Why You Shouldn't Judge Lil Wayne or Other Rappers
World renowned rapper and hip hop artist, Lil' Wayne, is a highly talked about man no matter where you go or who you converse with. The deep eyed, raspy voiced artist is one of many misunderstood and controversial artists. But do people have a reason to judge him because of his means of expressing himself, vocally and in appearance.
In Lil' Wayne's newest music video, How to Love, he compiles multiple serious issues, including HIV diagnosis, abortion, abuse, and the rough life of stripping. The second single off his recent album, Tha Carter IV, has peaked at number five on the charts over the past twenty-three weeks.
Although the video is explicit, it also brings forth realistic issues of society today. People have criticized Wayne for being all about sex and drugs in the past. This video proves different. Director, Chris Robinson told MTV, "It was necessary, because these are the things that happen in real life." He explained that the video was made to talk about the issues of abuse in our country and all over the world and to tell the stories of many women throughout the world.
The majority of women I talk to have a strong dislike for the rapper. When asked for a reason, they say, "because he is a negative influence on the youth." Yet, after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, the $200,000 Wayne donated went towards a playground he had grown up on.
Wayne tells Louisiana’s WWLTV, “You can’t really tell them (kids) what to do these days. When you tell them what to do, that’s when they get angry, when you tell them (to) be like me, because it’s hard to be like me. So, the best thing you can tell them is try to do right.”
So he may not have the most child friendly lyrics, but he does care about the children. In fact, he established One Family Foundation, a charity organization set out to help urban kids. I am the first to agree that he writes songs that are not appropriate for all ages, but that's why the albums come with parental advisory labels.
Did these people who criticize his lyrics and his appearance ever think that maybe the parents should take some responsibility and monitor what their child is listening to. I know when I was growing up my mother would have disapproved of Lil' Wayne's explicit lyrics and forbid them in her home. There are parents out there blaming rap artists, like Lil' Wayne, for their child's illicit activities and behavior yet refuse to believe that they are responsible. Where has parental control gone?
Celebrities such as Lil' Wayne have disregarded the negative comments coming from the public. Wayne said, "“It’s ok for a kid to look at somebody and want to be just like them; it’s only right, it’s only human nature. But for an adult to fabricate something for some dumb reasons, it messes up our youth and it messes up the future. I don’t want to be known as the innovator of sizzurp.
Sizzurp is another name for a drink containing cough medicine and soda or fruit juice. Lil' Wayne admits that he has used this and drank it, but said he never meant to be anyone's role model and did this for himself.
Along with sizzurp, Wayne has admitted to Katie Couric that he smokes pot and has no intention to stop just because he is a rapper. He said it's who he is and it's what he loves. Everyone is entitled to enjoyment in their life. Some people enjoy video games, reading, surfing the web, and other innocent daily activities. However, there are people who engage in illegal activities such as smoking marijuana, adultery, child pornography, and rape, for example. Many times the people who do these things are not brought to justice. But when a celebrity does one of these things they are instantly on the cover of every tabloid, being exploited for what horrible role models they are for the children.
Judging a Book by the Cover
So we know he smokes marijuana, but so does a large percent of the youth. An even larger percent smoked marijuana before Lil' Wayne was around.
Is he really to blame for the drug use in our country? Can we blame him for the twenty percent of 12th graders who smoke marijuana? Of course not! The main reason I hear from parents that they don't like the rapper is, "he has too many tattoos and dresses like a gangster." Not because he smokes weed, but because he looks different and is intimidating to the parents. Aren't these the same people that taught us as kids that everyone is different and everyone is entitled to look the way they want. They encouraged us to be whatever we wanted to be. But do they really mean that or do they have limitations? No tattoos, no dreadlocks, no baggy clothes, no piercings. It seems that people have based their opinions strictly off the way he looks.
Let's all move past this man's personal choices and judge him for what he has done. He has given money to charities, established his own charitable organization, and also been in jail. If you are going to dislike him, do it because of his actions, not his face or what he sings about. We are lucky to live in a country that still has freedom of speech and if he is embracing that, more power to him. Let's all be tolerant, compassionate people.
"Genuine compassion is based on the recognition that others have the right to happiness just like yourself, and therefore even your enemy is a human being with the same wish for happiness as you, and the same right to happiness as you. A sense of concern developed on this basis is what we call compassion; it extends to everyone, irrespective of whether the person's attitude toward you is hostile or friendly." The Dalai Lama