This past weekend hundreds of thousands of people gathered at the National Mall to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March. People of all colors and creeds attended sitting alongside some of your favorite artists and personalities from Snoop Dogg, Young Jeezy, and Diddy to J. Cole, Jay Electronica, and Bryshere “Yazz” Gray. Many political leaders and parents of those who we’ve lost in the struggle for equality were also present. It made me smile knowing that following the BET Awards those same artists flew out to D.C. to be a part of the movement. It let me know that they still have some integrity left and actually do care about the issues that plague our community no matter what tax bracket they’re in now. Watching Snoop Dogg in a suit locked in to the messages spoken by guests made me proud to participate in Hip Hop Culture. J. Cole is one who was probably expected to attend but to attend as an onlooker and not an industry figurehead was even more amazing. Watching him go through the crowd shows how much humility this young man has in his heart.
It was all good on October 10th but what happens when the smoke clears? What did these artists do after the event? How long did they let the message marinate before getting back to business? Did they digest any of it? Well P. Diddy went to Atlanta and had a ball for “Bad Boy Weekend” while Snoop Dogg was headed to Texas for a game with his SYFL team. I am hoping against my better judgment that the music will reflect the change and the times. I bet you noticed how the only news station to air the event was C-SPAN. That is no mistake! They don’t want the music to reflect the change in times because it will result in action on our part.
After this is all over I just hope that emcees, lyricists, icons, legends, and rappers can all come to the realization that they are the ones in control. Not the radio and not the television. If they make the music than media outlets won’t have a choice but to play it. We have our own television networks, Revolt, and our own stations on Sirius XM and the internet as a whole cannot be stopped. When the smoke clears what rappers will have made a difference in your life? When the smoke clears what rappers will have made a difference in your community. When the smoke clears will they have changed the landscape of the music industry for the better or continued to regurgitate the same messages of sex, drugs, and ignorance? You decide.