This morning James Montgomery of MTV wrote an article theorizing that Soulja Boy (whom I apparently have never heard, even though his songs have been blasted at every club, bar, and dance hall around) and his antics i.e. giving props to slave masters in a recent Vanity Fair episode of BET’s The Black Carpet, are just examples of our generation’s greatest performance artist. Mr. Montgomery bases this on the idea that no one could be this way naturally and thus he is satirizing the current state of hip through his misogyny and exuberance.

This is a very interesting theory and I would like to hope that someone has taken the current standing of mainstream rap music and put it on display for all to see, yet there is one major flaw within this theory. Most satirists usually make it a point to clarify their stance of parody at one point or another within their work. The paradigm of this for me would be Stephen Colbert. During his shows he will constantly espouse his dedication to the Republican party and all of their actions, but every now and then he will slip in comments that clearly demonstrate his actual allegiance.

Soulja Boy (from my limited understanding of his work and umm off stage actions?) has never “broken character” to show us that he really is a satirist.

Being Mr. Arts and Culture here at AID I know that hip hop was initially used to send a positive message to those listening and unfortunately rap today has evolved into the antithesis of that. I am always constantly on the lookout for “socially conscious” hip hop, for I see so much potential in those who rap, yet they choose to use their gift to talk about cliche and often negative topics. Not to mention the fact that it’s my job to fuse things like that into AID’s programming.

If you are interested in checking out a couple of people I think are doing this right check out Oddisee (Washington, D.C.). In my opinion, he epitomizes what hip hop artists should strive to be, humble, smart, and articulating a positive message for listeners. If you have any suggestions for me, I am always down to expand my discography, so hook me up!

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