Posts Tagged ‘Robin Williams’

Before we begin, check out Lauryn Hill’s “Black Rage.” 

I love hip-hop. It’s an amazing art form, and it’s so diverse. In light of some of the recent happenings in the world (the situation in Ferguson, MO, the Ezell Ford shooting in LA, the incident in Ohio, the Tulsa police shooting, Robin Williams’ suicide, etc), some have brought up the question of “what can hip-hop do to educate people or cause change?” In the 1980s and 1990s, artists jumped to the mic in droves to speak on messed-up situations with the government and the police (not really mental illness, though; that’s another monster entirely which I spoke on on Boi-1da.net). These days, however, it seems that artists won’t speak on an issue unless there’s something to gain from it (publicity, saving face, etc). Is that indicative of artists being “owned” by their labels, therefore hindering them from speaking on issues?* Or is it just that today’s generation of artists aren’t educated on how messed up these issues are?

I think it’s unfair to say that every artist doesn’t give a you-know-what, regardless of their subject matter. I actually got into a bit of a “Twitter argument” with Lecrae over his semi-condemning of “violent” mainstream hip-hop, due to the idea that even if some music is violent in nature, it doesn’t exactly mean that all hip-hop that isn’t love, peace, and harmony is counterproductive. However, there is a tinge of apathy from the world as a whole–since some tend to devote focus to hot button issues, then move onto the next quicker than you can say “keyboard revolutionary.” Of course, human rights are something that need/deserve to be spoken on at all times. Thankfully, the message is getting across that people can’t just #TweetJustice and expect something to change overnight.

But, you combine this “where’s the next cause?” mentality with a generation that is more likely to turn Trayvon Martin into a meme, you’re asking for idiocy from the masses. Rappers aren’t excused from this. But, as “leaders” of black culture, hip-hop artists have to aid those whom they claim to represent–which is why I always applaud artists who give to charities, or do nonprofit work (or speak on these “real-life issues”). I’m also applauding the artists who have used their voices to speak on and/or out about these tragedies. As always, though, these are just my opinions on the matter. Feel free to tweet me on the matter.

*I will not go into how major label artists aren’t “allowed” to speak out (that’s another post entirely). I just wish that everyone could…put their money where their mouth is (plug, but not a shameless one).

@SpeedontheBeat

Making her first appearance in a film since the 1998 movie Beloved (which she produced), Oprah Winfrey is back in the actors chair alongside an all-star cast of screen stealers in ‘The Butler’. The Lee Daniels (Precious, Monster’s Ball) film is about Cecil Gains, a black butler who “served eight presidents as the White House’s head butler from 1952 to 1986, and had a unique front-row seat as political and racial history was made.” [Source] It is based on the true story of Eugene Allen, the butler who rose in the ranks during his career at the White House from “pantry man” to the prestigious position as the butler for more than seven U.S. presidents. Oprah stars opposite of lead Forest Whitaker (Cecil Gaines) as Gloria Gaines, Cecil’s wife. From the preview, I believe this will be a very interesting movie and I am excited to see it. I had honestly heard of Eugene Allen prior to seeing this movie preview, but I could never remember his name. It saddens me to read that he passed away on March 10, 2010 at the age of ninety years old. But, it gives me much joy and pride to know that his history and his memory will forever live on in his son, grand and great-grand children, and in this film and news publications everywhere. Check out the preview of ‘The Butler’ below and as usual let me know what you think by posting in the comment section below.

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