I was both shocked and amazed by Bakari Kitwana’s piece about Hip Hop
NOT voting for Kerry entitled “Why We (Hip Hop) Shouldn’t Vote For
John Kerry”. I understand his frustrations with the Democratic party.
But to vote for Bush is political suicide. You don’t believe me? Ask
the Arab/Muslim voters who liked Bush over Gore in 2000. They regret
that one BIG TIME right about now. But any African American could and
should have told them better.
Now Hip Hop is testing itself in the political arena and getting beat
down worse than Stevie Wonder fighting Tyson in his prime.
The Democratic Party has done SO LITTLE for all minorities. Who could
argue that? They have been phony for so long. They have coasted on
Civil Rights Era achievements for SO LONG it makes me sick. They owe
AMERICA so much more. No one will deny this. But the Republicans
make it their JOB to shut out and deny all minorities as a rule
(Condi, Powell and a few others are accept ions to this rule). But
lets be clear about that.
The truth of the matter is that who is in office, has NEVER been the
sole solution to our problems (African Americans, minorities in
general and Hip Hop cats specifically).
Regardless of who is in office. We need to make steps to create
business. We need to get our credit straight so that we can own homes
in the communities we live in. We need to be buying up clubs and
making safe havens for Hip Hop to exist in. We need to be owning
buildings so that we can have after school classes on b-boying,
MC’ing, parental counseling and money management. Neither Bush nor
Kerry can do that for you.
What president has ever “delivered” the people? None. The people
You see, Bakari Kitwana’s article, is the REASON why Hip Hop is not
taken seriously as a political tool. It is the reason, O.G.
politicians laugh at us, or ignore us straight up. Because we flip
flop all day. We don’t have our positions concrete. They
(politicians on BOTH sides) know this.
Is Hip Hop for abortion or against it? Does Hip Hop support gay
marriage or do we not want that? Does Hip Hop support reparations for
African Americans? Does the so-called “Hip Hop Nation” step in stride
WITH the African American community or is it apart from it
ideologically? So many questions and so few answers.
Welcome to the real world Hip Hoppers. We don’t have the power we
think we do. WE don’t have the strategies we need to win. We are
newbies to the political fight and this is our first reality check.
Hip Hop is not going to save the world- know this. All it can do is
give us a medium to present issues on. Hip Hop is a great political
tool because it facilitates global communication on social, spiritual
and political issues. But Hip Hop itself will never be the reason
anyone stays IN or is put OUT of the oval office. This art and
sub-culture is not single minded in its nature and was never meant to
But don’t take my word for it, get informed. Go see Michael Moore’s
movies. Go get “Aftermath: Unanswered Questions from 911” at
www.guerillafunk.com . After that, if you feel like staying broke, if
you feel like dying Iraq is what you need right about now, if you want
Bush, Cheney and Haliburton to cash more checks with your blood- go
ahead and vote Bush. Or, if you want to stay here, and die broke,
again vote for Bush. Maybe, you can vote for some weak third party
goon like Nader (who is the reason Bush got in anyway- among others).
But no president will deliver you. Understand that you’re gonna have
to man up, woman up, read up and live up to a higher understanding of
self and get a new political standard. While your working on that-
VOTE FOR JOHN KERRY WITHOUT FAIL. Vote like your life depends on it-
because it does.
Adisa Banjoko is a pioneer Hip Hip Hop journalist from the Bay Area
and author to the new book “Lyrical Swords Vol 1: Hip Hop and Politics
in the Mix” available now at www.lyricalswords.com.