Conflicting Messages in Rap Music

Over the weekend Yasiin Bey released No Colonial Fiction as a tribute song to those who lost their lives in the attacks in Paris, France. The world came together and unified showing support for the French city as they investigate the horrific event. Facebook allowed people to fuse their profile pictures with the red, white, and blue flag of France. Since the Statue of Liberty was a gift from France in the early years of the United States some people felt that our nation should support them in their time of need. I even saw some memes depicting the support from other countries during our time of mourning following the attacks on the Twin Towers in New York. Anytime there is an “attack” on innocent people that is unacceptable and heartbreaking. To think that at any moment any one of us can become a victim of a terroristic threat or violence whether it is domestic or abroad.

Yasiin Bey hasn’t released a complete project in some time now but is still able to find the time and energy to compose a song that simultaneously caught the attention of all the Rap blogs and online magazines. When you have the skill, talent, and authenticity you can do anything you want and it will still captivate your core audience because good Hip Hop always prevails. Mos Def isn’t one of those Rappers who sends conflicting messages to his audience. He’s not out here making it rain and then going to a political rally afterwards. What you see is what you get. Just because a Rapper posts on social media a picture of Paris with the hashtag, #rechercheParis doesn’t mean they care or are knowledgeable about the events. For some posting a photo in support of something but not actually supporting the cause sends the conflicting messages. Posting about Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant, and Sandra Bland without being active in the movement is contradicting and minimalizing. Did anyone send a donation for the funeral of the Charleston Shooting victims? What about lawyer fees for the family of the deceased?

I recently asked a member of the local NAACP about the organization’s efforts to catch up with times and join in with the Black Lives Matter movement and what I learned is that they are out there but everybody is working on the low. If everybody is working for the movement on the low how do we get people’s attention in order to recruit? Just like Santa Clause, how can children appreciate their parents if they believe that Santa is the one showering them with gifts? Christmas is not all about the gifts but the movement is all about awareness, unity, and action! I want to see more action and less conflict. We need to take action, now! People are being criticized for the hashtag #F***Paris but those same people were using the hashtag #AllLivesMatter. It’s the same type of tactic used to minimize the real issues. You have issues in Africa that surpass anything that happened in Paris or the world over. We have been taught to believe that the suffering of Black people across the globe is normal and that we should ignore those issues and focus on issues that don’t affect our community and the same goes for the Rappers in this era of Hip Hop Culture.

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