History of Hip Hop and Politics

The History of the Influence of Hip Hop in Politics

By Sunita Negi

Hip-hop has inherited political characteristics ever since its origin. It has been a powerful medium to deliver societal messages to help them reach masses.

Hip hop genre artists and albums have talked a lot about sensitive topics related to society and the subjects have often been off-limits.

History of Hip Hop and Politics
History of Hip Hop and Politics

Hip Hop Artists Invoicing Politics

Right from Boogie Down Productions’ KRS- One of breaking down the journey of the cow from the slaughterhouse to your dinner to Jay-Z who explored racism and the black experience in America in his Grammy-nominated album “4:44.” To Eminem unleashed on President Trump in an explosive 4.5 – minute freestyle rap in a BET hip hop Awards cypher Titled “the Storm”, Hip-hop artists and influencers have been responsible for the awakening of society through their music, writing or activism.

History of Hip Hop and Politics
History of Hip Hop and Politics

Political Messages In Essence

Hip-hop has been a genre of music which can be been inspired by militant spoken word groups like “The Last Poets and the Watts Prophets” which were the reflection of realistic surroundings then. Currently, hip hop delivers messages from the front line.

Much of the politics of hip-hop evolved around and reacted to the political reign of President Ronald Reagan, from 1981 to 1989.

First Hip-Hop Record

The very first hip-hop record that attracted the attention of urban American and at the same time lured music lovers of the mainstream too was released in January 1983 by Robert Hillburn Rock in the Los Angeles times, “Grandmaster Flash and the furious five’s.

This was a revolutionary seven-minute recorded video that brilliantly portrayed the chronicle of the tension and the despair of ghetto life ripping the innocence of the American dream.

Rising the Lyrical Bar

Kurtis blow was is the first solo hip-hop artist who managed to weave international relations into a party jam through is album ‘Nervous’.

His self titled album in 1980,” Hard times” served as hip-hop first cover speaking up about sociopolitical issues to be performed by Run – DMC.

History of Hip Hop and Politics
History of Hip Hop and Politics

First Commercially Successful Hip-Hop Group

The trio from Queens, New York was the first commercially successful hip-hop group that record black issues in the album titled ‘Say It Loud- I’m Black and I’m Proud’.

Proud to be black was their first critically acclaimed album released in 1986 titled ‘Rising Hell’.

The New School Of Artists

Common was one of the most progressive artists to come up in the neo-soul, 2000’s Like Water from Chocolate. He attempted to push forward hip hop from his track like a song for Assata that was about the trial, incarceration and political asylum of Assata Shakur.

History of Hip Hop and Politics
History of Hip Hop and Politics

Recent Past

In 2018, Hip-hop further enhanced its political engagement campaigning in the midterm elections. Guys like T.I. and Killer Mike campaign front lines for Stacey Abrams for the post of Governor’s race in Georgia. Beyoncé and Travis Scott pitched for Beto O’Rourke in Texas.

In 2018, both hip-hop and politicians have used each other’s platform for the greater good of America.

Hip Hop in Politics
Hip Hop in Politics

Inseparably Together

Although hip hop music stream, rappers and politicians have been segregated by their professional stream, they often work in harmony that is reflected in their works.

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