May 8, 2007

Akon, What's Wrong With Hip Hop

If there was any confusion about the seriousness of the state of Hip Hop and R&B we need only look as far as the recent scandal with Akon. I have been wondering for quite some time what the fascination was with Akon. To me he was always just a mediocre singer, I found his voice annoying. 

I felt betrayed by Akon a long time ago, the first song I heard from him was "Locked Up" and I have to admit I definitely rocked to it. I thought it was soulful and groovy. It touched something in me, but when I heard "Smack That" and "I Wanna f**k You" I was offended. I did not think either song met the threshold to be considered artistic. What I heard when I listened to both of those songs was a pervert publicly advertising his disrespect for women. The shocker was that women were jamming to these songs that portrayed them as sexual objects only there for the satisfaction of men. They blasted it from their cars and danced to it in clubs. When I complained, they said "it's just a song; you're taking it too serious." 

To me it was serious, and there was no way I was dancing to Akon. I was appalled when I heard him on India Aries’ "I Am Not My Hair" and wondered why she would even make a song with someone like Akon. I have since forgiven India after seeing her explanation on "Oprah" (of course she was pushed by the label into the duet with him because they claim it was hotter and more marketable, I question the integrity of the label -MOTOWN- a historically black label) and hearing her say that she has since dropped the Akon version from her albums future copies. 

When I heard Eminem rapping on "Smack That" I felt Eminem had sold out and was now just making music to exploit the black community, I found it hard to remain a fan. Akon played us, luring us in with "Locked Up" making us think that he was a soulful conscious artist only to reveal he was just a pimp, out to exploit females.

If Akon wasn't over the line before he certainly is now. His performance in Trinidad where he basically dry raped a fifteen year old on stage in front of thousands of people was almost felonious. I question anyone who continues to support or perform with Akon. Hip Hop and R&B music has degenerated into a pit of sleaze, vulgarity and violence, a pit that seems to have no bottom. It seems that all artists are just getting sleazier. From the Fergies, Gwen Stefani, Pharell, and RKelly all these people have no business being played on the radio. The fact these “artists” are popular just gives us an examples of how the society is deteriorating. 

We must speak out against these kinds of offenses against our community and society. We cannot just condemn people like Imus and have Akon being played on the airways. We must stop the aggression against young women by these perverts. They are helping with the denigration of the culture. We need to take our music back. People like Akon are a fraud and are only around to milk us of our money; we cannot legitimize him by purchasing his music.

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