The primal quality of rap is extremely relevant in todays society as it allows people to imagine, or actually express and get in touch with their subconscious desires which our “civilized” culture has successfully taught us to repress.
Our subconscious desires (mainly survival, and fear) as Freud studied drive our actions. However these desires can be very irrational or can operate irrationally, and lead us to irrational actions and feelings which can be very dangerous to the self and especially others and if unleashed can cause destructive chaos. This is the fear that many hip-hop haters (I’m picturing parents and older generation) have. They fear, perhaps rightfully so, that allowing these locked up inner desired to surface would destroy the status quo, cause chaos, and turn human beings back to their ancestral roots; animals. All civilized masks would disappear and we would cease to be actors or exercising accepted and appropriate social norms and etiquettes and simply express our raw primal feelings including violence, physical aggression towards enemies, overt verbal and physical sexual advances, and hatred.
What I like about this is that essentially, if humans were to act on their true inner desires, they would become completely honest with each other, and not repress anything. The more aristocratic classes in our society are the least overtly barbaric/animalistic, and tend to conform to professional social rules and etiquette which are in place to maintain order and productive business. The poor, however live in conditions that are closer to the survival of the fittest, and fight or flight environment. They always feel threatened.
Repression is a necessity for the safety and contentness of the majority. The government must implement a political philosophy that accounts for the repression of people just enough to keep them comfortable. People’s individual unique feelings and desires must be repressed in order to maintain control, safety, and a steady or growing economy and repression is necessary for business and the capitalistic/consumer system. It is the role of businesses to manipulate people’s minds so that people transfer these inner desires to products or other harmless things rather than allow people to express them otherwise. But “order in the streets, leads to chaos in our minds.” I believe the more ordered our world becomes, the more we crave the unexpected, the chaotic, and the more we crave and are potentially susceptible to the ideas and values of hip-hop.
NWA, Wu-Tang, Lil-Wayne, Waka Flocka, and numerous other rap artists get us in touch with our subconscious drives and remind us that we have them and what they are. They rap about killing the enemy, power, fighting the system and pro-creation in a very crude, irrational, raw, barbaric way. Hip-hop is dangerous. Hip-hop is political. Hip-hop is rebellion. And because the system of consumerism and capitalism and the order they rely on will only get more systematic and fine tuned, I believe, and hope that Hip-hop is here to stay! We just need to continue finding and popularizing good hip-hop artists. I think hip-hop will only die when we have given up the hope and accepted that changing our systematic repressive culture is impossible. Or if it does bring about change, and the idea of systematic repressive environment becomes a thing of the past.
PS. i touched on this topic in this post