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by Dr. Boyce Watkins, KultureKritic.com
Today I did an appearance on Hot 97 in New York City with Lisa Evers, Dr. Christopher Emdin and a few other people. The conversation centered around whether hip hop has any impact on what our kids are doing with their lives. The question is a simple one for anyone who’s spent any time around teenagers and noticed how their manner of speech, dress and the like instantly shifts based on what their favorite hip hop artist is doing.
Some say that hip hop music is as harmless as a Robert Deniro gangster film or something that you see on TV. The problem with this analogy is that hip hop is fueled by a type of authenticity that you don’t need in Hollywood. Deniro will gladly tell you “I’m not a real gangster, I just play one in the movies.”