>How Did We Get Here? Part One of Our Mania Analyzed

>I have been involved in numerous discussions about what happened in the last twenty-something years to society, our culture, and our children. The answer I have just recently came up with is simply this:

It’s our fault!

Yes, you read that right. Get ready because I’m swinging! Two generations are guilty of the bulk of this madness. My generation which consists of adults ages 35-46 and our parents generation- the 56 to 66-year-olds and it’s long-overdue for us to take responsibility for our actions and inactions. Let me explain and so that I’m not accused of double-talk or sugar-coating things I will break this down and sprinkle it with language of the generations so that I’m perfectly clear. I will also break this piece into a two-part series because this may be too big of a pill for many of you to swallow…..

Profitable Commodities: Sex, Drugs, Alcohol, and Violence
My generation created the hard-core music that highlights sex, drugs, and living hard and wild. Yeah, yeah, yeah they were talking about sex, drugs, and cheating in the 70s- but my generation took the concept that was written subliminally and we just opened Pandora’s box. My generation created the music that said it’s okay to have multiple sex partners, it’s okay to cheat on your girlfriend or wife, it’s okay for you and your friends to swap sex partners- it’s okay to pull all-nighters where each guy lines up at the door waiting for their chance at a session with the girl waiting in the room. My generation said it’s okay to get high off weed, speed, and everything in between.


Alcohol: The Quick High
My generation promoted St. Ides, Old English, Boone’s Farm, and drinking 40s. Before my generation no one drank a 40 ounce of beer. Period.

Even in 1986 when Billy Dee Williams became the face of Colt 45 this smooth, sexy chocolate man wasn’t guzzling back a 40 ounce. Yes, our culture has been marketed to heavily by malt liquor companies for over 40 years, but my generation got reeled in with the quick, cheap high of 40 ounces. We then spread the news quickly in music and movies, and now younger generations are hooked. Wonderful!

Yes, I’m being facetious!

My generation has promoted drinking liquor like Hennessey, Crown Royal, Smirnoff, Absolut, and oh remember when everyone got on the Cristal champagne kick? Folks didn’t even like champagne but they were excited by the thought of taking a sip or even just holding the bottle of Cristal. Pitiful!

Now we have rappers, actors, and a well-known movie director-slash-producer buying into, partnering with and promoting various alcoholic brands- and serving them up in the Black and Brown communities; ignoring the fact that just like they had access to their parents’ liquor cabinet, these kids have access also and think it’s cool to be ‘sipping on syrup’. What are we doing to our people?

Sex: Sloppy Seconds and Thirds and…
My generation made Magnum condoms what they are today- popular, but obviously not used that often since we have more unplanned pregnancies and HIV cases than a little bit. There were and are more men claiming to be Magnum men, when they and we know the truth; but just saying the name speaks volumes. Magnum means ‘manhood’- so men say it and claim it.

Our songs went from fighting against war, oppression, and racism to ‘set trippin’, ‘baby mamas’, love triangles, and trying not to get grits thrown on us for coming in at 5am. Our songs went from “Fight the Power” to “What Set You Claim?” Our songs glorified pimping, illegal hustling, gang banging, and ho slanging. In the late 80s and 90s we were body rocking, knocking the boots- I can hear the guys just like it was yesterday when they would yell out, “that’s baby making music”. What the….!!!!! Yep, there were plenty of babies being made in the late 80s and 90s- a flippin baby boom! We wonder why the generations that followed are highly engaged in sex, violence, drugs and alcohol- uh because we set the stage for it and the generation before us financed it!

The Message in the Music
My generation created the songs. My parents generation was in power to get those songs recorded, pressed, printed, and put on the radio airwaves and in the record stores. My parents generation had the money and power to get our songs out there, and to finance the music videos that told their story. They were the age we are today, and their eyes saw dollar signs. The heads of record labels and distribution companies found a way to turn a huge profit, finance the purchase of jets, luxury penthouses, and trips around the world- while my generation worked their butts off cranking out product and getting the smallest return (sometimes owing the label money). Now who wants to talk about the pimp game?

Our music videos showed images of young Black and Latino women in tight fitting, short, revealing, scantily-clad clothing. But that wasn’t enough. We needed more. We needed to see which girl was “Poison” and was willing to show off their “big butt and a smile”. We told these ladies, who are daughters and granddaughters, that the sexiest and biggest risk-takers would be the leading ladies in these videos. So with big house wishes and champagne and caviar dreams, these females removed layer after layer of clothing, leaving less to the imagination, and then the dances amplified- transitioning from the 1980s ‘freak’ to the 1990s ‘cry baby’ and basically women were having sex on the dance floor. Eventually night clubs turned into sex clubs.

2 Live Crew explored every crevice on a woman’s body in the 90s by seeing which one would prove to be the biggest ‘freak’. So on concert and club stages around the country, women shoved fruits, veggies, and anything else they could find into some of the most unimaginable places in front of hundreds of strangers.
This is my generation’s fault.

If my fellow 30-something and 40-something rappers, singers, and writers would stop trying so hard to fit in with the younger crowds there would not be a flow-through of our perversion over to these kids.

Better to be Cute and Hard, but not Smart
We wonder why girls are more concerned with their looks than their grades- we wonder why 10-year-old girls are looking like they are 21-year-olds…we wonder why we see so many young men walking around with sagging pants and frowns- looking as though they are waiting for a fight; looking like they are thinking, “I wish a #!**@ would”.

Do you really still not know the answer?

I will let you ponder this…we’ll pick up where we left off tomorrow!

Natasha L. Foreman

Copyright 2010. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.

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