Thanks to the media, we have seen the American Dream being shoveled into our faces through various outlets, and as a result, people are bragging about getting: money, sex (in various ways and methods), drugs,material possessions... you get the point. People desire these things, and will stop at nothing to get them. America has been doing this to the WHOLE. WORLD., for quite some time, and this is just a cog in the machine, so to speak. The poorest of the poor come to North America in search for some of these things. They flock here because in some way, shape or form, media has told them that America is the place to be if you want to be somebody, meanwhile America's poor (and not so poor) people are seeking this out as well. The American Dream does not help Blacks at all because the same media that touted riches for everybody who entered, is the same media that systematically and continuously crapped on that particular ethnicity for so many years, in various ways and told them to shut up about it at the same time. Could you blame them for screaming for the American Dream, since it seems like everyone has it and they don't, especially when statistics are routinely made in order to drive the message home ? We have kids and adults from poor to upper middle class backgrounds that want to be "bad bitches", and want to be associated with BIG MONEY, and if they can't get there, they can at least look the part. As a result, you have people all across the board, regardless of race facing foreclosures, people going to college expecting to make BIG dollars straight away after they just put themselves so far into debt they have to live with their parents, we have for profit colleges, people with ATV's, Boats, RV's, cars, and stuff like that they can't pay for, broke folks with six hundred dollar cell phones, and really high cable bills. People are reading Better Homes and Gardens, entering the Publishers Clearing House (if that still exists),and scratching lottery tickets in hopes to "make it big" right now because if "so and so can do it, then I can too, because that's the American Dream, right?" People like to point to hip hop and say, "Look at what those people are saying with their music, that's destructive! :o ". but it's just a cog in the whole machine. The whole culture it represents is destructive, and no matter how it is spun, that is NORTH AMERICAN culture. Who decided that was American culture? You can't lay baited mouse traps in a room with mice, then turn around to pontificate why those particular mice got snared up, then collect data about it while shaming the mice for "being so self destructive". People must recognize the what, when, where, why, which, and how a situation got to where it is at the moment before they make accusations regardless if it is about self degrading music, or whether issue you may feel strongly about. Once the issue or issues are turned over and looked at from as many angles as possible, then and only then will a solution be found and things will be able to change. From my standpoint, the image of the snake eating its tail comes to mind. I feel that hip hop is not the culprit here, it's this gangster ass pyramid scheme of a culture that belongs to North America. America needs to do better. Devine Carma's Martin Didn't Die For This makes a solid attempt to address this.