Calling Out “ALL” Hip Hop Artists and Celebrities
The 2008 election seemed like it was the year of the socially conscious celebrity, especially in the Hip Hop industry. But like everything else in the industry – it was a fad, a trend, or tool like Snapchat – just something artists and celebrities used to expand their fan base.
Let’s be real, the 2008 presidential elections had A, B, and even D list celebrities jumping on the Obama band wagon. And it worked. The proof was in the numbers – Hip Hop artists and celebrities along with the star power they brought to the 2008 elections helped elect the first black President of the United States of America. Undeniably, this was the most historical moment in American history and it seemed like every artist and celebrity wanted to be a part of it. Unfortunately, when it came to the 2016 election, undeniably another important election in American history, CRICKETS, no one was speaking up or speaking out…
It wasn’t until election night when everyone thought it was time to throw a victory party, that’s when artists and celebrities finally decided to jump onboard but they were sadly mistaken. Trump won.
Hillary won the popular vote, that’s a fact, but overall she still lacked the social popularity needed to secure a solid victory. Let’s be honest, Hillary had minimal support from the Hip Hop community compared to President Obama. Even if Hillary wasn’t your first choice because of the mass incarceration attached to the Clinton name or maybe you preferred Bernie Sanders, reality is – besides Killer Mike – there was no other artist or celebrity actively speaking up or speaking out during the 2016 election like there was in the 2008 and the 2012 elections.
Where were all those artists and celebrities from 2008 and 2012 that basically hit the campaign trail screaming “Hope!”, “Change!”, and “Yes We Can!”? What happen to Vote or Die, Rock the Vote, and Respect My Vote? Where were all those artists and celebrities that rode the Obama coattail to victory? Because from where I’m standing, in 2016 they all failed – epically.
That resulted in leaving millions of their fans and followers receiving fraudulent news, being misrepresented by sources that don’t share their best interest, and sometimes not being represented at all. And I understand it’s not your responsibility to report the news, however it is your responsibility to represent your culture, and you do have some responsibility to use your platform for more than just monetary gain.
Understand black communities were being painted as war zones. Our youth was being painted as “Super Predators” and the Republicans were able to scoop up a hand full of “House Negros” and low level con men to run around the country and preach their lies. Sad thing is moguls of the industries sat idle and watched people like Sheriff David Clarke Jr., Pastor Mark Burns, Pastor Steve Parson, or Rev. Darrell Scott persecute the black communities by painting an unrealistic reality while trying to further their own political agendas. In my opinion, none of these individuals represented the best interests of the black community. However, instead of the black community picking its own voices to represent them, Republicans picked the voices that dominated the media. And those artists and celebrities who have a platform, had the ears of millions, and were politically active in the 2008 and 2012 elections – they all just stood by and said nothing in 2016.