The Inherent Conservatism of Hip-Hop

When he criticizes the genre, the author is accused of catering to the right. But, he argues, most rappers are so conservative, they could easily belong to the Republican Party.

Posted:
 
(Continued from Page 1)

I bring all this up simply to point out that hip-hop music and culture, while often nihilistic and self-sabotaging, from a political standpoint is almost never radical or even merely progressive. There is a reason the hip-hop generations have never produced a Huey Newton or a Malcolm X. Hip-hop -- when it transcends the gutter and goes beyond the streets -- doesn't want to overthrow the system; on the contrary, it wants desperately and at any cost ("Get Rich or Die Tryin'") to join it.

For an African American to question the values and motives that inform hip-hop music and culture is not in itself a conservative act -- it's common sense.

Thomas Chatterton Williams is the author of Losing My Cool: How a Father's Love and 15,000 Books Beat Hip-Hop Culture. Follow him on Twitter.

Like The Root on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

Comments
The Root encourages respectful debate and dialogue in our commenting community. To improve the commenting experience for all our readers we will be experimenting with some new formats over the next few weeks. During this transition period the comments section will be unavailable to users.

We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your continued support of The Root.

While we are experimenting, please feel free to leave feedback below about your past experiences commenting at The Root.
The Root 100 People's Choice Awards  
Sept. 19 2014 8:34 AM