Inside Hip-Hop’s New Activist Era

Inside Hip-Hop’s New Activist Era

On July 7th, Jay Z did something out of character: He released a protest song. The rapper had reportedly wired tens of thousands of dollars to bail protesters out of jail in Baltimore in 2015, and Tidal donated $1.5 million to Black Lives Matter-related causes earlier this year. But it was only after the shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile by police officers in Louisiana and Minnesota – as well as the shooting deaths of five Dallas police officers at a protest days later – that he finally spoke out. “Just a boy from the hood that/Got my hands in the air in despair/Don’t shoot,” he rhymed on “Spiritual.” He elaborated in a statement: “I’m saddened and disappointed in this America. We should be further along.” [READ MORE]