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Musical Activism

December 8, 2014  |  Inspiration

Hip-hop has long been a way in which the artists are able to tell a story. Although rap is stereotyped as a genre of music in which many of the artists are obsessed with wealth, women, violence, and drugs, many rappers chose a higher road and explore how they can use their music to make a difference in society in a more political or social sense.

One of the stronger examples we have seen in past years has been the artist Macklemore. Macklemore, being born in the northwestern city of Seattle, has fairly liberal, west-coast, progressive views that he often expresses in his music. In his song “Same Love”, which was released on his Grammy Award winning album The Heist, he creates a sort of anthem for marriage equality, critiquing American society and their homophobic views.

Artists have taken up a strong stance now with the issue of police brutality and racism. After issues in Ferguson Missouri, several artists joined in on the protests around the country, Macklemore being one of them. Rappers like J Cole both were at protests, The Game released a song after the shootings, but most notably Andre 3000 created a wardrobe to protest the shootings. The Outkast superstar had already begun to start protesting other common issues in America by wearing black jumpsuits with certain messages on them, so he wore a certain one to protest Ferguson.

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Although Andre’s jumpsuits critiqued shallower issues like our obsession with social media or expressed one of his lyrics, this specific one took a direct shot at society not only in America, but worldwide. This is what I believe to me musical activism at it’s best.