|Hip-Hop The Reparations Movement|
|Written by Westside ID497|
|Thursday, 02 December 2004 22:21|
Since its beginning, Hip Hop culture has always played a role in major issues that have affected the Black community here in America. In the early 1980’s Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five produced the song, “The Message.” It spoke about poverty, unemployment and social injustice. In 1989 Hip Hop artists such as MC Lyte, Heavy D, Public Enemy and KRS1founded “The Stop the Violence Movement.” That movement went on to produce the Hip Hop classic “Self-Destruction”, which addressed the issue of Black on Black crime. A few years later artists on the west coast produced “We’re all in the Same Gang.”, which also spoke about crime in the Black community. In more recent times the Hip Hop community has been involved in producing songs for “September 11th” and in encouraging more young people to get involved politically by voting. Now it is time for the Hip Hop community to get involved in the Reparations Movement.
The Reparations Movement is an important issue that the Hip Hop community should address for a couple of reasons. The Hip Hop community is trying to mobilize young Black People to register to vote and it has done a great job. However it is not just enough to register to vote. One must now what one is voting for. Therefore if the Hip Hop community is going to move more young Black People to vote, it must also educate them on the issues. The only political issue that relevant to Black People today is the issue of reparations. Reparations covers issues such as education, health care, taxes and land.
An issue that Reparations also addresses that should be of particular importance to the Hip Hop community is police brutality and the prison system, because so many people of the Hip Hop generation are affected by it. Police departments in cities such as N.Y. and Miami have or are forming “Hip Hop Squads”, to monitor Hip Hop artists. With the majority of Hip Hop artists are Black, Latino and/or poor people; this can be considered a form of “Racial and Economic Profiling.” A Rave which is attended by predominately white people, is known for its heavy drugs use, however it does not have an entire police squad dedicated to it.
Hip Hop artists must realize that they have the power to influence people, in particular young people, and can do it world wide. Hip Hop artists have captured the ears, hearts and minds of people such as Bill Cosby, Bill O’Reilly and even the United States Senate. Whether the medium is music, movie, video magazine or clothing line everyone wants to experience Hip Hop. With this type of impact, Hip Hop can help to advance the Reparations Movement ten fold.
Hip Hop artists have a responsibility to produce music that is a balance to the overabundance of party and sexually suggestive songs that are already made. If Snoop can have people “dropping it like its hot” or if Nelly can have our sisters “dropping down and getting their eagle on” then they can drop a few tracks about reparations.
This was written by Brother Salim Kujitawala. He can be reached by email HERE .