Sunday, June 2, 2013

Commercialized Hip-Hop: The Gospel of Self-Destruction

Commercialized Hip-Hop: The Gospel of Self-Destruction

“I swear you can’t f*ck with me
But I can f*ck your girl and make her nut for me
Then slutt for me, then kill for me, then steal for me
And of course it’ll be your cash
Then I’ll murder that b*tch and send her body back to your a*s” – Lil Wayne, “We Be Steady Mobbin

Proverbs 18:21 in the bible states that “Death and life are in the power of the tongue….” are these words creating death or life in the futures of young black men?  Is it a coincidence that black males lead the nation in nearly every negative statistic imaginable, including homicides, incarceration, unemployment and education?  Yes, there are systemic obstacles at work which cause these outcomes, but at what point do we hold ourselves accountable for contributing to our own demise?

Imagine an entire generation of young people hearing lyrics like this on a daily basis, reciting mantras that glorify drug and alcohol consumption, the objectification of women, murdering other black people, anti-intellectualism, financial irresponsibility and every other thing you can do to destroy your life.  Do you REALLY believe that a child can hear this message every single day, repeating these lyrics literally thousands of times and not have his subconscious mind altered by the messages he’s consuming?   Do you REALLY think that the corporations earning billions of dollars from this form of weaponized psychological genocide care one bit about whether your son ends up in the prison, the morgue, the rehab center, the insane asylum or the unemployment line?

In a style that only he can deliver, Dr. Boyce Watkins explains the seven tenants of black male self-destruction that are being promoted through commercialized hip-hop.  Dr. Watkins’ lecture presents an amazing display of simple, yet thoughtful analysis that leans on his 20 years of teaching at American business schools to explain why unregulated capitalism and public irresponsibility has not only ruined hip-hop, but has created a deadly set of toxins for young men and women who are raised to be fed like cattle into the prison industrial complex.  The truth is that they want your son to die, and his death is far more convenient if he contributes to his own destruction.  In the words of Dr. Watkins, “When you kill and control the mind, you don’t have to control the body.  At that point, the person will simply choose to throw himself off a cliff.”
Dr. Watkins loves hip-hop and he loves black people.  He also appreciates and studies the musical talents of many of the artists he critiques. That is why he feels that it’s urgent to start telling the truth about what’s happening to  young black kids and start demanding that artists and corporations take responsibility for the lifestyles being promoted through destructive music on the radio.  The time for making excuses is over, because our children are important too and it is up to us to protect them.

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About Dr. Boyce Watkins:  Dr. Watkins is one of the the most highly sought-after African American public figures in the country. He has been a Finance Professor at Syracuse University for 12 years, and was the only African American in the country to earn a PhD in Finance during the year 2002.  He is the author of several compelling books, including “What if George Bush were a Black Man?“, “Black American Money:  How Black Power can Thrive in a Capitalist Society,” and “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about College.”  He is the co-star of the Janks Morton film, “Hoodwinked,” along with Drs. Steve Perry, Marc Lamont Hill, Ivory Toldson and Jawanza Kunjufu.  He has also appeared in a slew of national media outlets, including CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS and many others. You may also email us at

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