Last week soul and R&B legend Gladys Knight publicly criticized rap music, addressing the genre with a rather broad stroke. Professor Patrick Douthit, aka 9th Wonder, who has made music with Jay-Z, Beyonce, Jean Grae, Torae and other, has responded in this editorial that originally appeared on newsblaze.com. Click here to read Knight’s original comments.
I recently read the legendary Gladys Knight’s comments about Hip-Hop and the culture thereof as it pertains to hindering the growth of black music. In a lot of ways, present day black music in a general sense is in a very bad state. From Hip-Hop to the level of R&B and Soul or the lack of in mainstream media, we are seemingly suffering across the board. However, my concerns are focused on the comments about Hip-Hop.
Once AGAIN, the attempt to separate the generations amongst us as black Americans is having much success. In dealing with the older generation of our people, our elders refuse to see or seek the GOOD facets of Hip-Hop, or even the cultural aspects of Hip-Hop when it comes to improvisation, creativity, research, and skill. The fact that TRUE Hip-Hoppers respect, glorify, and honor the great ones who came before us in our records, and the use of what we call “samples” speaks volumes. A lot of musicians I’ve spoken with such as Michael Henderson, Gamble and Huff, Robert Allred from the Dynamic Five, and Leon Sylvers understand the BRIDGE we are building between generations. The reason I now listen to Bobby Bland, Mandrill, Billy Paul, The Dells, The Drells, Choice Four, The Undisputed Truth and countless other 60’s and 70’s greats, and why my 60 yr old brothers and sisters listen to it have two totally different paths.
Looking at my life as a 34 year-old and being from the South, my parents believed that anything outside of James Cleveland was secular. So an abundance of 70’s soul, even Gladys Knight and the Pips, was not played in my house. Hip-Hop was the way that I found all of these artists, traveling the world and collecting records. I learned my history of black music through a vessel that a lot of my elders see as vulgar and offensive in a GENERAL sense. Hip-Hop was not always that way. In 1976, Afrika Bambaataa started the Universal Zulu Nation in the Bronx, New York, to give a creative outlet to rival gangs. However, today our law enforcement believes that hip-hop incites gang violence.
To read the rest of 9th’s statement follow THIS LINK to Allhiphop.com