Dominican Bling- Does it make sense here?
The Dominican Republic finds itself in a unique set of conditions which are often highly contrasting and contradictory to the average standard of living its citizens face. It is favored among the Caribbean islands as a tourist destination and as such, receives much more in foreign investment than its neighbors do, such as other tourist hotspots like Cuba, Jamaica and the Bahamas etc.. Being the island that boasts having the first city in all of the western hemisphere it also has a longstanding connection with other nations in regard to importing and exporting. Not just basic resources either, also in terms of fashion and culture, in addition to trends in entertainment and technology. In other words for a country with such a high rate of poverty and low rate of education among the general public, it has the all the appearances in its major cities (especially along the coast) of having the latest gear from clothes to food and hi-tech gadgets. On the real side of things however most people here are struggling to get by with the basics as in any other developing country. To have that fresh look you see dude having on the corner he probably had to sacrifice some essential needs for it. Maybe he doesn’t even have power in his crib for that week so he could afford those kicks. You might note that he’s got a dope motorcycle but he would drive it to the ends of the earth to make a dollar to put gas in it. He has the latest smartphone but can only use it in a wi-fi hotspot ’cause he has no plan and can’t afford minutes. To bring the point to Hiphop it’s what you see in the rappers also. Not to hate on the artists for having aspirations of amassing wealth. Especially when it’s all in their faces with foreign investors beyond the display window making them feel that its just within their reach. It would just seem that it’s obvious and transparent to anyone with an outside perspective that this is an illusion. Albeit a sustainable one for the moment. All the support in the form of exposure of the material and demand for the product is there to encourage it. Trying to get rich by convincing your audience that you are already there is the name of the game. Not to say that cats here can’t hustle and get street money, that the claims they make are not valid, or that they are fake in any sense. On the contrary these people have lived the struggle and have the right to claim the streets almost in every case. The ‘hoods here are a nightmare that are not easy to survive. Facing this standard of living while all the things money can buy are in your face heavily guarded yet just within your fingertips is what motivates the subject matter for the rappers here. Next door over in Haiti, there isn’t the availability and abundance of these products and potential of higher living standards as here, so you find the Hiphop music there focused on more socio-economic issues rather than detailing the exploits of wealthy living. Perhaps focusing on what we have rather than pretending to have all that we want will produce a sustainable Hiphop movement. One that can actually feed the children, rather than fatten the pockets of those keeping what’s desired just at arms reach, throwing a token reward every now and then.