Black August Hip Hop Project, a documentary directed by writer and filmmaker dream Hampton, in association with the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, intends to raise awareness about political prisoners in the United States and abroad. Filmed over a 10-year span, Black August Hip-Hop Project takes us to New York City, Cuba, and South Africa.
Most of today’s black artists, plugged into the corporate money machine, are reluctant to speak truth to power
by Tricia Rose
In a recent interview with the Hollywood Reporter, the legendary entertainer and long-time political activist Harry Belafonte spoke frankly and courageously about the current state of injustice and inequality in the world. His comments included a lament that has sparked some debate:
"I think that one of the great abuses of this modern time is that we should have had such high-profile artists, powerful celebrities. But they have turned their back on social responsibility. That goes for Jay-Z and Beyoncé for example. Give me Bruce Springsteen and now you’re talking. I really think he is black."
Is this a fair assessment of the current state of black celebrity? It is undeniable that today’s top black artists and celebrities have the greatest leverage, power, visibility and global influence of any period. It is also true that few speak openly, regularly and publicly on behalf of social justice. Most remain remarkably quiet about the conditions that the majority of black people face.
“Gimme dat beat fool, its a full-time jack move” – Ice Cube in Jackin’ for Beats off the Kill at Will EP.
Game has been sued for $100,000 by a producer over a beat used on his highly successful California Republicmixtape.
According to TMZ, the producer, Infamous, claims he gave Game the beat to “SkateOn” in 2010, shopping the beat to him in hopes Game would use it. Infamous alleges he never heard from the Compton rapper but his beat was used on the free mixtape without his consent.
Infamous, who stated that he generally charges $20-25K for a beat, says he reached out to Game, via a letter, in April, but did not get a response.
Which leads me to my next question: Is the Mixtape format dead in Hip-Hop?