Throughout the years, controversy surrounding hip hop music and its culture has been in the forefront of the media. From those who are quick to point fingers towards its violent lyrics or to the recent shooting that took place at T.I.’s concert in New York a few weeks back. It’s easy for people to place blame on hip hop music for gun violence or violence in general.
However, these hip hop artists, who do discuss gun violence in their lyrics and music videos contend that they are simply reflecting on their personal experiences in various poor African-Americans neighborhoods. These artists feel the need to have the creative freedom to divulge their experiences and stay true to their craft and hard-hitting experiences.
In fact, during a HipHopDX interview with Phonte, the veteran hip hop rapper mentions how more kids die in EDM shows than rap concerts by taking pills and overdosing. He goes to say how the genre will always be looked down upon and be blame for something it has nothing to do with.
Another example is Kendrick Lamar’s “Mortal Man,” where he addresses, “I remember you was conflicted, misusing your influence. Abusing my power, full of resentment. Resentment that turned into a deep depression…,” the Compton native is always giving his fans the motivation to overcome their personal demons while bringing love, peace and hope into their environments.
Or take the powerful movement, #BlackLivesMatter, along with the Justice or Else! Million Man March, which brought together thousands of people to fight injustice and march the streets of Washington D.C. earlier this year. Attendees included Trayvon Martin’s mother, Michael Brown’s father, Sandra Bland’s sister, and major hip hop influencers like Russell Simmons, Jay Electronica, and J. Cole.
With that being said, many hip hop artists provide a voice for those who are misunderstood and prisoners to their own society. So next time you hear someone blame hip hop for gun violence, remember that hip hop has had the ability to unite a country, give an expression for oppressed people, and can be used as a culture of challenging oppression while raising awareness.
Over all, let us know what you think about this topic in the comments below. Do you agree or disagree?