If we look back on Hip Hop, it’s original roots come from a desire to tell the truth from a community perspective that the mainstream establishment might not feel comfortable with or want to acknowledge as a symptom of a greater societal ill.
Public Enemy’s “Fight The Power,” single from the Album “Fear Of A Black Planet” became a battle cry for the disenfranchised and the crux of Spike Lee’s movie “Do The Right Thing” in the 1990s.
In 1988, N.W.A changed the way the world at large looked at the LAPD with “F### tha Police,” a treatise on police brutality and racial profiling that still applies today, almost twenty years after the album “Straight Out Of Compton” made it’s debut.
However, if the largely African American based Hip Hop community enjoys a fairly united front when it comes to being staunchly supportive of musical critiques on inequities within the confines of race and class, we’re still working through it and could do more when it comes to gender and sexuality.
We, along with mainstream society often have a hard time fully acknowledging the societal difficulties that come with being Gay or transgender.
It’s something that shouldn’t be overlooked considering that while the exact statistics vary, it a universally accepted fact that LGBT teens and young adults have been found by researchers to have the highest rate of suicide when compared directly to the rest of the general population in America and Worldwide.
The result? A silent epidemic of suicide.
To this end, rap artist Milan Christopher of VH1’s “Love & Hip Hop Hollywood” has just released his new music video “When I Go,” ft. Papi Chulo which is his look at what leads to this sort of self destruction born of isolation and homophobia.
It would definitely be overstating it to put it on par artistically with N.W.A. or Public Enemy, but with regards to what it is looking to communicate politically via Hip Hop to a wider audience, it’s a start.
See the video below: