Platinum: A UPN Television Drama about Hip-Hop
"Platinum": A UPN television drama about hip-hop
by Tom Piotrowski
The UPN television network has unveiled the new drama, "Platinum," that delves into the world of hip-hop. The series follows the exploits of two brothers who are trying to guide their fledgling musical production company to the top of the music biz.
The show is a stylish production that often resembles a music video. Action jumps back and forth from slow motion to real time, and the camera shots and editing are very film-like. Violence, materialism, greed and misogyny are the flavors driving the content. The older brother, Jackson, seems to be trying to distance himself from the rough and tumble street background from whence he came. He's married a lawyer and settled into a suburban lifestyle with their small son. His test of resolve to fight the disreputable characters around him promises to be a heavy theme in the show.
Below is a short list of observations about some worldviews put forth to viewers by characters in "Platinum."
Violence is an acceptable answer to solving problems. In "Platinum," mantras like these are delivered with relish: "When disrespect is given, respect has to be taught. Sometimes it's a harsh lesson but harsh lessons are the ones you don't forget." Or "Let things get hectic so it stays corrected." Consider this comment from a black character as he tried to intimidate a white victim. "That's all brothers (blacks) got left ... scaring white people."
Women are treated as currency. The treatment of women has always been suspect in much of rap music. Too often they are offered up as sex toys and prizes for the winners of the world. Women are dispensable commodities pocketed and traded like baseball cards. So far, most male characters in "Platinum" have been portrayed as predators chasing the many available and wanton females that seem to be everywhere.
Materialism is celebrated. Hip-hop has always been an art form that unabashedly proclaimed, "it's all about the Benjamins." The more tricked out the car, the gaudier the jewelry, the more lavish the pad, the more authentic the bragging rights. The boasts are present in both the lyrics and in the lifestyle. "Platinum" continues to build upon that misunderstanding of what is important in this world. Characters have sex on top of money, drive high-profile vehicles, wear over-the-top clothing and jewelry, and the pursuit of wealth is an overriding motivation.
Cross-confusion. It can logically be assumed that when an individual wears the cross, they are communicating some relationship with Christ. When that identity is openly juxtaposed to brazen sinful behavior completely opposite to the words and teachings of Christ, "cross-confusion" ensues. In one "Platinum" scene, Grady (the younger brother) is seen swaggering through Grand Central Station with a large cross swinging from his neck. He finds what he is looking for, a new girlfriend who is waiting for him naked under her fur coat. The scene ends with the couple having public sex there in the station.
The Center for Parent/Youth Understanding grants permission for this article to be copied in its entirety, provided the copies are distributed free of charge and the copies indicate the source as the Center for Parent/Youth Understanding. For more information on resources to help you understand today=s rapidly changing youth culture, contact the Center for Parent/Youth Understanding. 82003, The Center for Parent/Youth Understanding
The Center for Parent/Youth Understanding grants permission for this article to be copied in its entirety, provided the copies are distributed free of charge and the copies indicate the source as the Center for Parent/Youth Understanding.
For more information on resources to help you understand today=s rapidly changing youth culture, contact the Center for Parent/Youth Understanding.
82003, The Center for Parent/Youth Understanding