More Life, More Politics
By Sheena Josan
The age-old relationship between hip hop and politics is irrefutable. Birthed as a voice for disenfranchised communities, hip hop has largely held true to its roots through the years. One of the earliest examples of political hip hop was 1982's "The Message" by Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, a meticulous narrative of the struggle of life in the Bronx during the Reagan era. In the 80s and 90s, N.W.A., Public Enemy, Tupac, and Nas were just a few of the many artists who used their music to address what they saw wrong in the world. And how can we forget the 2000s; a decade that saw Kanye West take to live TV in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to declare what was on the mind of many: "George Bush doesn't care about black people." The list goes on and on.
With that as our backdrop, Drake's reluctance to discuss political or social issues in his music has been painfully palpable. He is arguably the biggest rapper alive. He sets records with every new release. His cultural influence is monumental. Yet, in the face of everything newsworthy about 2016, Champagne Papi gave us little more than his typical tributes to ex-girlfriends and a few overplayed dance tracks (albeit, all BANGERS). Don't get me wrong, narcissism isn't unusual in hip hop music. In fact, it's almost a prerequisite. Hip hop artists are often self-obsessed in their lyrics, rallying fans that identify with the fabled "rags to riches" struggle. But Drake isn't just any hip hop artist anymore. He's the biggest commercial artist in the world, giving him a colossal platform to discuss things that really matter, and one which he's so far loathed to use.
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