Hiphop is a craft, but more importantly it’s a culture. Over the years since its origins in The Bronx In the 1970s, hiphop has grown to become arguably the most influential music genre in the world.
One of the reasons hiphop has become so influential is because it’s real or it’s based on reality. Reality is defined as the state of a things as they actually exist. Remove reality or the streets away from hiphop it becomes an image, posture or gimmick. It becomes what pop antagonist Billie Eilish accused it of when saying “There are tons of songs where people are just lying. There’s a lot of that in rap right now, from people that I know who rap.”
It is from this stand point that i present the argument that 6ix9ine admitting to snitching is one of the most important things that has happened within hiphop culture in the last few years. His admittance gives a real picture of what life on the streets is really like. The old adage remains that there is no honour amongst thieves. In reality not everyone on the streets is doing 15-40 years jail time for their crimes, a lot are snitching.
Every year, tens of thousands of offenders give the government information to avoid criminal charges or work off their sentences. Some of that information is true; much of it is false. In exchange for that information, law enforcement tolerates informant crimes in order to make new cases.
So to paint every rapper as a morally superior code abiding criminal makes hiphop unrealistic. It becomes a gimmick much like WWE, where everyone is pretending and playing a scripted character. In this case hiphop would be selling a lie, the average neighbourhood kid is accustomed to dealers on street corners snitching. In fact, the real controversy is that the police are in on the deal.
Viewing snitching in hiphop culture from this perspective 6ix9ine admittance keeps the game pure. It reflects a realistic picture of street life which hiphop thrives on. It keeps the influence of hiphop strong because it remains realistic. It also challenges the narrative of do it but just don’t let the world know, which creates a lack of integrity.
I understand why some OG rappers might frown upon 6ix9ine snitching. He carries influence and they think he might contaminate the game. I beg to differ, I believe 6ix9ine is a realistic picture of what already exist. There are already tens of thousands of offenders snitching from the streets. A lot of popular street rappers have snitched or are associated with snitches. 6ix9ine is just the first to openly admit this truth. Some might argue that he’s not fully street, however his activities over the last few years shows clear evidence that he participated in extreme street culture. Even putting hits on rival gang members.
There are a lot of rappers that abide by the street code and so far as they continue to represent and influence the culture balance will be maintained. In saying this we’ve come to the conclusion that snitching Is a systematic delusion. We as a culture can’t continue to paint every situation with the same brush as situations differ in complexity. Meaning context is important, we can’t just allow the word to be thrown around to control generations. Many people have done time for unworthy disloyal people who didn’t even put a thing away for them. In the context of facing high levels of disloyalty and anticipated betrayal it is important that everyman make his own life choices.
In the same breath betrayal to ones comrades who’ve stood loyal and upheld the principles is something to be frowned upon. In conclusion the only people who should be taken seriously in these conversations are those who have been in the situation and stood on their principles not to snitch. Anyone who says they would not snitch but has not encountered the reality of doing more than a 10 year sentence for someone who’s turned on them is just being speculative.
Written By Kwasi Addo
Twitter : @KwasiSTM