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Recently I came across the following video from President Obama, at the time a Senator, answering some questions regarding hip-hop, its message, and its potential.
“… honestly, I love the art of hip-hop, I don’t always love the message of hip-hop. There are times where even with the artists I named, the artists I love, there is a message that is not only sometimes degrading to women, not only uses the N word a little too frequently but also something I’m really concerned about is always talking about material things. It’s always talking about how I can get something.”
“… I think the potential for them to deliver a message, of extraordinary power, that gets people thinking. The thing about Hip-Hop today is, it’s smart, it’s insightful, and the way that they can communicate a complex message in a very short space, is remarkable. And a lot of these kids are not going to be reading the New York Times, that’s not how they’re getting their information. So the question then is, what’s the content? What’s the message? I understand folks want to be rooted in their community, they want to be down, but what I always say is, you know, hip-hop is not just a mirror of what is, it should also be a reflection of what can be.”
I could not agree more with the second part of President Obama’s comments, and I believe the following pieces are some of what Obama is talking about, hip-hop with the “audacity of hope”, so here is a breakdown of what Obama may have been referring to.
In regards to, “…the potential for them to deliver a message, of extraordinary power, that gets people thinking,” I believe the Free SPM movement is doing exactly that:
In regards to, “the thing about Hip-Hop today is, it’s smart, it’s insightful, and the way they can communicate a complex message in a very short space, is remarkable.” Well said. Here is an excellent example, a collaboration between Immortal Technique, Mos Def, and Eminem:
In regards to, “and a lot of these kids are not going to be reading the New York Times, that’s not how they’re getting their information.” Correct, and if Obama is truly to understand his people, then it is extremely important to understand the message behind the music, and here is a sample from Mumia Abu-Jamal:
And in regards to, “I understand folks want to be rooted in their community, they want to be down, but what I always say is, you know, hip-hop is not just a mirror of what is, it should also be a reflection of what can be.” Exactly! The following is a little of the real thing with Cypress Hill, some hip-hop with a message, the same message that Obama so eloquently advocated in the past. I hope you are listening:
The popular notion that anti-Semitism caused the Zionist movement makes the mistake of post hoc ergo propter hoc - "after the fact, therefore because of the fact."
Sixty-six years ago, on November 29, 1947, the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution 181, which partitioned the land of Palestine into two States: the “birth certificate” for Israel, and the “death certificate” for Palestine.
Native Americans held a special knowledge of the land and its inhabitants, and believed they were only a small part of the whole circle of life, and that each part of creation played a significant role in the contentment and survival of the other.
The assassination of the President of the United States on national television by the “lone” assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald—who according to authorities used an obsolete bolt-action WWI rifle that was not capable of firing bullets fast enough to wound John F. Kennedy—who is then assassinated the next day by another “lone” assassin, is so stupid that whoever is behind the assassination didn’t expect you to believe it.
Would the planet be at serious risk, according to a massive United Nations Environmental Report, due to “the dangers of climate change, water scarcity, dwindling fish stocks and the pressures on the land and the extinction of species,” had John F. Kennedy not been assassinated on Friday, November 22, 1963.
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