The passing of the lengendary BB & how music influences young people.
Growing up in Baltimore, my mother use to play blues music from time to time. BB King was one of her favorites. I was driving around town Saturday taking care of business, and I happened to tune to the XM Satellite blues station, and the DJ was playing all of BB King's hits in tribute to his life and career, so I listened for awhile. While driving and listening, I started to think about several things especially how music does indeed can have a postive influence on people but also it can have a negative one. There has been an ongoing debate in the black community about whether gangster hiphop music has had a negative influence on young blacks especially males in their behavior. I have never backed down from my belief that gangster hip hop music is audio poision to black youth. Of the countless records BB King has produced over his historic lifetime, none of his songs has ever had one curse word, glorified killing people, selling drugs or treating women like garbage. None of his alblums ever needed a parental advisory label on them like for example the former rap group (N.W..A) which stood for "Niggers With Attitudes". These are the lyrics from their song "straight out of Compton"
'Cause the police just like fuckin' with people, you know.
They stop you, throw you on the ground and shit.
They just fuck with you for no reason...
Anyway, fuck the police.
A young nigger got it bad 'cause I'm brown...
They have the authority to kill a minority.
Fuck that shit cause I ain't the one,
For a punk motherfucker with a badge and a gun to be beating on.
Searching my car, looking for the product.
Thinking every nigger is selling narcotas
How many gangsta rap songs that have been produced saying to "F" the police, disrespect them or kill them as in Ice T's song "Cop Killer"? I bet there are a lot, and young black teens listen to those songs, and we wonder why there is a police problem in the black community, go figure on that one. Of course no urban gang banger or drug dealer has ever listened to BB King, and that's my point. I'm sure these people know the lyrics to every gangsta 50 cent song or rappers like him but how about musicians like BB King, Otis Redding, Bobby Blue bland etc?The young black generation know as little about BB King as they know about Jimmy Hendrix or Duke Ellington etc, The problem with black youth in America has to do with the "ghetto hip hop mindset culture"! I had to pause, when I heard to wizards of smart in the media and in politics claim happened with the riots here in Baltimore was a result of "economic frustration". No, what was only display was the ghetto hip hop cultural mindset. For the longest time, I've said that the problems in the black community among it's youth is internal, and this is ground zero. When I was a teenagers in the 80's, black teens during that era didn't act like they do now and have been acting over the past 25 years. Then again, the hip hop music was completely different back then and it was just becoming mainstream at the time. I use to listen to the Fat Boys, RunDMC, Ladi Dadi, etc. Young teens had "break dancing" battles as their form of expression through the music, they weren't trying to kill people back then. It was positive music which spawned a positive movement for urban teens and teens alike.
BB King was a true musician in every sense of the word and his place in music history is rightful deserved. I read how BB King growing up use to go to bed listening to Frank Sinatra records. So yes music does have the power to influence young people.