We need a new ‘cool’

Amber Perkins

We clearly live in an impressionable generation where individualism has become obsolete. Specifically, this struggle for individualism is within the black community. There is a heightened sense of competition within the black community which keeps us from getting ahead as a people. Everyone is looking to outdo the next instead of uplifting each other. Unfortunately, music icons, like rappers, only further disseminate this competitive nature.

Our rap music solely consists of lyrics that empower materialistic things. Money is power in the hip hop world, and with power comes respect. The problem with the rap music today is that it seems to be losing its quality. The new artists that are coming out seem to be lacking real lyrical talent. As long as they are able to produce club bangers, the masses will accept them and respect them.

In the black community, people follow and almost mimic what they respect. Ridiculous styles and trends have infiltrated the black community through music. Black males are blindly losing their masculinity because they are accepting of any trends from artist they “respect.” These artists flaunt their material things and it evokes their audiences to covet what they have, which is money. Getting exotic looking girls is also prevalent in rap lyrics, which correlates with having money. If you have money you can have anything. However, everyone can not have the money that these artists have, which is why people resort to trying to withhold the image. The listeners want to uphold the image of the artist because they believe it will also give them respect.

It is okay to look up to artists and agree with their fashion sense, but when it stirs you away from your own individualism, I find there to be a problem. I find it hard to believe that males would voluntarily choose to wear pants that are too tight for comfort if they had not seen an artist wear it first. Many feminine styles have permeated into the male culture these days because of the respect that consumers have for these rap artist.

The most blatant new rap artist today that has successfully kept the respect of his black, heterosexual audience is Young Thug. On numerous occasions, Young Thug has referred to his male acquaintances with terms of endearment like “bae” and “hubby.” Somehow, his fans still defend him as being straight because they respect him and he has not come out about being homosexual. However, his terms of endearment are not the only questionable things about Young Thug. His fashion sense is peculiar for a male because he wears dresses. You would think that this rapper being homosexual would be a given, however, his fans have overlooked the evident and still choose to defend his sexuality. His sexuality is not the issue, however. I am not homophobic. My issue is with how blindly this generation follows and accepts everything. Some way, individualism must be brought back. Being your own person and following your own beliefs needs to be the new “cool.”