Skip to comments.THUG CULTURE CELEBRATES THE WORST POSSIBLE EXAMPLES
Posted on 05/10/2008 8:32:26 PM PDT by forkinsocket
You've heard of resume inflation? You've heard of people who lie about having Ph.D.s or Ivy League pedigrees in order to get ahead?
The world of thug culture has its own perverse equivalent, in which middle-class men with minor legal transgressions exaggerate their bad behavior, claiming to be hard-core degenerates in order to impress youngsters looking for outlaw role models. In this destructive environment, the more violent and predatory you are, the more heroic you seem.
That helps to explain why a metro Atlanta hip-hop star known as Akon wove a tall tale of malevolence and criminal activity, claiming to have spent three years in prison for running a "notorious car theft operation," a story he's been telling for years. In fact, he has apparently never served hard prison time. A Web site called The Smoking Gun recently exposed Akon as a thug wannabe, a "James Frey with ... an American Music Award."
American popular culture has always had a tendency to romanticize hoodlums, whether Al Capone, Bonnie and Clyde or Tony Soprano. But the hip-hop world's celebration of savage violence, educational failure and misogyny by gangsta rap has been one of the worst influences on American youth, especially black youth, in decades. If you want to ruin a nation, a society or an ethnic group, persuade its members that the highest form of achievement lies in criminality.
Even before the 1980s, when gangsta rap oozed out of downtrodden black neighborhoods, too many black men were marginalized -- unlettered, unemployed, imprisoned. They were already the victims of a fratricidal cycle of violence, predator and prey. They were already disproportionately fathers in absentia, completely divorced from the lives of their children, providing neither material support nor moral guidance.
Indeed, the baggy britches that are now de rigueur in hip-hop circles grew out of jail rituals. When men are arrested, their belts are confiscated, so their trousers tend to droop. It's from that unfortunate facet of ghetto life that the ubiquitous sagging pants were launched.
Proponents of hard-core hip-hop claim that it is an artistic genre that merely reflects those unfortunate realities of underclass black life; they tout it as a pure form of folk art (in its original meaning, arising from the folk, or common people). Countless books and dissertations have disseminated that view.
But folk art has never been so popular -- or lucrative. The worst of gangsta rap has not merely reflected behavior but has also inspired it, much of it lawless and destructive. Its lyrics are paeans to murder and mayhem. It celebrates an outlaw culture that disrespects women, mocks middle-class values and preaches against any cooperation with police in catching criminals.
That's why Akon, whose real name is Aliaune Thiam, made up a criminal history, claiming that he was a carjacker who owned chop shops but was finally brought down because he was ratted out by jealous underlings. You gain respect in thug culture -- and millions of dollars in record and ring-tone sales -- only if you're a bona fide thug.
In fact, Akon's longest stint behind bars seems to have been five months in the DeKalb County jail on a stolen car charge that was later dropped, according to The Smoking Gun. The son of Senegalese jazz percussionist Mor Thiam, he grew up in a middle-class home, spending time in Senegal and New Jersey before moving to an Atlanta suburb.
If black men like Thiam enthusiastically abandon a passable reputation for the notoriety of a prison record, then black America is in serious trouble. If it is better to be an outlaw than to be a teacher or a chemist or accountant, then young black men will continue to go to prison in record numbers. If it is more acceptable to be violent and reckless than to be a responsible father and husband, then marriage will continue to decline in black communities.
While racism remains a potent force in American life, it doesn't hold the malignant power of gangsta culture. The upside-down value system represented by Akon's fabrications is helping to destroy a generation.
Although... the character Jeffrey “OG Loc” Cross from GTA San Andreas is a perfect example of this. :)
We’re not far from the call for vigilantism.
Don’t think that was a bad thing, either. It was, in fact, a needed and vital response to evil on the frontier - where gub’mint failed to do it’s job.
Today, even with gub’mint involved in every aspect of our lives, they are increasingly failing to do what is needed in the basic prescribed duties.
The choice will become clearer with time...
This Ho ought to shut her trap and stay in her place.
Yet this very same Cynthia Tucker writes other articles and helps elect people who enable this type of behavior.
That's the ticket.
And we middle class parents of white teenaged boys are fighting a losing battle against the influence of this unmitigated crap too.
A whole generation of young men are being told by their popular culture that failure is success, the parents who love them and raised them from birth are to be reviled, and women are only useful if they put out.
Sooner or later that’ll be the truth. The only thing left to do will be to round the lawless up and put them in camps.
Hopefully, the truth will dawn on the next generation of blacks if enough elders shake off the federal drugs and grow a set.
Life imitates art.
That a young black "recording artist" can create the artifice of a thug is purely a financial strategy.
He could care less about his reputation - if he manages to sell a few millions of recordings.
Amazing to hear this from Cynthia Tucker.
hahaha that’s the first thing i thought of too
This is indicative of a horrific ignorance (willful or not)of US history.
Life imitates art and art imitates life.
Last night I saw Lisa Lampanelli who is an insult comic.
She went after everyone, but at one point she addressed this thug culture as well with the most evil jokes IMO.
Here is one of them.
She said, “What do you call a black woman who has had seven abortions? Answer: A CRIME FIGHTER”
OMG we couldn’t believe she said that.
She made jokes like that about everyone else as well, but OUCH she had lots of nerve.
“Blacks are more racist than Whites.”
- Larry Elder, “The Ten Things You Can’t Say In America”
What is sad about this situation is that when this group of young men fail, there will be little sympathy and no help from the government or civil rights institutions. It's a recipe for disaster.