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TI is upset that the Boston Bomber has hip-hop links – Rap Rehab

    ( Last week, the rapper TI expressed a bit of outrage over the link that the website TMZ made between Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev and the hip-hop music industry.   Earlier in the week, it was reported that Tsarnaev loved to listen to hip-hop music, and that he was a a member of the site

    TI seems to feel that the connection has no merit and that it’s irresponsible for anyone to connect the violent music we hear on the radio  every day to the violence played out in the life of Tsarnaev.

    Hip hop narrates the activity and conditions of our culture,” he said. “It doesn’t create them.”

    Of course we know that true hip-hop has little to do with violence.  As Minister Louis Farrakhan expressed so eloquently in a recent interview, hip-hop music was designed to empower the people and make us great.  But once it was co-opted and dropped onto the corporate plantation, everything changed.  We also know that Tsarnaev is his own man, making his own decisions.  No one told him to kill innocent people.

    But it’s hard to hear TI, arguably the most talented rapper on the radio today, say that he couldn’t possibly understand why people would connect violent behavior with violent music.   Hmmmm, let’s think about this for a second, shall we?  Tsarnaev was a wanted man.  Just this week, two stories have been released about at least two mainstream hip-hop artists (Lil Flip and Lil Scrappy) who’ve had warrants out for their arrests.  Even Rapper TI went to prison for trying to buy a stockpile of weapons that would make any terrorist blush.

    Now, I’m not trying to attack Rapper TI or prejudge his reasons for doing whatever he’s done.  What I am doing is asking for TI to be man enough to acknowledge the role that hip-hop music is playing in the creation of the conditions in our community, not just the reflection of them.  The music we hear on the radio has, sadly, become a one-dimensional (and sometimes brilliant) expression of the kind of pathetic, ignorant, and barbaric behavior that represents the worst that a black man could ever become.  We drown the brains of young black boys with repetitive messages about getting high and drunk every day, killing other black men in the street, disrespecting women, wasting your money and being proud of being ignorant.

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