Hip-Hop Hypocrisy

Sean Combs, also known as Puff Daddy, has started an effort called “Vote or Die” to register young people to vote. As I watched a documentary on MTV featuring P. Diddy, David Banner, and Xzibit, I noticed that their ideas are riddled with fallacies. All three of them went to different ghettos in major cities and spoke to locals about their problems. They asked what the politicians could do for them and their communities. The people explained how more funding for the local services, youth programs, and schools would really help. But you have to wonder: how can rappers drive up in their Bentleys, check the time on their Rolexes, and walk the streets in $300 shoes, and at the same time ask politicians for money? How can we take the “Vote or Die” campaign seriously if its founder is disconnected from the people whom he tries to influence? The fact of the matter is that inner-city youth should not rally behind their famous idols if they are not actually helping to solve any substantial problems. Though artists like Puff Daddy are trying to get people involved in the American political process, they have been hypocritical in the sense that they burn millions instead of investing it in communities. According the VH1’s “The Fabulous Life of…,” P. Diddy has had half-million dollar parties and multimillion dollar vacations. Most other rappers are guilty of this also. In the episode of “Cribs” that followed immediately after the documentary about ghetto conditions, Fat Joe, a rapper and member of “Vote or Die,” showed off his collection of sneakers, including a pair of Nikes worth over $5,000. Eminem, famous for having been raised near 8 Mile Road in Detroit, owns a house worth millions of dollars that covers enough ground to house several trailer parks. Instead of pouring money into unnecessary luxuries , he could have bought a comfortable house for himself and his daughter and put the leftover money towards helping others who live like he used to. In the song “Why” Jadakiss raps, “Why they didn’t make the CL6 with a clutch?” The Mercedes CL6 has an list price of $127,000 dollars. If he were to put that money into charity instead of using it to purchase a flashy car, he would not have to ask “Why they ain’t give us a cure for AIDS.” If he had put that money back into the community, then he wouldn’t have to ask “Why [people] can’t get no jobs?” The point is that if the rappers and celebrities put their money where their mouths are instead of asking someone else for the money, then maybe they would make some real progress in their communities.