The Root: Oakland’s Marriage to Hip Hop & Politics

The Root has been doing a series on our beloved city of Oakland.. One of the topics they tackled dealt with the long marriage between Hip Hop and political activism. Now of course an entire book could be written on this.. LOL I damn near wrote one when writing this.. The original article I penned for this series was around 5000 words , which was way too long and just too much to read in one sitting, But hopefully folks get a small taste of what goes on out our way…

-Davey D-

 

Boots Riley of the Coup

 

One of the hallmarks of Oakland, Calif, is its activism and politics and its longtime alignment with hip-hop culture. When I say “aligned,” I’m not talking about a rapper doing a song where he spits a couple of cool verses with a socially relevant message. Don’t get me wrong; that’s important, too, but that’s just surface stuff. Political involvement requires much more. As a radio journalist, writer and activist who’s been living in Oakland for the past 22 years, I feel privileged to live in a city where hip-hop and political activism are so closely linked.

The attitude in Oakland is that everything is political. Even being apolitical is political. Folks understand that politics is a rough-and-tumble sport; a closed mouth doesn’t get fed. Here, the end goal is not just getting the chosen one elected into office. Holding folks accountable is paramount, and going beyond the limits of electoral politics is how many see the political landscape. Voting is a tool, but not the only tool to bring about change. Hip-hop is another tool, a potent way to communicate with the masses.

continue reading article HERE  at The Root

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