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Editorial: In Memory of George Floyd | Can George Floyd murder spark consciousness in rap music?

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George Floyd – May His Peaceful Soul Rest in Peace! Can George Floyd murder spark consciousness in rap / hip hop music? Will Rap music change from Booties| Vodka and P’s to More Consciousness Now?

Following the unspeakable brutality on an innocent , unarmed black American man at the hands of yet another police officer more than a week ago, the world has been watching America as it goes up in flames. The images of violence spreading like wildfire spell nothing but fear and rumors of anarchy. Some even fear and advise against imminent civil uprising in “God’s Own Country”, the United States of America.

If there’s one thing to be learned from the killing of George Floyd by this (white) police officer, is the unifying voice with which the civil population of the United States has expressed their disapproval, anger and frustrations on police brutality against black folks which has lead them to take to the streets nationwide.

The police officer has since been arrested and charged amidst call for his colleagues on duty with him on that fateful day to be arrested as well and charged together. Even as the protests linger on, every aspect of the American Civil Society has added their voices and the call for #justiceforFloyd has echoed loudly through the corrugated roof of the mighty White House.

Donald Trump has being stocked almost as the villain as the American mainstream media would pounce on his style of handling the crisis as some editorials have even labelled him a racist. As of Tuesday, the call for #BlackoutTuesday in the US has grown and gathered all the required momentum for possibility and every sphere of society has joined in. The entire entertainment industry has been a major industry player with all actors, musicians, companies and others joining forces with protesters to call for the systems overhaul and the #BlackLivesMatter Movement has had their hands full.

Therefore, the question is, what will the state of hip hop or rap music be after now? When all the hullabaloo has died out, when the theatrical drama piece of protest has gone and reality has struck once again? Will life get back to normal? What will rappers be rapping about? What will pop culture’s approach to life accept as the new norm?

I am forced to pose this question because for decades now, since the passing of Tupac, the world has not witness any iconic, highly opinionated musician especially in rap music. The musical icons that help shape society consciously with their lyrical genius, where are they in modern times.

Where are the poets of justice? Where are the lyricists that write open letters to governments with their lyrics? Where are the likes of KRS-1 in hip hop music these days? Will Rap Music Promote Consciousness and Some Sanity from here on?

Christopher Odiley

The music industry is a powerful industry and the voice of the artist is a powerful force that can never be broken. Yet, in recent times, we have seen only popular music that mostly promotes profanity in lyrical contents and in actions through their visuals. “What happens to some music that changes lives?” My only fear is of the unknown direction of Rap Music. Will a modern lyrical prophet like Tupac arise? One that can help send a message to the powers that be? This remains to be seen.

Whatever direction the investors in rap/ hip hop music decide to take will be quite interesting to witness in the very near future. There is no denying the fact that when there’s a tragedy, everyone tries to capitalize on it for cheap popularity. However, we do appreciate the efforts for now, of rappers, singers etc joining in the call for #JusticeforFloyd. BUT I hope this call for justice can be expressed through more conscious driven contents of entertainment such as hip hop/rap music.

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