A drug-fueled, ‘do anything to win’ mentality should not be idolized

The Channels Opinion Pages | STAFF COLUMN

Jacob Frank, Opinion Editor

Nice cars, oceans of money and an untouchable societal status could even make the president pull strings for you. This is what it means to succeed in the United States of America. 

I get it. Freedom. Do whatever you want while you can because you could die tomorrow.

But contemporary values could be destroying the planet and encouraging kids to follow suit, undermining the importance of being a conscious consumer or having a job that contributes to the welfare of society.

The most prevalent arena breeding this negative culture is the music industry; particularly in rap music.

I love rap. I love hip-hop. There is just as much of it in my arsenal of music as there is indie and classic rock, jazz and the blues.

On a day-to-day basis I can be found rapping every lyric, with equal vigor, to artists all over the spectrum: Wu-Tang to Mac Miller; ScHoolboy-Q to A$AP Mob; Xavier Wulf to Kendrick Lamar and so on.

It goes way beyond just rapping the words. It is art and expression, and it never fails to get my head rocking or my teeth showing.

But lately I’ve been shying away from this love.

It’s hard to draw the line of where you appreciate the art but don’t agree with the philosophy preached behind the words.

Rappers preach superiority, advocate for excessive wealth, glorify drugs, and objectify the opposite sex.

These are the values that are redefining our culture and promoting bad habits.

Take fashion for instance. Designer clothes, expensive shoes and Gucci belts are normal if not required; if not, you’re looked down upon.

Swedish Rapper Yung Lean raps, “I be on that Bape s**t/ You rocking Quicksilver.”

Designer brands make people look cool but 85% of all textiles end up in the dump each year.

If everyone wore the same shirt for several days, like me, we wouldn’t have this problem.

I don’t need to explain how car emissions are contributing to climate change though luckily Tesla is becoming more popular among those who desire a luxury car experience.

Taking or selling drugs is seen as a way to fit in or be cool, despite an opioid epidemic that still ravages the country.

The generation of kids that are exposed to this kind of music is becoming younger and younger each year, and they want to become rich and famous too.

No other professions are equally as admired, especially not essential essential trade positions that contribute to the economy and wellbeing of our infrastructure.

But these are the people that should be praised, or at least appreciated.

The pursuit of wealth often overshadows the desire to be sustainable or to think consciously about one’s impact.

As utopian as it sounds, we can’t have a world full of musicians, and certainly not of rappers. 

Music is life, and it has the power to move the masses, but the love of music shouldn’t come with the cost of idolizing the very vices that we should be trying to get away from.