Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Hip-Hop's Role in the 2008 Presidential Election

Check out this Newsweek article on The Audacity of Hip-Hop's influence on the 2008 Elections. Videos below if you're not the type to "read a book."

Perhaps the best evidence that hip hop's political consciousness is still simmering just beneath the surface is the success of the annual Rock the Bells Festival. Now in its tenth year, Rock the Bells has become the Lollapalooza of hip hop, bringing together some of the most prolific, and politically conscious artists of the last 30 years, selling out stadiums in the process. This year's lineup included A Tribe Called Quest, Nas and De La Soul as well as more polemical rap-activists—Dead Prez and Immortal Technique. In backstage interviews, reactions to politics and the presidential election varied from full support of Obama from rap artists Rakim and Redman to frustration and disillusionment from Ghostface and Method Man. Rakim remarked, "Get out and vote for who you think is going to make a difference. For me, I think Barack is that candidate." Pioneering female rapper MC Lyte encourages her fellow artists to take the responsibility that comes with their influence seriously. She wants luminaries of the hip-hop community to be "extremely certain in whatever it is [they] do."
Yes We Can

They've Just Gotten Stronger

More videos from Newsweek
Russell Simmons on Barack Obama
A 'Hip Hop Caucus'