Some people have been worrying rap music is going soft, the hardcore nature of the genre removed so as to be more palatable to a larger purchasing segment of the population.
This isn't the case in Florida, where a white boy listened intently to rap music only to find his selection of music distasteful to a Black individual who proved with his actions that those who form the natural market for hip hop aren't going soft:
Taking a stand in defense and pride in your particular races most stirring musical accomplishments is no vice; a white boy voluntarily listening to rap when no white girls are present is no virtue.
PALM BAY, Fla. (AP) — Authorities in coastal Florida say a black teenager is accused of attacking a white man for listening to rap music and could be charged with a hate crime.
Police took the 14-year-old Palm Bay boy into custody late Monday and charged him with battery.
Police spokeswoman Yvonne Martinez says the teen could face a hate-crime enhancement charge because he showed “extreme prejudice against the victim because of his race.”
Martinez says the teen told the 22-year-old victim to stop listening to rap music because “white people shouldn’t listen to rap music.” The teen then struck him in the face.
The state attorney’s office will review the charges. It wasn’t immediately known if the teen has an attorney.
This whole story brings to mind the pathetic character played by Seth Green in the late 1990s film Can't Hardly Wait. A wannabe rapper and so-called wigger, Green's character was routinely made fun of for his poser disposition and comes across as one of the more pathetic and least sympathetic characters in the film.
SBPDL couldn't help but think of the hilarious image of former rapper tycoon Suge Knight holding white boy rapper Vanilla Ice by his legs over a balcony in a blatant attempt at intimidation when this story was spotted on the invaluable website Newsone (a project of Black Planet).
White people (unless it's a girl) being embraced by the hip-hop community has always been a sore subject for rappers, as this form of communication is one of the purest and most authentic Black forms of self-expression.
That white people would excel in rap should be as rare as white people excelling at tailback in football.
Regardless, white people shouldn't be listening to rap anyways according to our Black friend in Florida. Well, white people do consume vast amounts of hip hop and purchase a fair share of the songs by popular artists via buying cd's, iTunes and of course, the illegally downloaded song.
Would hip hop/rap be as popular without white people embracing it?
Interesting, the rap industry has always had a difficult relationship with white people:
By the United States 2000 Census, three quarters of the United States' population is white, while one eighth is black. However, most mainstream rappers in the United States are black. Some believe this discrepancy is a good thing; popular rapper Kanye West has said: "I hate music where white people are trying to sound black. The white music I like is white", but he says that he likes Eminem because he's talented and got skills.
While they have been successful, artists such as the Beastie Boys, a rap group that is predominately Caucasian Jewish teenagers, were sometimes labeled as sub-categories of hip hop music, such as alternative. White hip hop artists have advanced the genre of rap by bringing in a larger and more diverse audience and recognition for rap as a musical genre, however they have had much less of an effect on the overall musical trajectory of the rap scene than their counterparts. The Beastie Boys managed to sell millions of records while maintaining the respect of the hip hop community.
Another notable mention is the classic Hip-Hop group from the late 1980s and early 1990s 3rd Bass, composed of two white Jewish MCs, MC Serch and Pete Nice and their DJ, African-American DJ Richie Rich. The group had two critically-acclaimed albums, 1989's The Cactus Album and 1991's Derelicts of Dialect, both on the Def Jam label and both reaching gold in record sales.
Canadian rapper MC Shadow (Get Loose Crew and as a solo artist JUST Me) is regarded as a hip hop music pioneer being both the first caucasian recording artist and first to achieve international sales for a rap record from that country.
Wealth and class have always been significant issues in hip hop, a culture which was developed mainly among the lower and lower-middle class blacks of inner-city New York. Any view of money that can be seen in real life can also be seen in the lyrics of rap—just as there are rappers who often brag about their extravagant wealth or more specifically their "rags to riches" stories, there are political militants who decry materialism. Although most of hip hop's famous and influential rappers have come from inner-city ghettos, hip hop has always represented a variety of economic backgrounds. For example, Run-D.M.C., Beastie Boys, Rakim, Black Sheep, and Kanye West were middle-class when they began rapping.
Race issues often intersect with class issues. Rapper Vanilla Ice was born in Dallas, Texas, but raised in South Florida. After gaining success on the underground scene, the rapper signed to major label SBK Records, who manufactured a false background in promotional materials, including a biography written by his manager, Tommy Quon, and attributed to Vanilla Ice, claiming that the rapper was born in the inner-city of Miami, Florida. Van Winkle has since regretted the book's publication, stating "I went overseas, I came back and people were asking me these weird questions and I couldn't understand them and then they said, 'well, your story is not matching with your bio,' and I said 'What bio?' and they pulled one out and I read it and I said, 'Who wrote this? Where'd you get this from?' And I had to hire these investigators to find out where the fuck this came from and nobody would really fess up to it [..] but the damage was already done. I was already labeled like a liar [...] I grew up in Dallas, I never denied that, I've never lied". House of Pain, an Irish-American crew from New York, were assertive about their ethnicity, including footage of a St. Patrick's Day parade in the music video for their first hit single Jump Around and name-dropping prominent Irish Americans in their lyrics. They also incorporated time signatures associated with traditional Irish folk music such as jigs and reels into their songs—a major deviation from mainstream hip hop where virtually every song is done in 4/4 time.
The most recent mainstream exception to the skin color trend in mainstream rap is Eminem, who is of mainly Scottish descent, and who grew up in the city of Warren, MI near Detroit. In his song "White America", Eminem attributes his selling success to his being more easily digestible by a white audience, because he "looks like them."
According to musicologist Arthur Kempton, "Today 70 percent of hip-hop is bought by white kids".. There are no demographic studies with consistent results to support these claims and some, such as author Bakari Kitwana, believe that these numbers are used politically in order to, for example, play down the buying power of young African-Americans.
Boots Riley has criticized these figures, pointing out that they only count SoundScan sales, which exclude the mom-and-pop record stores located in majority black and Latino neighborhoods that major music chains tend to avoid, and thus dramatically underrepresents the number of sales made in such communities According to political rapper Zion of Zion I, socially conscious hip hop in particular has a majority white audience: "...so many black people don't want to hear it. They want that thug shit." In addition to Zion, several other underground rappers such as Boots Riley of The Coup, report nearly all white audiences.
"I forgot I was white," explains free-style rapper Automattic during a hip-hop Battle on the Indiana University campus. He says this after his lame competitor rhymes that the white and pretty clean-cut Automattic can’t be an emcee because he's white and so he should "stop acting like he's black"—as though busting out some free-associative poetry is all it takes to be a black person, or that good rhythm is exclusively a black thing.White people who listen to rap might forget they are white, but the story from Florida proves one thing: Black people never, ever do.
This is just one of the scenes in the new educational doc Blacking Up: Hip Hop's Remix of Race and Identity, which tries to figure out what attracts white rappers to hip-hop: admiration or something uglier? The answer, it turns out, depends on the person.
In the nearly hourlong film, director Robert Clift has hip-hop heavyweights like Public Enemy's Chuck D, Aesop Rock, Sage Francis, M1 from Dead Prez, Power from Wu-Tang Clan—along with some of Indiana’s white hip-hop performers—weigh in on the motives behind the white appropriation of black culture, labels like "wiggers," and charges of minstrelsy. Clift, who is white and a big hip-hop fan, is on a quest to discover whether white rappers "are transcending race" or just mimicking "a degrading idea of what it means to be black" in the same vein as the minstrel scenes of Al Jolson’s day.
Some people just Can't Hardly Wait for their own demise, can they?
It's no longer white boy day in Black Run America (BRA).