This article can also be read at RapRehab.com.
In recent months, rappers Rick Ross, Lil Wayne and Chief Keef have made national news for their controversial and negative lyrics. As a result, the music industry as well as other corporations who support these artists have been attacked for carelessly promoting artists who glorify dangerous and criminal behavior. Petitions, protests, boycotts and national movements have been organized to hold all guilty parties accountable for letting rap music get out of control. These actions have led to a few victories including Reebok dropping Rick Ross and PepsiCo dropping Lil Wayne.
“Hip Hop activists”, myself included, understand this to be an uphill battle as rappers aggressively defend their freedom of speech, no matter how irresponsible it may be. Meanwhile the music industry makes millions from these rappers, no matter how much sex, drugs and violence they promote. Ironically, we’ve been so busy fighting the good fight, we overlooked our greatest weapon yet. PROMOTING GOOD MUSIC!
We’ve spent so much time promoting our efforts to end this “dark” period in rap that we’ve neglected to shine light on what’s good about Hip Hop. We’ve spent so much energy tweeting, posting, debating and writing about our plight that we’ve forgotten to tweet, post, talk and write about what’s right with rap music. We’ve placed so much emphasis on telling the world about the “evils” of Rick Ross, 2 Chainz, Tyga and other similar clowns that we’ve neglected to share the new Public Enemy and De La Soul. We’ve pointed our collective finger at companies like Def Jam and Interscope but looked past independent outlets like Mello Music Group who consistently release incredible music.
Don’t get me wrong, our fight is worthwhile and necessary. Nevertheless, we need to invest an equal amount of time into promoting an alternative to what the industry has been pushing on us. Doing so is one of our most effective method to counter the kind of rap we claim to be against. Our youth only hear what’s shoved in their ears. If we don’t do some of the shoving ourselves, we can’t expect them to know what else is available to them. There are countless incredible Hip Hop artists, new and old, releasing new music that deserves to be heard. Some of it is political and socially conscious. Some of it is humorous and witty. Some of it is aggressive and experimental. But all of it is creative, thought provoking and what Hip Hop is truly about. At this point, we can’t depend on the mainstream music industry to promote these artists but we should be able to do so ourselves if we’re serious about change.
Without further ado, here’s a short list of artists to help you restore your faith in great Hip Hop music!
EVITAN (Dres from Black Sheep & Jarobi from A Tribe Called Quest)
Wise Intelligent (From Poor Righteous Teachers)
Share this everywhere you can and do your own research to find more great artists. The future of rap music may depend on it.