the ills of drug abuse in the community transformed itself into an art form that glamorizes street life and whose audience is primarily white.
When its audience was black, hip-hop embraced black nationalism, Afrocentrism, and social consciousness; it was rebellious and almost always anti-drug. After the audience whitened, many MCs embraced criminality and sold the image of the criminal black man. Black nationalism was out, embodying drug dealers was in.
In the article Touré also surmises that the effects of the war on drugs and the influx of crack in the 1980s led to hip-hop’s transformation from “CNN of the Ghetto” to the braggadocios soundtrack about living life on the wrong side of the law.