Opinion: Hip hop’s influence can inspire and divide

Simone Clay, Social Media Editor

Hip hop and rap artists should be using their influence to better our culture by making bold political statements and openly displaying their feelings.

These genres have rocked our ears for countless decades, and 2018 is the year that influential artists are coming out of their creative hiatus’ and dropping new projects like bombs.

I also believe that sadly some hip hop and rap artists only release music for profit, and do not care about the consequences of those songs.

For example, in the music video for Drake’s song “God’s Plan,” he gives the $999,631.90 budget for the video to those in need. Charities and impoverished families are shown crying and sharing hugs with Drake, thanking him for his gifts.

Clearly, this generosity is just a PR stunt. It means nothing coming from the most financially successful artist of our time.

Despite some bad apples, hip hop and rap have done a lot for our generation by encouraging us to be more expressive. Thankfully, we have artists like Kendrick Lamar and J.Cole that use their voice for the greater good.

Artists are exploring the reality of life and being completely honest with sex, drugs and love.

Among the hip hop and rap creators, the chilled side of R&B has done an exceptional job of bringing up honesty within their music. SZA, Xavier Omar, Frank Ocean and countless others give us songs that break down our emotional barriers and help us connect with them.

Along with breaking stereotypes, hip hop and rap artists are making profound political statements. In black American culture, we turned our darker times into music. In “Section.80,” “To Pimp to A Butterfly,” and “good kid m.A.A.d city,” Kendrick illustrates the poverty stricken and political side of our world.

Hip hop, rap, and R&B have the power to divide and bring together, just like all music. Its audience will decide how they let it influence them.