2002-11-09 / Editorial/Opinion

The Great Hip-Hop Divide

The Great Hip-Hop Divide

The murder of hip-hop icon Jam Master Jay (Jason Mizell) has touched many in the Rockaway community and abroad. Because of the genre of hip-hop, certain people have a misconception that only young African-Americans are mourning the death of one of the greatest DJ’s that ever graced the turntables. In actuality, people from as far as China, and extending all the way to Zimbabwe, are grieving because hip-hop music spans many cultures and age groups. Run DMC, the group that JMJ helped bring to the forefront of American music, offered music that was fun, funky, and fresh. It was true party music that your grandmother wouldn’t mind listening to. On the night of October 30, a heartless S.O.B shot Mizell once in the head, reminding New York City residents, and the world, that the "thug" element has replaced the "goodness" that hip-hop once projected. Some of the biggest stars in rap today grew up listening to, and idolizing, Joseph Simmons, Mizell, and Darryl McDaniels, and many of them have gone on to become nothing more than high priced slaves to record companies that promote and encourage the "gangsta mentality." The monster that killed JMJ destroyed everything that was positive about hip-hop music and culture. Unlike the murder of Biggie Smalls or Tupac Shakur, Mizell’s killing will have a major impact on hip-hop for many years to come because Run DMC blazed a trail so the world could have a "Biggie" or "Tupac" in the first place. Ed Lover and Doctor Dre (of radio station Power 105 FM) said it best. "When are we going to stop killing ourselves? The hip-hop game has changed, and it’s getting worse! When we end up killing the pioneers who brought us to this point, it proves that something has definitely gone wrong in the hip-hop game. It’s out of control, and it’s got to stop!" We couldn’t agree more.

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