Re: “Hip Hop Generation”

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“Ah, ’tis the accursed fate of your generation to live in a time of diminished expectations where mediocrity is worshiped and terms such as genius are bandied about freely until they are devalued.”

The above statement came from a Manolith reader in response to my article on the genius of the modern hip-hop icon named Justin Bieber. Wait, I never wrote that article. I wrote one about my appreciation for Bob Dylan. In fact, it was a response to Manolith writer Matt Bravmann about his Dylan article.

My response to the reader’s comment: “Which generation are we talking about?”

“The modern hip hop generation, of course. those incapable of rational judgements.”

The comment box is there for a reason, and I enjoy hearing feedback, positive or negative. The reader brings up an interesting point. Or does he? What exactly is the hip hop generation?

The Hip Hop Generation label carries weight in specific discussions (i.e. Justin Bieber), however it seems to be thrown around recklessly as a way to demean the arguments of anybody under 40. As one who is under 40 years of age (but not under 30), I have to admit that my Manolith articles are tinged with a healthy amount of hip-hop…you know, Caravaggio (a 17th century Italian artist), Roberto Bolaño (a Chilean author) and all my ranting and raving about my WWOOF experiences on organic farms. I’m being a smart-ass, of course, but I get the reader’s point (I once linked to an Ice-T interview).

All joking aside – one has to ask: what is the basis for The Hip Hop Generation defense? Is it the rise of social media? Is it the popularity of hip-hop music? Is it the iPad? Perhaps, it’s just the attitude of those who believe reading books and a sense of history take up way too much time for one to even think about. I personally blame SWAG, and the need for constant, or at least ridiculous, posturing.

I hear you, reader, I hear you. However, to use The Hip Hop Generation argument on one such as myself who appreciates the music and career of Bob Dylan is a bit aggressive and troubling.

The new generation has grown up with social media, and I agree with the reader, in a sense, in that many people are easily impressed in this new world of instant gratification. I am one who spent the first seventeen years of my life without the Internet, and didn’t own a cell phone until the age of twenty-three. Although I might be part of The Hip Hop Generation, I am certainly not defined by it.

I write about topics that I find interesting: film, television, travel, sports and comedy. I’m the last one to be offering relationship advice, so I keep my commentary on women to a minimum without trying to be too offensive. The goal is to make my articles interesting and relevant. Does every reader give a shit about my WWOOF experiences? Probably not, but there are those who do, so I keep writing about them. History is quite interesting to me (such a typical characteristic of the Hip Hop Generation), and I received a college degree in the topic, so I like to write about the past and other topics which I try to somehow make relevant and entertaining. At the very least, I try to write unique content that stays clear of Hip Hop Generation cliches.

I’m trying to do my part, reader. My content may not always be thought-provoking (it’s definitely trial and error), but I can assure you that I’m not going to posturize and be known as some mindless, caveman stereotype void of any original thoughts.

Thank you for using the comment box. Compliments are appreciated, and I welcome scathing remarks as long as they don’t pidgeon-hole my thoughts as one of The Hip Hop Generation.

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