Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Problem with Rap

"As long as it's not rap."

Then there's the awkwardness of people trying to look at me or my husband from the sides of their eyes. Trying to gauge our reactions without us noticing. But of course we notice. We see the false preoccupation with lint on shirts or pants or hair. We feel every scrape and creak of the chairs we sit in. All around us bodies make to go places, but are confined, going nowhere and everywhere at the same time.

We are black and so we must like rap. Are we offended? Not in the way one would assume. Rap is not my favorite genre of music, for one. Yet when people sneer at the thought of it, I become a target of that disdain, whether or not that was the intention (and sometimes that is the intention). At that point, I wonder what else this person is intolerant of. What else is presumed of me that they'd rather not exist?

I'm used to being the odd one out, but I don't like it pointed out. I'm okay with being different, especially if being different means not being someone who has hidden prejudices (hidden, as in doesn't know that this is a problem of prejudice).

Like I've said, rap is not my favorite genre of music. However, I do not mind rap. There is good rap and bad rap--it's like any other kind of music in that way. But some people treat it as a homogeneous category with no nuance. It's all crap--there's no way that any of it has any redeeming qualities.

Sounds a bit too much like Mississippi to me.

The reason the statement struck me was that it had to do with this person's preference of music in Heaven. In that person's opinion, rap should not be allowed. Does that extend to the rapper? Should rappers not be allowed in Heaven? Should the rapper stop being a rapper so that he or she can be allowed in Heaven? This attitude was expressed right after we finished talking about being essentially the same in Heaven (and New Earth) as we are right now, just without the sin.

I guess that it could be argued that rap is sinful. But that belief is so ridiculous that I won't waste my time arguing against it. Poetry set to music is sinful. Uh huh. So in Heaven, that mode of expression may be barred to me? It's not good enough for the Lord? I don't believe it (It gives me the giggles to think of this person making their way to Heaven and being greeted with a choir of rapping angels. I'd love to witness it. Would that person turn around and march willingly into Hell--because there would be no way that this could be Heaven? There's no way that this is a good place to be).

If I can be redeemed so that I am good enough to be in the presence of the Lord, so can rap. If rap can't, then neither can I. Yet, I wonder. Maybe that was this person's point all along. That I can't be redeemed.

I wonder.

1 comment:

  1. The same exact thing came to my mind as well. I'm glad I wasn't the only one that noticed. Maybe the only thing he ever heard about rap was awful and did not realize that there are all these different types even ones that praise the Lord.