This past December “music” channel VH1 premiered a new reality documentary series of rapper T.I. and his wife “Tiny” Tameka Cottle. The show followed T.I. from his release from prison to his return home to his wife and six children. Plots for most of the shows focused on parenting issues like school, dating, and the children’s dreams as well as T.I.’s new upcoming en devours. Personally I am a huge fan of T.I. and watched the show all the time, and I am not the only one. Millions of viewers tuned in every Monday to see the family and VH1 recently announced that “The Family Hustle” will return for a second season this fall. In my opinion the main reason for the return of the second season was due to the children’s en devours in the entertainment business. One of T.I.’s kids, Domani, revealed in the first season that he wanted to become a rapper. In one episode T.I. devotes time and money to make his son’s dream come true by providing support and money to shoot Domani’s first music video “Green Faces.” After reading Kelley’s article “Looking to Get Paid: How Some Black Youth Put Culture to Work” which was written in the late 90’s, is now in my opinion outdated. More than ten years later Hip-Hop/Rap has become so influential in mainstream culture that now the dream of becoming a Hip-Hop/Rap sensation is not solely limited to poorer African-American children who look towards Hip-Hop/Rap as a job and a way out. Many young privileged African-American children, like Domani, are born into wealthy households where the main issues of Hip-Hop/Rap such as poverty, crime, and drugs are not prevalent. Domani and other privileged children who decide to enter the Hip-Hop/Rap scene view it as a hobby however, they are still concerned about making money. For example Domani’s music video is almost all about making money, which is ironic because his dad already makes a pretty decent salary. I found this interesting because Kelley argues that these creative outlets are ways for “urban youth” to turn their hobbies into labor to recieve “cold hard cash” (410). While Kelley’s argument still holds true in some respect, I believe that now the opportunities for African-American youth to turn their leisure into labor for monetary benefits is not solely limited to “urban youth”.
Posts tagged ‘Hip-Hop/Rap’