Last week while watching the 2016 BET Hip Hop Awards, I noticed there were several references made in regards to exercising our rights to vote. Well, after watching the most recent presidential debate I was reassured that we, as the hip hop culture, have no true options. Neither candidate is speaking to the specific needs of inner city African Americans. Hip hop has always been the voice of the people, addressing social issues from poverty to police brutality. Since hip hop has transcended so many markets from music, fashion, pop culture, to sports; I believe now is the time to invade politics.
Before his early demise, Tupac Shakur spoke of starting a political party and recently Kanye West entertained the idea of running for president. It’s time! With the amount of wealth and influence that exists within the hip hop community, there is enough power to position our people in the political arena. Real power will not come from marching and demonstrating, it will come through laws and legislation; the way that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. did it. It’s time for artists and athletes to sponsor people like Jesse Williams and Alicia Garza to run for political offices and establish scholarship funds for young black teens to study political science.
We are not free. Freedom is having our own and not depending on others, including the government, for our livelihood. Freedom is not freely given by the oppressor; it must be seized by the oppressed (MLK). Hip hop nation, it’s time to stand up.