I agree that all kids of all colors love hip-hop. My point in writing the book was to raise questions about the ways the hip-hop generation and the millennium generation, both who have lived their entire lives in post-segregation America, are processing race in radically different ways than any generation of Americans. I think they have a lot to tell us as a country about ways of addressing race matters.
Few places in American culture have made as effective a case for entrepreneurship than hip-hop. Hip-hop tells young people that our society is offering very limited options for youth. And that while society points to a radical decline in living wage jobs for youth and meaningful and affordable education, hip-hop is offering an alternative legitimate economy that is giving youth hope.
My hope is to get young people to think about ways that they can translate hip-hop's great cultural movement into political power that can change the conditions for America's young, so that young people upon graduating from high school who don't have economic means to go to college can realize other options beyond joining the military and fighting in wars that enrich corporations like Halliburton which should feel guilty about profiteering off of a war that is being fought on the backs of those locked out of America's mainstream economy.
We need to look beyond the obvious. Yes, there are minstrel images in hip-hop. Yes, there are demeaning, anti-racist, misogynistic and homophobic representations. We could make the same case about the church and our government. But hip-hop, like society, isn't one dimensional.
Unfortunately there is a standard set for it that precedes hip-hop. It would be great if corporate America didn't do this, but there is a huge market for sex and violence and anti-Black representations in America and the world that doesn't begin or end with hip-hop.
After many years of hip-hop as a nation we should have the sophistication to accept that their are distinctions between the corporate manifestation of hip-hop, sold as a commodity and package with sensational race, sex and violent imagery, and the hip-hop culture that kids are living everyday at a local level, which often doesn't dabble in that terrain.
Hip-hop is contributing to American society's misogyny and racism, hyper-sexuality anti-Black representations. Hip-Hop isn't setting the standard for misogyny. No one reduces the presidency to misogyny, although we've had misogynistic presidents. No one reduces our government to being solely homophobic, although we have a government with a don't ask, don't tell policy for gays and lesbians in the military.