A week after the death of George Floyd at the hands (and knee on the neck) of a Minneapolis (Minnesotta) police officer, the US has become a powder keg of outrage and protests against racist violence, a problem that It has been shaking the entire country since its very foundation. The record industry as a whole has joined the demonstrations by decreeing a day of mourning, silence and musical blackout baptized as Blackout Tuesday. Almost no rapper has remained silent. Almost.
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What happened to Kendrick Lamar from Black Lives Matter?
From Snoop Dogg o Ice Cube in social networks, Dr. Dre through the podcast Lil Wayne o J. Cole On the streets of Fayetteville, just about every rap star has spoken out about the murder of George Floyd. Interestingly, one of the very few figures that is still silent is the one who has fought the most for racial justice and equality in his songs in the last 10 years: a certain Kendrick Lamar.
Kendrick Lamar, whose new album is expected this year, has only been in the news in recent days due to the umpteenth rumor about the publication of his joint album with J.Cole. Interestingly, the author of To pimp a butterfly has not said a peep about the death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police.
Kendrick Lamar has been (and is) the greatest exponent of rap as a platform for denouncing social injustices and, more specifically, the institutional abuses that African-Americans in the US have to endure. On all his albums, from Section 80 a DAMN, Kendrick has picked up and renewed the flame of the Baambataa, Public Enemy, NWA, 2Pac, Nas, and Jay Z. The undeniable artistic, cultural and pedagogical value of her lyrical mastery earned Kendrick a Pulitzer Prize in 2018.
For this and much more, the question becomes pertinent: where the hell has Kendrick Lamar gone and why does he say absolutely nothing about the death of George Floyd? Where has the author of one of the hymns par excellence of the movement Black Lives Matter, whose song Alright sounded on every street corner during the 2015 protests?
It is still striking that Kendrick Lamar's last public demonstration was related to his new and still mysterious educational/cultural project Pg-lang.com. The Californian erased in March all his photographs of Instagram to leave only three, all related to a website that we still don't know much about. To say nothing.
Death of George Floyd: rappers demonstrate
Although hip hop originated in the late 70s as an African-American and minority protest movement (more information about Baambaata & Co here), rap music in recent years has neglected the most pressing social issues to replace them with a crazy celebration non-stop of wealth and comfortable life Gucci-Louis Vuitton. Therefore, it is worth seeing that, when social emergencies hit, rappers in a way are still there. Although in another way.
Jay Z and his wife Beyoncé They have published two separate statements, the first through her record label Roc Nation and the singer on her private Instagram account. These are very generic publications in which they have limited themselves to expressing the obvious and expected in these cases.
Beyoncé's video has been especially criticized for several reasons. The diva thought it appropriate to use several filters to enlarge her eyes and modify her skin tone. The fact that he had sentimental music in the background and that he was reading his statement (in addition, with a robotic voice) has made his video seem more like an attempt to clout chasing (draw attention) than a message of commitment. The recording certainly becomes very strange and uncomfortable to watch. Was it really necessary to look like an alien to record a message in favor of the human race, Be?
Jay Z has also revealed that he had a conversation with the governor of Minnesota:
“This morning Governor Waltz mentioned that he has spoken to me, a father and a black man in pain. Yes, on top of that I'm also human, and I'm not the only one who feels this hurt. With the entire country now suffering this grief, I encourage law enforcement to do the right thing and go after everyone responsible for the murder of George Floyd. Let the full weight of the law fall on them.”
Drake takes out the wallet for the prisoners
Drake, the maximum representative of the evolution as a mass phenomenon of urban music in the last 10 years, yesterday donated 100.000 dollars to the National Bail Out, a group to help pay the police bail of all those detained in the protest marches in against the death of George Floyd.
Drake's donation has been so unexpected that even his bank canceled it at first after believing that it was a fraud committed by another person.
J Cole He has been, as usual, one of the most involved of the elite of rappers protesting the murder of George Floyd. The one from North Carolina has always been very involved in any social cause in practically each and every one of his songs. A few days ago he was seen at a demonstration organized in his city, Lafayette, in which he out of respect (and common sense) refused to be photographed with his fans. They have also been sighted in their hometowns rappers like Tory Lanez o lil yatchy.