Wynton Marsalis says rap and hip-hop are more damaging than a statue of Robert E. Lee


Having some interesting discussions with other PEOPLE OF COLOR today in respect to this article. Full disclosure: Hip Hop was the first music I ever truly fell in love with and incidentally, the first music I actually ended up performing in front of a live audience. Throughout my teenage years and early twenties, the music also provided a tremendous amount of solice for me during a period in which deep existential questions were arising in respect to my own racial identity. After about 25 years of being a huge hip-hop head, my interest certainly cooled down quite a bit after I starting working with inner-city students 10 years ago. During that time period, Wynton Marsalis helped me dig deeper into myself, my own sense of social responsibility, and the historical constructs which make up many of the environments I’ve found myself in. We have to keep asking uncomfortable and inconvenient questions because things are simply not working. Hip-Hop itself has the potential to be anything it wants to be but at it’s most primitive and base level, I have come to believe that it is the soundtrack to a death march for PEOPLE OF COLOR.-Tone


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