The Roots’ Questlove recently offered his take on the lack of more musicians releasing protest records and demanding justice amid publicized violent crimes in recent years.
In Quest’s opinion, hip-hop artists are scared of music biz politics ultimately costing them their careers.
“I think a lot of it is just due to fear of being blackballed and not making a living,” Questlove of The Roots told Billboard, referring to the backlash the Dixie Chicks faced in 2003, when Natalie Maines told an audience that the band was “ashamed” that President Bush was from Texas. “We were like, ‘Man, if a white woman can lose her career in the United States for speaking up for what’s right, then sh*t, we’ll get the electric chair.’ I think that was the bottom line. And that just really rendered America silent.” (Billboard)
Check out what rap stars have joined in public protest right here…
G.O.O.D. Music’s Pusha T recently talked about what sacrifice he made in light of the controversial Michael Brown not guilty police officer verdict.
“When the [Mike Brown] verdict came out, we were supposed to start the rollout for [my Adidas] shoe and I was like no, we just can’t start today,” Pusha T said. “Artists definitely should be speaking out about it.” (Forbes)
Last week, rap veteran Nas talked about the importance of educating youth face-to-face amid the widespread protests.
“That’s just embarrassing. I’m one of the guys that’s out there saying, ‘Listen. It has to stop.’ It’s important that every time I see a black child I look him or her in the eyes and say, ‘This is your world. You’re a king or a queen.’ Everything else was telling them they were slaves. It’s important for them to know the history of black children doesn’t start in this great country.” (TIME)
Nas publicly showed his support and involvement last week.
— Nasir Jones (@Nas) December 14, 2014
Rap star Kendrick Lamar recently connected his powerful self-loving “i” song to the need for change in the United States.
“It’s something that I’ve been around since the beginning of time. I remember coming up in the city of Compton and [seeing] these same types of ordeals. So when I make a record like “i”, this is not just about me. It’s about what’s going on in real life, actual [facts].” (MTV)