Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Cory 'Coco Brother' Condrey
If Cory "Coco Brother" Condrey had his way, there would be no need for bleeps in hip-hop music. Condrey is no average hip-hop radio personality. This 29-year-old is changing the landscape of hip-hop to promote a positive, productive lifestyle.

Condrey founded of the Spirit of Hip Hop, a national group that fuses spirituality with hip-hop for 10 million radio listeners in 15 markets. He's come a long way from being homeless 10 years ago. Condrey now has a wildly popular national radio show, a following and a calling.

Condrey's message is simple: Respect yourself, others and music. Through community events such as Stand 2007, which hopes to bring 1 million people in the hip-hop community together in Atlanta, Georgia, Condrey is spreading the message. The only bleep that's acceptable for him in the hip-hop world is for young people to give one.

Update: Watch the CNN.com Live interview
Why does everybody miss the point about rap/hip-hop? Rappers aren't to blame for talking to their audiences in their own patois, and the audiences aren't holdng their plentiful guns and knives to these rappers' heads to make them talk smack. Young blacks still see themselves dead-ended and held back by multiple factors, still see mainstream culture as something to laugh at and avoid. That's what they rap about, and that's why it's often profane. Silencing rappers or trying to replace them with 'happy rap' isn't going to help anything; they need jobs, education, cultural identity, and if you listen to those profane @#%$!s they'll tell you the same thing.
You can't pigeon-hole rap into one thing. It's not all about booty-shaking, gang banging, and cursing--those are just the ones that get popular. Doesn't that tell you something more about the people who listen versus the people who make the music?

There are plenty of rappers who use the medium to address real issues and promote positivity and change. Lauryn Hill and Wyclef are two of the very few "famous" musicians to do so. Most social conscious rappers, such as Aesop Rock, Akrobatik, and Mr. Lif, tend to get overlooked.
So if we are turn rap/hip-hop into "happy rap" are we going to do the same for other music genres. Make them all "politically correct gender sensitive. Yes I do believe that hip-hop can be derogatory to African American women (I am a 23 year old AA woman)but I also believe that the rappers/artist are speaking from real life experience and have the right to do so.
Good for him! Change must come from within, and it takes intelligent individuals with the ability to understand and address problems in a productive, positive manner.

To Donovan, why do you miss the point not just about rap/hip-hop, but the endless cycle of claimed victimhood and self-pity? Rappers are to blame for what comes out of their mouths. Some young blacks still see themselves dead-ended, as you say...and guess who is getting rich off feeding that line of "poor, poor discriminated against me" crap? Rappers. Or to be precise, in most cases, their producers, considering the current state of the music industry.

They can "rap" about how bad their lives are, without it being F this and MF that, or calling women "ho's" and B's. It's only the rap/hip-hop genre that seems to be unable to come up with coherent lyrics free of profanity. Every other music genre, from country to R&B to classic rock, has been able to employ songwriters who have been successfully writing wildly popular poems set to music, almost entirely free of filth or aggressive language. Why can't rappers?

Your comment about how (some!) young blacks avoid and laugh at mainstream culture, yet still wonder why they are "dead-ended" and held back, is very telling. I agree, they need jobs, education, and cultural identity. Perhaps listening to music that encourages them to take the jobs that are indeed available, refrain from dropping out of the free public school education, and proudly wave the American flag as a cultural identity shared by ALL, will help bring about changes that years of special programs, affirmative action, and billions of dollars, have failed miserably to achieve.

I hope Mr. Condrey's mission to evoke change is successful. I support him 100%.
I liked the interview of Condrey. If you love your profession, your passion and you strive to achieve the excellence, you will be the winner.

I can see that Condrey is living in his own aspirations and passion with very simple excellence mantra - Respect yourself, others and music.

Rajesh Shakya
http://www.rajeshshakya.com
Helping Technopreneurs to excel and lead their life!
Cory is definitely doing the will of God and fulfilling his purpose. Go to www.choosejesusrightnow.com & click on BUMPER STICKERS.
Robin C from Pittsville, MD,you forgot to mention 200+ years of slavery, legal segregation, inequality, illegal and immoral testing of viruses and illnesses on AA because of thier "inferior status" in America, substandard schools with inadequate materials and neighborhoods. It's so funny in this plight to put current "rap and hip/hop" in its place that the real orgins of certain behaviors and the grimm outlook on society that some blacks have do have a historical basis. So comment on the whole picture as history would provide. Racism, sexism is still very alive and well in America.

Oh and white suburbia spends alot of money in hip-hop as a genre and image, whether they be middle class or whatever.
And they also drop out of school, and go to jail and have children out of wedlock and...everything else the American media pegs exclusively to the African American community.
Rap is not responsible for the need for affirmative action or the need for social programs that decades of racial injustice helped to create.
Although in America we've become very accustomed to pointing the finger with our backs to the mirrors it doens't surprise me that rap has been the chosen vehicle the meida has jumped on as the reason for AA's road to nowhere.
The majority of posts above seem to blame years of slavery/segregation on how violent the hip hop culture has made a large percentage of our teens. This is completely irrational! Anyone with an open mind and perceptive eye can see that the hip hop (and its latest turn towards gangsterism, womanizing, and rudeness) has affected ALL races, not just African American. Pay a visit to Jacksonville, Florida and you will find thousands of young, white, suburbanite gangsters that are just as violent as any Latino or Black group. These white gangsters dress, talk, rap, and act (mindlessly) just like the sociopathic morons they follow in hip hop.

Hip hop gangster culture IS to blame for how violent a sub-cultural segment (and by segment I am not talking a specific race) of society has become, so don't walk all over this man just because he is trying to make hip hop a force for virtue, instead of violence.

Let's not forget that the first rap songs ever made were not about killing, insulting, and rudeness.
Please help me to contact The Spirit of Hip HOp. I heard him cry out for supporters of the movement, but there is no contact information! He said his email address on the air on 10/14/07, but I am still unable to contact him. We want to support this movement in Columbus, OH! Please let me know if you can help. Please forward information to terriselylebrown@yahoo.com.

Thanks,

Min. Terrise
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