If you’re still complaining about rappers not speaking out about social issues, you’re listening to the wrong ones.
2016 has been one of the most trying years in recent history. We’ve been dealing with multiple police shootings every other month, and those are just the ones that have made it to social media and television. Our presidential election choices have many considering to forgo voting altogether and just “stay my ass at home.”
With Hip-Hop still considered to be a mirror of what’s going on in America, artists are still expected to step up and speak on issues effecting their communities. By now, we should know that we can’t expect every rapper out there to have something to say. Some of them don’t care, which is their right. Some of them don’t know what to say, which is their problem. Some of them just choose to stay quiet altogether, which is fine by us.
But the ones who do choose to care and speak up are speaking louder than ever. The latest example being T.I. and his new EP US Or Else.
T.I. raised eyebrows over the summer when he dropped the first single from the politically-charged project, “We Will Not.” It wasn’t the first time T.I. used his music to speak directly against injustice. He released “New National Anthem” in 2014 and all but predicted the song’s fate by opening the track saying “I know radio probably won’t play this.” While the song was a commendable effort, the sh*t wasn’t jamming.
But with “We Will Not,” T.I. was able to make a song that was a good example of “edutainment.”
He followed this with “Warzone” which was even more direct, and jamming.
Those two songs easily became the most talked about T.I. songs in 8-10 years. Yes, he’s had Billboard hits and songs that got played on the radio and in the clubs, but those were the only places they lived at. The might have made you move, but did they move you?