How Ferguson and Eric Garner Show the Political Power of Hip Hop

How Ferguson and Eric Garner Show the Political Power of Hip Hop

Rap music mogul Russell Simmons, center, and rapper Common, right, join a coalition of protest organizers at City Hall, Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014, in New York. Rappers are joining activists to demand changes to policing and prosecution. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
Rap music mogul Russell Simmons, center, and rapper Common, right, join a coalition of protest organizers at City Hall, Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

Nia-Malika Henderson, THE WASHINGTON POST

 

(The Washington Post)—Over these last few weeks, it’s been hard to miss the presence of hip-hop in protests over incidents involving police and unarmed black men.

In some ways, there is nothing more vague and all-encompassing than the term “hip-hop.” But its imprint can be seen in the age and cross-cultural makeup of the protest crowds, which have even included prominent hip-hop stars. When President Obama addressed Ferguson and Eric Garner in his first sit-down interview on the issue, his comments aired first on BET’s 106 & Park, where rapper B.o.B. also appeared.

The Fix reached out to hip-hop scholar James Peterson of Lehigh University to get a sense of what this moment means for this now-middle-aged genre of music that has long since become something much more than just a genre. We caught up with him while he is in Japan, on tour for his book, “The Hip-Hop Underground and African American Culture: Beneath the Surface.”

 

READ MORE

###