No Words...

. Jun 23, 2008

I was flipping through the channels around 6am this morning and I came across this show called "Hip Hop Harry". To be honest, I really don't know how I feel about the show. I had an obvious problem with the fact that the title was "Hip Hop Harry" because I feel like this is another example where hip hop becomes a packaged entity for commercial consumption. What does it really mean for the main character to be "hip hop" Harry? To make matters worse, I was angered by his physical appearance as he regularly sports a bucket hat, a chain with an "H" pendant, a large faced watch, baggy clothing, and shell toes. I guess this is the visual representation of what hip hop culture and fashion is all about.

Despite my critique of certain elements of the show, the show IS educational and tries to get kids active through dance. After thinking about if for a while, I started to wonder whether or not this might in fact be a good thing for rap music (Please bear with me and let me flesh this one out). Even though I don't like the title of the show and Hip Hop Harry's attire, the songs themselves paint a different picture of rap, one that is rarely depicted in the media today. It depicts rap as a tool or merely an outlet for expression rather than something that is affiliated with "thugs, violence, and money. Although the educational lyrics may sound corny and may be viewed by some as a watering down or commercializing of rap music, I do think this show is able to cater to an audience who may not like to hear the hum-drum sing along songs of shows such as Barney and Sesame Street. In doing this, this show may be able to capture the attention of different audiences of whom the other shows do not thus instilling important educational messages. The one thing I actually liked about the show is that they have people who can dance, which served to extinguish some of my resentment . Usually on shows like this, you see people who are "hip hop dancing "meaning that they are all over the place doing cliche moves such as "the running man" and "the sprinkler". On this show however some of these kids have skill, popping and breaking with ease (Peep the girl @ 2:01 in the second clip).

In the end, I am left with no words about this show as I don'w know whether or not I like it (due to its educational message and somewhat positive images of rap music) or hate it (due to its commercializing of hip hop). Let me know what you think...Be sure to check out some of the clips below.