Monday, April 16, 2007

It's Not Just a Black Thing

The USA's younger generation is being wooed by the flashy hip-hop lifestyle, which has gone increasingly mainstream — from baggy fashions and bejeweled 'grillz' to 'pimp and ho' slang. But a growing chorus of cultural critics is wondering "At what cost?"

Journalist Cora Daniels stumbled on the first raw material for her new book quite literally on her Brooklyn doorstep, where teenagers found it terrifically fun and "ghetto" to play cards, drink beer and cuss into the wee hours on school nights.

Several months and a few thousand miles later, she argues in Ghettonation that a "ghetto" mind-set — which she says celebrates the worst of human nature — has taken hold coast to coast.

"Ghetto" styles, from wearing gaudy jewelry to using the n-word in ordinary conversation, have caught on with teens and young adults who aren't black, yet who seem to enjoy imitating famous hip-hop artists such as 50 Cent and Three 6 Mafia.

The "ghetto-ization" of America, which includes everything from baggy clothes to racial slurs and slacker attitudes, is triggering concern far beyond urban neighborhoods. Last week, white radio host Don Imus lost his job at CBS after he used "ho" (hip-hop slang for "whore") on the air, and drew widespread condemnation. MORE . . .

Horrible - hip-hop is not a good thing!

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