“She’s so self conscious / has no idea what she’s doin’ in college,” — Kanye West on “All Falls Down”

On the block, he was once known as “Big Ferg,” now — after a couple of years at Hillman College — he prefers to go by his government name, Hamilton Winston Ferguson III. He no longer has time to kick it with the homies, like he did back in the day. Nah, he’s too busy discussing philosophy, economics and heavy intellectual stuff with his new upwardly-mobile college chums. However, every homecoming weekend, you can find him in the club, gettin’ tipsy and rockin’ to Rick Ross. No different than the brothers on the block he left behind…

It’s that time of year again. A time for football, elections and most importantly, college homecomings. Matter of fact, at most HBCU’s (Historically Black Colleges and Universities), homecoming even surpasses graduation weekend as the social event of the year.

However, the question that I have always had is: How do our institutions of “higher learning” always manage to find the lowest form of entertainment for their homecoming shows? Is there some unwritten rule that you have to get straight ig’nant every homecoming weekend?

Don’t get me wrong. I get it. After spending four hours a day slavin’ over books in boring classes, every homecoming weekend (or in many cases, every single weekend), students feel the need to get their party on and blow off some steam. But, some people have to cope with harder situations. What about the brothers and sisters trapped in the ‘hood, who say that the reason that they walk around with a 40 and a blunt all day, with Gucci Mane blastin’ through their headphones, is to escape the pain of ghetto life?

What’s sad is that black colleges have always been viewed as the breeding grounds for future leaders, who are gonna take African Americans to the next level. So why do they support rappers who are hell bent on leading our children down a path of destruction, by paying them major dollars to perform at their homecoming shows every year?

Contrary to popular belief, hip-hop artists (unless they are 50 Cent status) don’t make their money from CD sales. The newer artists make their dollars by touring clubs and college campuses. And, homecoming season is their time for cashin’ in.

So, although we try to blame the current state of hip-hop on Hen-Dog from the ‘hood who is always downloading Waka Flocka Flame CDs, or Lil Bobby from the ‘burbs who gets 15 dollars from mumsy every Tuesday to vicariously rep the ‘hood through Lil Wayne, the real culprits are the college brainiacs who actually bankroll the mysogynistic, minstrel murda music.

Some like to give rappers like Chief Keef a pass, sayin’ that they are just reppin’ their hoods. Problem is, if you are reading this while chillin’ in your dorm room, listening to a Chief Keef mixtape, you ain’t. Actually, you are guilty of exploiting the people who really have to live that way for your own entertainment pleasure.

Traditionally, college students are supposed to be representing the best hopes and aspirations of an entire race. Although many students are beatin’ people over the head this fall about how our ancestors “died for our right to vote”, what about those who died for our right to read a book? What is your responsibility to them?

This is not to say that all college students have neglected their responsibilities.

Back in 2004, a group of women at Spelman College protested against Nelly’s “Tip Drill” video, causing the rapper to abort his visit to the campus, instead of facing the music. Also, back in 2009, students at FAMU and NC A@T demanded to know why their student funds were going towards modern day minstrel shows. read more…