(AllHipHop News) Hip Hop has a long tradition of using art to foster awareness about injustices in society. Over the last several years, there have been numerous Hip Hop artists such as Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Common, Killer Mike, David Banner, Mysonne, and many others that have used their platform as public figures to shine a light on the social and political concerns of their communities.
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Stephen Hill, President of Music Programming and Specials at BET, spoke with Sway In The Morning prior to the taping of the BET Hip Hop Awards in Atlanta last week. Host Sway Calloway asked the longtime network executive about Hip Hop’s role in addressing social issues.
I think Hip Hop is still doing its job. Hip Hop, obviously, started their job with this early on. I think they’ve continued. It’s gone in different directions. I love how Hip Hop is multidimensional. People talk about the ‘good old days.’ The ‘good old days’ had one form of Hip Hop, but I think that Hip Hop is socially conscious, it’s party music, it’s music that makes you think. Artists are now reacting to what’s happening, so I think you’re going to hear a lot of music in the future that comes from what’s happening right now.
BET (Black Entertainment Television) has faced heavy criticism for not airing the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March on Saturday. The march was organized to show solidarity among African-Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans in demanding equal justice under the law for all Americans.
As the name of the rally – “Justice Or Else” – was one of the top trending topics on Twitter throughout the day, users of the social media app continuously blasted BET. Some people have even called for a boycott of the Hip Hop Awards show’s broadcast in protest.
However, BET’s online outlets did cover the event in Washington, DC. Several associated Twitter accounts tweeted about the march, and the company’s website has posted recaps of “Justice or Else” as well.
Powerful Images of the 2015 Million Man March – Photos of the “Justice or Else” rally in Washington D.C. http://t.co/kZq0jLMS4a
— BET News (@BETNews) October 12, 2015
— BET (@BET) October 11, 2015
— BET International (@BET_Intl) October 10, 2015
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Watch Stephen Hill’s interview below.