In a world where 95% of the Hip-Hop community seems to care more about sensationalizing their newest gold incrusted chain, and tend to place special emphasis on their tom-foolery abilities to snag a, for lack of better words “thot,” one burning question that seems to arise is: where exactly are our Hip-Hop leaders when we need them? Blame social media, really. Thank you kindly Twitter and Instagram, uh, your bright red bowed presents await you for Santa Claus season.
Sadly enough, rather than unifying themselves (rappers for this matter) for sociopolitical purposes, say, like how daring artists such as Public Enemy and NWA did back in the heyday, there’s been a consistent influx of braggadocios flicks, which if any, shouldn’t have that much of an impact on the grand scheme of our kids’ educational landscape, but then again, it’s 2014 and, well, society as a whole are just plain ole bamboozled and brainwashed to the core. For today’s youth, their favorite artists maybe their only form of education or parental figures they might have. A travesty in its own right, but I digress from the point at hand.
Similar to the infamously known riots of 1965 and 1992, respectively in Watts and Los Angeles, racial tension has reached its ultimate peak in Ferguson, Missouri, following the senseless killing of Michael Brown, an unarmed teen who was gunned down by the police. This subsequently comes on the heels of a recent Staten Island incident, where unnecessary brute force was used by the NYPD upon 43 year-old Eric Garner, which resulted in not only an outcry from the media and the public alike, but also led to the man’s death as well. It’s all become a trickle-down effect, and shockingly, right before our eyes, it’s eerily transforming into a modern day scene from the incomprehensible creation deemed as the “Purge” installments. This real life movie, though, is filled with complete mayhem – with no end in sight – and there’s no telling when it’ll actually let up (as many want President Obama to go ahead and declare martial law.)
Several musicians have come to the forefront to chime in on the recent turn of events (Killer Mike, David Banner, John Legend, and Frank Ocean, just to name a few), but North Carolina native J. Cole vies to bring mass media attention to the matter, by pleading for the world to rid itself of social and racial injustices, and by doing so, has thoughtfully penned a poignant and heartfelt track dedicated to the slain Missouri teen entitled, “Be Free,” which includes a tear-jerking shot of the youngster lying face down on the pavement. It’s a darky realization that, even with Dr. King’s words ringing clear umpteenth years later, we haven’t progressed as much as the White House would like us to believe. So I'm concluding with these timeless words from actor Charles S. Dutton: “the hunt is on and you’re the prey.” We need more leaders, and fewer mascots, so please stand up, and let us do everything in our power to emancipate ourselves from that permed media hog, who just about everyone believes speaks for all African Americans. That is not the case, people.
There was a time in my life when I gave a f*ck. Every chance I got I was screaming about it. I was younger. It’s so easy to try to save the world when you’re in college. You got nothing but time and no responsibility. But soon life hits you. No more dorms, no more meal plan, no more refund check. N*gga need a job. N*gga got rent. Got car note. Cable bill. Girlfriend moves in and becomes wife. Baby on the way. Career advances. Instagram is poppin. Lebron leaves Miami. LIFE HITS. We become distracted. We become numb. I became numb. But not anymore. That coulda been me, easily. It could have been my best friend. I’m tired of being desensitized to the murder of black men. I don’t give a f*ck if it’s by police or peers. This shIt is not normal.I made a song. This is how we feel.
Listen to the song here.