How Much Has Hip-Hop Affected Race Relations?

Some rappers happen to be thoughtful, intelligent people. Every Monday that isn't a national holiday, Rocks Off will have some of them here discussing issues relevant to their culture.

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Photo illustration by John Seaborn Gray
This Week's Panel: Kyle Hubbard, Mic Skills, Snoopy, Kiotti, Chingo Bling, Pyrexx, Renzo, Medicine Girl, Chane, more.

Not Invited: Ronald Reagan

This Week's Prompt: Jay-Z once said that hip-hop has done more for race relations than any political leader. How true is that statement?

Kyle Hubbard: I think there is a lot of truth in that statement. I don't think it'sthe ultimate truth, but it's a truthful sentiment. I am a white kid who went to a white school with mostly other white kids, but I grew up with hip-hop my entire life and so many of my heroes growing up were black men.

And I think that fact is widespread among white men of my generation. A generation of white kids were raised and molded through the art of black men, and that is a huge statement on race relations.

Snoopy: I guess since he didn't say it was all positive advance then it's true, because it mostly controversy.

Mic Skills: I agree that hip-hop has done a lot for race relations. Go to a hip-hop show and you'll more than likely see a diverse crowd. The things I love most about performing are bringing people together and then saying things people are afraid to say.

Politicians seem to divide people and even members of their own party on every single issue - for their political gain. People were mad about the Kanye/Taylor Swift thing, and the same week a congressman calls Obama a liar during his speech? WTF. No one said anything about it.

Race relations is a racist concept in itself, but that's a totally different conversation. Hip-hop is the reason I can say "peace" and "one love." Isn't that what we all desire in life?

Fat Tony: Yes, hip-hop definitely bridges gaps and helps people unite through partying.

Kiotti: Very true. It's been a proven fact music has always blurred racial lines, even back in the '60s. So the fact some of your most successful businessmen are in the hip-hop industry, it draws a light to that. Any time rappers and R&B singers can influence political outcomes (Rock the Vote, etc), you see how real the statement is.

Medicine Girl: Since music is the one thing that brings people together worldwide, I agree 1000 percent.

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Hip-hop has done nothing to change race relations. PERIOD. White kids liked black music before hip-hop.


African Americans are not the only people who listen to rap. Some African Americans hate rap music. Some African Americans love country music. It is not fair to say that rap music has affected race relations just because white people listen to rap music. Music preference has nothing to do with your racial indentity.

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