Posts Tagged ‘HIV’
For years Lil’ Wayne has dedicated himself to gangsta rap, selling the messages of fast money, sex and even death, as he climbed the charts, amassed fame and piled on riches.
I’ve resented his music, his swagger, his artistry – not because I’m hating on his success, but because in communities that need more positive messages, Weezy and other gangsta rappers inherit the status of role model leading impressionable minds down paths that praise low hanging pants, disrespect for authority, womanizing thuggish behavior and a few other less complimentary antics.
A few months ago, however, Lil Wayne’s song “How to Love” grabbed my attention. This edgy, yet simple love ballad showed a more sensitive, mature side of Wayne that deserved recognition.
You’ve had a lot of crooks trying to steal your heart, never really had luck … never really figured out how to love.
Catchy, memorable, bonafide good song … in my opinion.
After weeks of watching undiscovered artists sing their rendition of the song on YouTube, I finally got a chance to see the official video, which came out 8/24. I must say I was impressed. The imagery fits perfectly, leaving the maturity and growth of Wayne to be applauded.
The video’s plot — a young woman abused by men, grows up in a world where the wrong decisions are the only practical options for her survival. Promiscuity, stripping, prostitution, teenage pregnancy all bring this girl down to hopelessness and even the unfortunate fate of contracting HIV.
Then, the video rewinds and shows the life of this woman after making all the “right” decisions. So for example – even after becoming pregnant as a teenager, rather than trying to live on the streets, the girl moves back home with her mother. She stays out of trouble, meets a good man, gets married, and her daughter instead of becoming a victim of abuse, driven toward making wrong decisions and facing the harsh consequences for her actions, she takes the opportunity of an education, finds true love and begins a family … the perfect happy ending.
And yet I complain.
I love happy endings and stories that come full circle, but the message of the video slightly bothers me. Why? Because it suggests that Lil Wayne knows the difference between good decisions and bad decisions and the rewards and consequences that are attached for making one over the other.
While founded on an abusive relationship, the video clearly shows how tough life can be when bad choices are made – even if forced to make those choices and “the good life”, i.e. a monogamous relationship, marriage, responsible parenting, etc. can lead to the better life.
Showing this outcome and making the distinction in the video tells me that rappers (like Lil Wayne) who claim that wholesome qualities are somehow unfamiliar, unattainable, uncool, etc. know what is considered good, yet despite knowing, they choose to package and sell the negative messages they endorse. If Lil wayne truly believes that good choice make for a better life, why not make that his platform? Why not push those message points? Don’t tell me it won’t sell. Don’t tell me it won’t have an impact. The current hip hop filth is selling and its influencing — and now this song, with its positive message is making waves in the music world.
If there is even a chance that Lil Wayne could read this blog, I would say this to him.
Hey Mr. Carter, tell me where you been?
You’ve had hits before. You’ve made money. You’re a mogul. Look at how THIS song is climbing the charts. Look at the types of people who are listening, and singing THIS song. It’s influential and just as real as your other music. But THIS song, which made my playlist a month ago, can can do more than make money. It can make a difference.
I wish you continued success in your career.