Ross has managed to parlay his gangster tales into mainstream success, and with that success he simply forgot to read the tea leaves, Davey D stated. The crux of the mainstream in many arenas is White women who, along with Blacks and other women of color, have been battling a backlash of politicians unwilling to address rape in general and in the military, he said.
Davey D continued, “He did what he did and didn’t care. And when sisters, who were the first to raise the alarm about this, brought him to task, he kind of ignored it. And then when he gave an explanation, it was kind of a half a — —explanation.”
Mega artists Jay-Z and wife Beyonce, on the other hand, have felt a more political backlash for their recent government approved trip to Cuba. Many fans and activists have taken issue with the notion they needed U.S. approval to set foot on Cuban soil.
“Jay-Z’s a different type of beat. He’s the Obama of Rap … Think about what’s in Cuba right now. And you would hope that he would come back and say, “Man they got doctors there. I like the education system.’ You would have just loved him to say some of these things that we can easily be bolstered by and he just won’t,” said Davey D.
Republicans demanded to know who approved the trip and wanted to question the rapper. Jay-Z responded by rapping politicians never did anything but lie to him. And, he expressed love for Cuba and disdain for the political double standard. You want to talk about Cuba and communism when my mic is made in China, Jay-Z said. He invited President Obama, who he has supported, to reject the political madness and come “chill” with him on a beach. The president’s political foes were trying to use the trip to embarrass and hurt Mr. Obama.
Akilah Nehanda, a Houston-based, independent artist and member of the Nation of Islam, also applauds the rap backlash. “I think it’s refreshing to know that people aren’t completely desensitized to irresponsible lyrics because for a long time it seemed like we weren’t holding artists accountable for anything.
“There has to be a knowledge of the importance and value of women, not as tools and sex objects, but as co-creators with God, as mothers, wives, sisters,” she said.
AK-47, a rap duo of brothers based in Chicago, got into music to help reverse the negative trends in the genre they love. The “A” stands for Arshad, the “K” for Khalil, and the 47 for the 47th chapter of the Holy Qur’an, titled “Muhammad.”
Arshad Muhammad enjoys artists who can deliver a good message without sounding preachy. “Music as a whole, I think there are some good artists that aren’t negative. It’s about what you listen to, basically. Mainstream sells a certain idea but if you’re not into that, there are other things you can get into that aren’t negative,” he said.
Khalil Muhammad wants success in the industry so he can give back to the people. “I think of my music as the biggest fishing tool so I can teach the people in a different way that most artists don’t. They don’t talk like me and my brother. They haven’t grown up the way me and my brother have under the Nation of Islam. They don’t know the knowledge that me and my brother know,” he said.
Pioneering artists like Kangol Kid attribute the rap backlash to society’s feeling enough is enough. The problem is not brand new in hip hop, he said.
“Several artists, unfortunately even myself at one point, was pushed in this particular area and it’s gotten to a point to where hip hop artists from back then, who started all of this, are all now adults,” who have joined the masses to effect a change, Kangol told The Final Call.