In order to understand the themes and forms of rap music, it is important to follow the history of African-Americans from their beginnings in West Africa, to their enslavement throughout the early history of the United States, to their struggles against racial prejudice and segregation after Emancipation, to the continuing battles against de facto economic segregation and reclamation of cultural identity of many African-Americans today.
Black music is a completely different story. Read all the stories.
This world is distinguished by its colors, the ones that identify friend or foe, and those cordoned behind yellow crime-scene tape: brown bodies with congealed blood, a lifeless maroon, and the red-rimmed eyes of a new statistic's mother. Stables of black writers, producers and musicians. It would be virtually impossible to implement a system of regulation that could be entirely objective and free of cultural bias regarding the definition and execution of blanket-definitions of obscenity and potential for harm.
However, I believe that this is because of the tremendous buying power of wealthier suburban youth and the infusion of hip-hop into mainstream culture through movies, advertising, and MTV, not because hip-hop as a whole has been taken over from inner-city youth by suburban youth.
In the growing success of the hip-hop market, musicians have struggled to maintain rap's potency as a form of resistance and empowerment. Other country artists of the genre seemed to sense this. Additionally, rap could be integrated into English and language arts curriculum as a form of both poetry and drama.
But a good time predicated upon the presentation of other humans as stupid, docile, dangerous with lust and enamored of their bondage? Finally, just as reggae has been under attack for some artists' seeming advocacy of violence to solve social, political, and economic problems, rap has become the scapegoat of the American musical fabric, as it, too, has faced mass popularity and commercialization.