by Claude Chaney
I listen to all types of music. My tastes are so varied that in my collection you can find anything from Oscar Brown Jr. and MJQ to The Beatles and Steely Dan. But my favorite music is classic rhythm and blues. This type of music is not as available as it once was. Hip Hop is the dominant musical form among today's youth, followed by "today's" R&B (which I find radically different from the classic form). I find most of what Hip Hop has to offer as repugnant. This is not to say that I hate all hip hop because some hip hop is also part of my varied collection. Being that I am a man who is about to become 55 years old. I have to accept the fact that musical tastes change. Every new generation has it's own musical expression and I accept the fact that to many of today's youth the music of Motown that I cherish so much is nothing more than a relic of an age gone by, but I don't have to accept the vulgarity of hip hop. I am a teacher who overheard one student tell another "That CD is awful man, the good stuff has to have the parent's avisory warning" When I heard that I realized that we have a problem anytime young adolescents feel that in order to enjoy "music" it has to have profanity and sex. I think about my younger days when I heard Ronald Isley of the Isley Brothers say "I got knocked to the ground by all this "BS" goin' 'round" and Mary Davis of the S.O.S band wasn't talking about doing your homework when she said "Baby you can do it, take your time, do it right" So there was profanity and sex in the music of my generation too, but there is a big difference. You can take out the "BS" from the Isley's recording and it still would have become a hit because the one word of profanity was not the main message of the song. If you take the profanity out of today's hip hop, it loses it's attraction to the youthful hardcore fans. The same can be said of "Take Your Time Do It Right" You could have changed the lyrics so that they weren't sexual and the song still would have become a hit because of the dazzling musical arrangement. Today's hip hop degrades women and glorifies violence. New York's Hot 97 has been the seen of armed conflict between warring factions within the hip hop community and every time it happens station ratings rise. Chuck Jackson and Imhotep "Gary" Byrd made significant comparisons. The show does have call-in listener participation, but I couldn't get through. I would have asked Mr. Jackson about the Bruce Springsteen production of his composition, "Club Soul City" where Chuck Jackson is joined by another R&B icon Gary "US" Bonds. This is an absolutely stellar duet. I would have asked why wasn't this song released as a single. But after thinking about it I realize such a song would be very hard to get on the air. It was "new" it was not "Today's" R&B and there's no hint of profanity. I think Reverend Reynard Blake put it best when he said "Hopefully the hip-hop generation, black and brown youth, and their elders will realize the conspiracy to reduce revolutionary culture and great music to meaningless, mindless, cloned music, and rampant materialism. "