Ever since the murders of young men like Oscar Grant and Trayvon martin, a lot of awareness is being built up for America’s 400+ year relationship with “minorities”, particularly black people. Fast-forward to 2015, black pride is probably the strongest it has been in this whole generation. And hip-hop, one of the most dominant forces in our modern society has reflected this in a truly powerful way.
Rappers have stepped up to the political forefront as champions for the cause for equality. Killer Mike has appeared all over news channels, sharing his articulate insight on the current sociopolitical climate
Him doing so has created a powerful visibility for a number of things, namely the Run the Jewels brand and the movement. Needless to say, hip-hop is proud.
Another example of engaged rappers is Talib Kweli. The legend has been sharing wisdom all over his social networks, as well as appearing on CNN. Just follow him on social media to see this.
In fact, social media has been a pivotal point in this new movement, as we see many celebrities and artists share their thoughts and feelings in a way that has never been shown and shared before. Twitter posts by artists surrounding incidents around police brutality or screwy media quickly hit headlines. Anything you see on the internet quickly spurs huge conversations, for example, Azealia Banks’ fiascos.
Most profoundly of all, this has leaked into the music of many artists, underground and mainstream. The commentary presented in Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright” video is powerful and potent.
Many have taken his last album to be a “pro-black” composition, although it’s moreso a story of Kendrick Lamar’s revelation after conquering his bouts of depression and simply brushing and bumping past the concept of “pro-black”. And his messages has transcended circles of hip-hop into mainstream media, albeit misconstrued. Big name artists team up to make posse tracks. Up and comers deliver powerful passion of these incidents hungrily. Benjamin Starr, for one, deserves a huge mention that’s packed with black pride and empowerment from front to back.
It’s refreshing to see that as much to see that things have evolved and changed, a lot has stayed the same. Hip-hop is still the voice for those who wouldn’t have had one otherwise.
Watch the lyric video for “Thuggin'” by Glasses Malone