To me, video games and hip hop music are eroding the foundation of my community. What are we going to do about it? First, I love art and hip hop, like blues and jazz, is an original American art form. When the kids on the corners and in basements in Brooklyn and the Bronx created rap, it was a creative way to express themselves. Later, rap music was medium to communicate concerns about inter-city life and issues with the police in places like Los Angeles.
But, I draw the line with NWA, Ice Cube, Easy E, Dr. Dre and Tupac. Those guys were urban poets who use lyrics to reflect hardship and pain. The hardest segment of current hip hop is glamorizes and promote thuggish ways. The little fellows want to be thugs and prisoners more than scholars and businessmen and the teen girls are setting the women’s liberation movement back twenty years. Hey, I guess liberation includes the right to be a garden tool who emphasizes body over heart and mind.
Dig it; the inmates are running the asylum literally and smart kids are acting dumb just to fit in. Students study English in school but use this street dialect at all other times. While the hippies of the 1960s were a counterculture, the hip hop culture is at the rotten roots of much of the main culture today—Black, White, Red and Brown.
What about Yellow? Our friends in the Asian community have a long history of requiring obedience and achievement from their youth. Yes, the hip hop culture is in their community as well but let us lighten the discussion by humorously looking about the effect of video games on American youth.
In school, we learned that parts of Asia were once forced to import opium from the British and Americans after the drug was illegal at home. Well, the big payback might be video games. While these games are enjoyable, American kids and young adults are playing them too much; playing games while youth in other parts of the world are preparing for the next wave in the international commerce and technology. When a kid grows up on the flashy visual stimulant of video games, holding their attention in school or church becomes difficult if not impossible. And no, the solution shouldn’t be making education more video game-like.
From church to karate to fishing to boot camp on Parris Island, young people need to learn to calm down and focus. Church kids, eagle scouts and kids with chores do better in life. Look, sophisticated people have different modes because they vibe differently at different times—church mode, school mode, vacation mode, chilling with my crew mode, family mode. The worst kids have little flexibility because they are primarily in me mode. They must learn selflessness and a sense of community.
Most importantly, they must learn to be deliberate in their actions. Life plans must include short-term objectives and long-term goals.