LB

C.O.R.E: Children of Reagan’s Era.

I feel like the kids who were disproportionately affected by The Era are finally making music. We are the children and children’s children of the The Era. My parents were mid 20’s, early 30’s (my age today) during The Era.

My generation has been through a lot of shit. We’ve seen the rise and fall of Black and Brown life in a way unlike the generations preceding us. We’re an assortment of attitudes; assimilators, resisters, gangsters, “get wits” … all here at the same time with microphones and computers. From the wrestling stars of my time being referenced to the headlining news stories of my childhood frequenting the lyrics of the music I enjoy today; I finally feel like I belong and am being fairly represented.

I was about 5 months deep in the womb when Len Bias died from Cocaine overdose. It was during the midst of the epidemic, give or take a year.

His story was the pinnacle of The Reagan Era as I understand it; it’s when shit got real. It represents the crossroads of many cultures; youth, race, poverty, affluent, drug, political, sports, college, etc.

This is especially relative to me because I am from Maryland, like Bias, and very aware of how Washington, D.C.’s political environment shapes our affairs due to proximity. All of the dirty dealings of a shady government seep across our borders and Washington can’t have a national embarrassment take place so close to the seat of government without repercussion.

The 80’s were when the infamous crack babies were cooked up, the children most affected by Reaganomics. The fact that Reaganomics isn’t marked as misspelled in Microsoft word says a lot. The conditions are well documented and won’t be discussed here, but I’m pretty sure you have a slight idea. The Planet Rock Documentary atop this page is a good place to start. Without Bias, a documentary about the circumstances surrounding the rising star Len Bias’ tragic death is also very resourceful in getting some background information. It’s on the flix.

To sum it up though:

  • Poverty
  • Quick Money
  • Poor Morals
  • Distorted Values
  • Broken Homes
  • Tarnished Communities
  • Lives of Crime
  • Mental Anguish
  • Scapegoating
  • Pop Culture

There is a major difference between “glorifying” the street life, speaking on the street life and living the street life. All perspectives are valid, however be careful of your definition of “glorifying.” Be careful not to forget these people really do exist, really are marginalzed, and are really misunderstood due to White Supremacy’s agenda.

As far as C.O.R.E’s are concerned, we never existed without Gangsta Rap and Trap Music and we know for certain it will never fade away. Though it may become less valuable to those who exploit it for their personal gain and our detriment; there will always be an authentic and gritty aspect to our music regardless of how it’s reprimanded by public opinion. It’s embedded in us.

Bad things happen and we must express ourselves, among each other as well as the general public. They are out-crys for a better understanding of the complexities of life.

We grew up listening to Snoop, Onyx, Junior Mafia, Bone Thugs, Pac, Nas, Ruff Ryders, Wu-Tang, NWA, Three Six, No Limit, Cash Money, UGK …  Terror Squad, Jay-Z, G-Unit, Eminem, Jeezy, T.I. etc. This hard ass music has conditioned us, whether we realize it or not. It also tells some of our tales, and the tales of our old heads.

My sister is 10 years older than me and my mother loves hip-hop (i’m talking about the real raw shit too). So before I even knew how to listen music; Run-DMC, Special Ed, Heavy D, Chub Rock, LL Cool J, KRS-One, Slick Rick, Rakim, Roxanne Shante, Monie Love, A Tribe Called Quest, Busta Rhymes, Apache, BOSS, Queen Latifah .. I can go on and on ..  were shaping my conscious and perspective. I STILL have all of these CD’s, actual CD’s in a closet. 

Not only is that music the soundtrack to our lives, but the lifestyle many of us were exposed to in one way or another. The prison industrial complex is real. The war on drugs is real. The aftermath of Reaganomics will be felt for generations to come.

C.O.R.E. is my shit DO NOT BITE MY SHIT.

wu

Thanks for reading!

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3 thoughts on “Reagan, Len Bias, The Media & Hip-Hop

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