Have you heard about the cultural pharmacy? You haven’t, because I made it up.
I created that term because I was scrolling through Instagram and I saw this post from the rapper and my friend Killer Mike. He’s a very kind human being who has good intentions all the time.
I’ll explain what the “cultural pharmacy” is, but first, be sure to check out my new documentary now available on DailyWire+: THE GREATEST LIE EVER SOLD.
So, I follow Killer Mike on Instagram and he posted a photo with a caption that reads, “Freedom of speech. Is a foundational tenet of a free society. Allowing one’s artistic expression to be used against one’s self in the courtroom jeopardizes all of our freedoms.”
Now, when I first read those couple of sentences, I thought, “Wow, he’s making a post about Alex Jones’ recent court case. I can’t believe Killer Mike is going to stand up and say that.”
I was wrong.
His post goes on to say, “Hip hop culture has and will continue to be a defensive, a barrier against those who wish to take greater society’s rights away.”
It turns out that he was referring to something else, which is why he used the hashtag #LutherCampbellIsAFreePatriot.
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Killer Mike was actually referring to Luther Campbell, who was a member of the rap group 2 Live Crew. He was discussing an old case that dates back to 1990 pertaining to obscenities in music.
After Florida police threatened to arrest Campbell and other group members for the vulgar music if they attempted to sell it, a district court ruled that his album was obscene and “an appeal to dirty thoughts…not to the intellect and the mind.
A circuit court later said the album was not obscene and could be played.
Now, I am completely a free-speech absolutist. I believe that people should say what they mean and be free to say what they want. So I’m not doing this column to say, “Oh, this was the wrong decision. He should not have been allowed to put his album out.”
I am actually having this discussion because I believe that free speech has consequences that we need to examine. And that decision, in my opinion, had a major consequence for society.
The court decision that said that sort of music was legally allowed, in many ways, represented a shift in culture. And I’m wondering if we as a society are now suffering the consequences of that cultural change.
Killer Mike implied that the court ruling was a win for hip-hop culture and a win for freedom of speech. It may have been a win for freedom of speech, but it was ultimately not a win for society.
That case put forth the idea that artists can just say whatever they want and there are no consequences because that sort of music is for adults. It’s not for children, the argument goes, even though we know that children are listening to it.
Now we live in a society where people are angry. We live in a very murderous time in America. We live in a time where there’s a lot of tension. So this is where my thoughts about the “cultural pharmacy” come into play.
I started thinking about how music is, in fact, a frequency, right?
When we talk about the sound waves from music, we’re talking about an actual wave of sorts.
What you put into your ears, you are putting into your mind, and you are putting into your heart. It informs you as an individual and those frequencies invade your body. Those frequencies are either helpful or they’re toxic, so to speak. They’re either good “medicine” or bad “medicine.”
I recently became very conscious of how I feel when I listen to music.
For example, if I listen to a rap song, I sometimes feel angrier or bolder. If I listen to something like classical music — which my husband listens to and we both enjoy — it makes me feel more intellectual. So, in a way, it is funny that the judge said that rap music was “not inspiring intellect.” Listening to certain music that makes you feel more intellectual is an entirely different vibe or vibration.
That’s a common expression today. “That’s a bad vibe. She’s a vibe. We’re vibing.”
Vibrations are a part of frequencies, right?
So what vibe — or vibration — are you picking up when you put certain music in your ears? Do you need to get new “medicine” from the cultural pharmacy?
I believe our culture has corroded because of decisions like the one highlighted by Killer Mike.
Our society has decided anybody can say anything — which I don’t disagree with fundamentally — and there are no consequences.
Legally that might be true, but there have been some deep consequences for the nation — particularly as it relates to the sort of music we’re putting into the ears of our children.