Rap and hip-hop face off during NAACP discussion

Christina Stavale

Bianca Brown, junior criminal justice and pre-law major, and Preston Mitchum, senior political science major, held a discussion on whether or not hip-hop is dead at the meeting Thursday night. Brown is the justice chair and Mitchum is the president of th

Credit: Dan Kloock

At the start of last night’s meeting, KSU-NAACP members split into two groups — those who favored rap music and those who favored hip-hop.

To begin the discussion “Hip-hop: Is it dead or alive?” they discussed the differences between the two types of music.

Dylan Sellers, a sophomore political science major who favors rap music, said he likes rap for what it is, whether or not it is about meaningful things.

“Rap is a feel-good music,” he said. “Hip-hop is useful to relay messages.”

Ashley Bennett, freshman fashion design major, said while both genres are commercialized, she prefers hip-hop because it breaks down stereotypes of the black community rather than building them up.

“I’d rather hear more of a positive message, not something like, ‘shake your moneymaker,'” she said.

The group also discussed how hip-hop artist Nas recently announced his new album title, named after the “n-word.”

Robin Wright, freshman secondary math education and Pan-African studies major, said while she understands his point of titling the album as such to get people’s attention, the word does not represent the people behind it.

“We are the only race of people on earth that don’t know our history,” she said. “Once we learn who we are and where we come from, maybe we’ll have a different perspective.”

In addition, the group discussed the media’s portrayal of hip-hop and rap culture and whether it is accurate.

Wright said in some places culture has evolved to the media’s portrayal.

“Little boys see it on TV,” she said. “They model themselves on what they see.”

She said the same goes for young girls who imitate models they see in music videos.

“It does affect how women end up acting in their lives, especially young girls,” she said. “(To stop this), it starts at home. My mom was there to make sure I was acting like a lady.”

Adrianna Midamba, sophomore political science major, said to empower the black community, people should begin seeing more than just rap stars as role models.

“Don’t think about 50 Cent as the most successful black man,” she said. “What about Barack Obama?”

Sasha Parker, Black United Students president, said people should start making conscious decisions and buy into things that portray the images they want to see.

“If we start buying things that generate the images we want to see, then those things will pick up,” she said.

Contact minority affairs reporter Christina Stavale at [email protected].