Some have said the protest song is dead. However UK rapper Plan B looks set to change that by releasing 'ill Manors' raging against the demonisation of the young urban poor. Ill Manors is also the name of a film Plan B had directed under the name of Ben Drew. [more inside]
What if the Tea Party was Black? Jasiri X raps about radicalism and racism. Inflammatory and simplistic, maybe, but the best rap polemic since George Bush Doesn't Care About Black People. Jasiri X responds to critics here.
Back when he was younger, Jay-Z was a merciless, ruthless killer in the "beefs" which define hip hop politics. [...] As Jay-Z got older and more powerful, the marginal benefits of such battles declined and the costs increased even as the number of would-be rivals escalated. Just as the U.S. attracts resentment and rhetorical anti-Americanism simply by virtue of being on top, so did Jay-Z attract a disproportionate number of attackers.Marc Lynch compares international relations to rap feuds, with Jay-Z as the hegemon and up-and-comer The Game as the "insurgent." [more inside]
Socially conscious rap and hip hop may be making a comeback, but it seems to be doing so at the expense of stereotyping and bigotry. Videos like Read a Book (hilarious) and Serve Below Zero may be intended to send a “good” message to the black community, but it’s hard to ignore blatant racist undertones (or overtones) in the lyrics and images. [more inside]
When was the last time your country's minister of Justice expressed his policies in rap form? Here's the Dutch justice minister's Piet Hein Donner's debut on the mic (mp3). [more inside]