My inconsistency with rap music: A note on authenticity, consistency, and hustle (part 1). / by Dr. Tyrone Ceaser


Monday: "No rap music! It stands for the wrong thing."

Tuesday: "They're real. They're some of the most authentic people in the world, regardless of whether their message is right or wrong. That's more than I can say for others."
Wednesday: "No music with lyrics." Just jazz, blues, and classical mixes. They keep one's mind calm. "Wu-sah."

I've fought this battle with myself for many years now. But here's the 'thing' about rap music: Those singers are talented with their words. And they don't hold their tongues when it pertains to their truths. In other words, it is what it is. I respect that. And when you listen to most of them talk, they are the same, regardless of who their crowd is, which means their aim is not to please man or live up to mans' standards.

Again, I respect that.

Yes, some lyrics are unnecessary, impotent, and bring others down. But there are many songs with lyrics in them that have a good message. Messages about honesty, truth, "being real", living life to the fullest, taking advantage of the future, and (my personal favorite), grinding and working hard. As a child who grew up in the 90's when hip-hop and rap were arguably at their prime, It's the genre I'm most comfortable with. Just like learning much from the initial murderous and adulterous personas of Paul and David in the Bible, I learn many lessons listening to Nas, Rick Ross, Jay-Z, Most Def, and Common (no, they are not the same as Paul and David, but regardless of the times and occupation, they're all human.)

But then, I go to church, and 'preacherman' says it's 'of the Devil' to listen to that music, and any other music not considered gospel or chiristian (some strange story about Lucifer aka the "Lightbringer" ushering in the presence of YHWH with music, and thus he has control over melodies and tunes) howbeit Kendrick Lamar or Natalie Merchant, or Beyonce', is sinful. I simply don't see it that way.

We learn from everything - if we choose.

I digress.

I simply hate the way rap is portrayed in our society. Yes, yes, it has its flaws. The rappers also have their flaws. But if you listen to them, you hear their reluctance to run from their flaws. In my career world, people are taught to 'fake it 'till you make it". Then when flaws are revealed, people get fired, depressed, or quit all together. 

Not most rappers. 

Rappers hustle. And that's where my respect lies. 

Mind you, I have no respect for a man that can trash a woman without thinking twice about it, a man that can take a life without due rationale, or a man that devalues human life. Judge and Jury goes to no one person.  

I'll likely write more about this in the coming days (or weeks). 

For now: to be continued.  

PS: If you think that your ability to practice optimal wellness has nothing to do with the music choices you make, you're sorely mistaken, and we should talk...).