Eric Benet called out the misuse of Hip Hop culture on instagram yesterday. He shared a post that described how some rap artists fail to be actual Hip Hop artists since they only promote negative parts of the culture. The post reads as follows:
“Rap Artists if all you rap about is:
– Killing black people
– Degrading Black women
– Abusing drugs
– Living a Low Life
You are not a artist
You are a black face for white supremacy
you are being used to help DESTROY your own people.”
The only extra input Eric Bennet added was a short caption that targetted those who have racked in major stacks for their disregard for the culture: “Inconvenient truth to some of the rich and famous.”
Now Eric Benet isn’t a Hip Hop artist. The closest he came to making a rap song recently was when he was dissed in a Jay-Z track. Still, the RnB singer came up in what some might consider the golden era of Hip Hop, allowing him to the culture’s evolution.
The issue of separating artists from their work will always be part of an ongoing conversation, regardless of genre, but Hip Hop is unique in the type of responsibility it bears for its community. Many rappers have chosen to speak on issues in a purposefully disruptive way to tell their stories and empower themselves in a society that sought to keep them bound. Unfortunately, some current artists are emulating lifestyles in which they don’t actually partake. In this context, these rappers promotion of the elements pointed out in Benet’s post becomes as dangerous as it is inauthentic. Or maybe not. Sound off in the comments.