There is still unrest in Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray in police custody. Schools have been closed, curfews have been imposed, and marches have been led but no real results have occurred. Above everything else I’ve heard no word from the Hip Hop community. I’m glad Wale went to Baltimore and spoke to the high school kids. I’m glad that mom was caught disciplining her son using ‘traditional’ Black-American parenting methods. I’m glad the gangs can come together for the common good! I’m glad that people are still angry! This is bigger than Freddie Gray. This is snowballing and non-Blacks are really starting to realize and understand that there is a real problem in North America. It seems that Black people in the US are actually making headway. The Civil Rights Era was major headway but we haven’t done anything significant since then. We’ve only blended in with the oppressor.
Now we are taking over lead roles in Hollywood. It’s almost like Black people are the hot commodity but we’ve always been that. Black-American Culture and Hip Hop Culture are the most copied lifestyles dating back to the days of ancient Egypt. Greeks and Romans were fascinated by our mathematics and language so they stole it. I’ve given you all this history lesson plenty of times. Black is the new Black. Somehow there are still weekly reports of some police officer being held responsible for the death of a Black person and these are just the cases that become televised. There is an open case of two deaths of unarmed men at the hands of an officer in my area as we speak! You see celebrities going to social media to discourage young people from looting and rioting in the streets but why don’t I hear anybody in the studio? Russell Simmons is out there but these kids don’t care about what Russell is doing. They want to follow someone that appeals to them.
There is no better time than now to put out a record discussing what is going on out here! We need a soundtrack for the movement. Our marchers and protesters need music to keep them motivated and in a good head space with a clear mind. They can listen to Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole but for only so long. Every Black person in America can’t flock to every city every time a Black person is killed at the hands of law enforcement. The people fighting the fight at home need something to remind them that they have a life worth living. Something to remind us to ‘keep ya head up’. Who is going to be that artist? That Rapper? We need Public Enemy today! We need KRS-One eight now! We need BDP! I need these mainstream Rappers to chime in on the killing of their innocent fans. If you keep making the music you’re making your fan base will be dead! Rap about life and education. The issues facing our community are nothing new however this media attention is. Martin Luther King, Jr. welcomed the media to shine their light on their cause but that was before the media controlled the narrative on how victims were characterized.
Hip Hop was heavily involved during the LA riots. Now we are our own media. We have the tool in our hands via cell phone. Any and everything can and will be recorded these days. We don’t need your witness testimony if we have video evidence. There may have been a couple of artists to release a track but I want a major artist to do some work. I want another ‘My President is Black’ on m radio. Big Sean’s ‘One Man Can Change the World’ is great but it didn’t get as far as “IDFWU’. The time is now! It is time for these Rappers to take responsibility for their community on a larger scale. North America is their community. We all live in this community together and we need to take care of each other. The police are being taken care of but who’s taking care of our troops on the ground. Look at what they did to the protesters in New York and they were just protesting in solidarity with their Baltimore brethren. Rappers, don’t wait for it to hit home for you to become inspired. Just because you made it out of the hood does not mean you get to forget where you come from. You pride yourself on being real and claim your hood every chance you get. I need you to seize this moment while the window is wide open. The time is now Hip Hop; the time is now.