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You Are Free Hip Hop!

Today ladies and gentlemen is Juneteenth. For you younger folks who don’t get the proper education in school, Juneteenth is a day in June used to signify the day the southern slaves found out that they were in fact free from the slavery of their oppressors nearly three years after President Abraham Lincoln signed The Emancipation Proclamation. Over 150 years ago we are still not free! Even Martin Luther King, Jr. had reservations about going through with segregation. We would have been free but we would have been forced to “buy black” or only consume products from black owned companies. Reading black owned newspapers and magazines so on and so on. Ever since African slaves have been brought to North America the dominant culture has terrorized people of color. From the beginning until now! Still terrorizing us today! A former leader of the KKK once said that in the future the klan will not where white robes and the metaphorical dunce hat but wearing uniforms, suits, and dawn robes for judging our people. In the last week alone we have seen a white woman resign from her post with the NAACP for receiving national attention for pretending to be a black woman and now we have a white terrorist ADMITTING that he intentionally went into a church during bible study to murder multiple black people to ignite a civil war. People I am here to tell you that we have been at civil war since our ancestors got here! Every shooting, murder, death, homicide, and assassination is a battle in the greater war we have been fighting since the beginning!

Every riot, every revolt, every protest is our only reaction to each individual battle. We need to do more and be more active! We need to explain to our children the importance of getting an education to replace those 21st century klan members in the suits, robes, and uniforms! That is the number one way to change the oppressive laws and policies that have been put into place over the decades of racism in the U.S. We have to vote in more than just the November presidential elections. We have to vote in local elections and elections for other political parties not just those we “identify” with. We need to vote in city council and PTA elections. Your child goes to a horrible school but you don’t want to vote for who runs the school system! You are setting your child up for failure. The school system in most poor black neighborhoods are what I call prison transition programs. Spending all day learning nothing but how to be a prisoner and not have any thoughts of creativity or self-esteem.

Jazz grew out of the Harlem Renaissance, Blues grew out of the end of slavery, Rock N Roll grew out of the Jazz and Blues, and Hip Hop grew out of a broken economy during the presidencies of Eisenhower and Nixon. All of these genres are music were created by Black Americans and even then were getting swindled out of hundreds of thousands of dollars and in some cases millions. This swindling still goes on today in all genres of music as if it were a rite of passage and some don’t finish the trip. (Pun intended) I don’t know if Rappers know this but they are free. I’m not sure if they know but they’ve been free for years; just like the slaves in the South on that day in June 1865. Rappers, emcees, and lyricists you are free to say whatever you want to say on a song. Freedom of speech! Some people may say “We can’t really say anything. We got sponsors. We’ll lose fans”. The amount of fans you gain will fade in comparison to the amount of fans you will gain for spitting truths, positivity, and knowledge! The fifth element of Hip Hop is knowledge! You are free to do whatever you can to motivate the black community if you allow yourself to be. Jay Z, Snoop Dogg, Nas, Eminem, 50 Cent, Russell Simmons, and the rest of them have enough power, money, and respect to be lead the charge. These artists own their catalogue which is their leverage. It may not be the billions that the one percent have but we have to grow our wealth as a people first.

They have enough money to invest in black owned businesses and grow our economy! You are free to stimulate the minds of the masses. Plenty of artists communicate the same messages in their music with no problems. The Roots! They have the platform on Fallon that grew out of what they did within Hip Hop as a Rap band that communicates appropriate messages. Now, they can do the music they love and have the “dominant culture” listen to the serious messages that we all need to hear. Hip Hop you are free to take a stand against the injustices in our society. You are free to denounce corporations! You don’t need those corporate sponsors owned by non-blacks. I’m not talking about companies with Black CEOs or presidents I mean owned by a Black person! There are Black owned banks, insurers, schools, farmers, and manufacturers. You can go through a Black owned distribution company or a black owned streaming service. You can use Black promoters, Black owned arenas, all-Black everything! (In my Jeezy voice) You are free to start a label and be free from parent companies Universal, Sony, BMG, and Warner Brothers. You don’t have to use Clear Channel or Radio One. Forget VIACOM! If you have dedicated fans they will follow you no matter where you go or what you do. You are a business man! Not a business man. (In my Jay Z voice) They love Black culture not being Black because they could never fathom being in our socioeconomic status or getting or subpar education. You are free Hip Hop! YOU ARE FREE!