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Hip Hop Commercialized? Buffoonery or something more complicated?

December 7, 2008 Leave a comment

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By Dr. Boyce Watkins

www.BoyceWatkins.com

I am not a huge fan of Lil Wayne.  I don’t hate him, I just don’t love him.  His music doesn’t make me move, but it doesn’t make me sick.  The thing that challenges my ability to love Lil Wayne is the environment within which he is operating.

Lil Wayne can be considered, by some, to be a modern day minstrel show:  gold chains, diamond grills, 10,000 tattoos on parts of his body that have no business being tattooed, you name it.  He engages in the stereotypical rock’n roll/hip hop lifestyle: guns, drugs, alcohol and random women.  I fear for Lil Wayne, because at this pace, he might be dead before he turns 35.  Lil Wayne makes Tupac Shakur  and Eazy E look like conservative school kids.

Lil Wayne impacts the world in which he lives, sells records by the boat load and impacts far more young men than he probably should.  It’s not that he chooses to be a role model, he just is one. But when we see Lil Wayne and express justifiable disdain for his behavior and persona, there is certainly more to be said.

You see, Lil Wayne is a product.   The corporate executives pulling the strings and making the decision to sign deals with Lil Wayne also see him as a product [...]

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