Rappers And Social Responsibility

I have been a huge fan of rap music for as long as i can remember.Since i was a kid,rap has always been a favorite music genre of music of mine,but there is another thing.Instead of being something i proudly enjoy,rap music has also been a kind of guilty pleasure to some extent.

Why is it a guilty pleasure?Well for a couple of reasons really,reasons i am going to address on this blog post. Ok i know this conversation has been had a million times,but i am going to try talk about it from a slightly different angle.I'm not going to talk about how its terrible that rappers gloat about selling drugs,misogyny etc etc. They have long argued with that, saying at the end of the day,its not their responsibility to monitor what kids listen or do not listen to,that is on the parents.After all,these explicit songs do have a clear parental advisory tag on them,they say. What i'm going to try to do is appeal to their conscience,logistics and other things aside.

I was doing my usual skimming through Twitter about a week ago and i came across these really beautiful pictures from the rapper 2 Chainz wedding. It was nice to see good news coverage about black men for a change and not about them getting shot down whilst unarmed or about them being incarcerated. The setting was a really glamorous occasion ,graced by fellow rappers donning the latest designer suits and sipping bubbly champagne. And that was the thing that got to me,here we have these rappers, who regularly preach misogyny,gang violence and other ignorance and whose entire careers are based solely on the aforementioned,reaping the rewards of the glorification of all these things.One can argue,as they usually do when this topic is brought up,that it is not these rappers responsibility as to be social activists and also address dire issues faced by their fellow black people. Theoretically accurate as this is is,in the practical sense,it is utter bullshit.

The majority of people who listen to rap music are low income black people living in horrid conditions,both economically and socially. They mostly listen to rap music because they can relate to it,they know the issues that are being talked about by these rappers. But here is the problem,instead of addressing these problems and how they can be solved to help the black race,most rappers,except a very few,do nothing but glorify them as something to be celebrated.Listen to most charting rap songs at any given time,more than half of them will be promoting gang violence,misogyny and many other issues faced by the black community. These rappers are making money off of not positively addressing these issues faced by their fellow men,but taking these issues and glorifying them as something that black people should be proud of. Simply put,they are selling the struggles of their own race to enrich themselves,which is the lowest kind of lows.And if that is not disgusting enough,these self centered leeches will always be so quick to point out their blackness when they run into some sort of trouble,pointing out "racial profiling". Yes,racial profiling is definitely an issue that people of color face,but these rappers,with the massive platform and popularity that they have,do not even bother to address this issue until they run into it.It is like according to them,these issues do not exist until they experience them first hand.

I was very disgusted after i watched Lil Wayne's ABC interview (video below) about Black Lives Matter.He said to the interviewer,"i do not care about something that has nothing to do with me",that something referring to the Black Lives Matter movement. Lil Wayne,one of the most successful rappers of all time,does not care about BLM,a movement which is advocating for the better treatment of the same people who made him the millionaire that he is today. Weezy,as he is affectionately known,had been my favorite rapper but after i watched that interview, i was ashamed that at one point considered this man my idol.

The problem with these rappers is that,they seem to want the best of both worlds. On one hand,when they are living good and making money,the only time they want to identify with black people is when they glorify their problems to enrich themselves but distance themselves from their problems.Then ,when shit hits the fan,they remember that they are black people too and ask for the support of the one group of people who actually care about and support them,black people.And black people will always hear out and "stan" for these artists because they want to see one of their own making it out of the difficult situations that black people face and actually making something of themselves,even if they are doing it at the expense of that fan base. Like Uncle Ben said,"with great power comes great responsibility".Though it is not written in stone that an artist has to also be a social activist for causes which are affecting his fan-base,the same people who put him/her where he is,artists' own consciences should come into play and make them address these issues,and not only when they affect them personally.

Rap music has an immense influence not only on black people,but the entire spectrum of society, including people who have the legislative authority to change things. So if rappers could use this influence they have to address issues faced by their fellow black men instead of just making money from them,not only would these issues be heeded by general society,they would also be heeded by these people who have the power to invoke change and hence be addressed. You may argue that it is not their responsibility to be social activists to which i rebut,if they are not social activists,then it is unfair for them to jump on the "we as black people" band wagon when things go bad. They cannot want to relate to fellow black people when they want to monetize the culture but refuse to address the major issues faced by that same culture that made them millionaires. So as you drink your expensive champagnes, wearing your designer clothes at your fancy weddings,when you go to sleep in your king sized beds with Versace silk sheets,know that those riches have been built on the glorification of the struggles of your fellow black people,the struggles you have the platform to address but choose not to.


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