White Kids and Rap
Here’s something that has me stumped—what is it about rap and hip hop that appeals to White suburban, middle-class kids? My daughter and her friends are transfixed on having all sorts of hip hop and rap songs played at the their social events no matter what subject matter is discussed in the songs.
At first, I thought that perhaps these kids might be hooked into the social statements made by these artists—the plight of underprivileged (and oversexed) urban youth that are perennially hassled by the law. Maybe it’s like the protest songs of the ‘60s that resonated with young people of all strata—from “Blowin in the Wind” to “Feel like I’m Fixin’ To Die Rag.” I don’t think so—these kids who like hip hop generally are so vapid that the social context of Snoop Dog and others is lost on their one-track minds (well, more than one track, but those tracks intersect in the areas of fashion, Lindsay Lohan and rolling their eyes at their parents).
Hmmm.. I think I’m zeroing in on something here. Kids like my daughter like rap and hip hop because their parents hate it. Well, my daughter is the exception, because I like most of it, and (I think) I understand the social relevance. The vast majority believes the shock appeal of rappers talking about drugs, killin’ the cops and grabbing some booty will upset their parents to the point of dismay (thus making the kids happy). I guess, in my day, I recall my mother taking my 8-track of Arlo Guthrie’s “Alice’s Restaurant” (as if either my mother or I knew what picking up a couple of keys meant) and tossing it in the garbage.