Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Classic Corner :We Gonna Be Alright!

by DaCogNegro

It's been two days since Kendrick Lamar's electric performance at  58th Annual Grammy Awards and my senses are still buzzing! Amongst the sea of the usual glitz and circumstance, Mr. Lamar, chain gang in tow, infiltrated the homes of America with blistering renditions of two fan favorite tracks, Blacker The Berry and Alright, off of his award winning and critically acclaimed album To Pimp a Butterfly. Kendrick literally took us from prison cell blocks, across a metaphorical Bering Strait, and right to a proud ,cultural display of  motherland offerings. It was beautiful and awe inspiring but more importantly, it was unapologetically  poignant and relevant!For the first time, in quite awhile, I was proud to be a Hip-Hop fan. Sure, the glimpse into Brodway's hit play Hamilton was a smile inducing treat and Lin Manuel Miranda's  acceptance speech served as reminder of how Hip-Hop can be a whimsical and a joyous craft, but it was the slab of  emotion, delivered by Mr. Lamar, that left me wholeheartedly satiated on a dying component of mainstream music: activism! In a day and age when artist have abandoned their call for social responsibility in favor of neutered stances ,or worse yet, rationalizations of counterproductive behavior that only serve to weaken current social movements, it was refreshing to be splashed with unfiltered reality and not whitewashed  with patronizing sentiments. Sure ,it left many uncomfortable. Let's face it, America is still hyperventilating over Beyonce's Black Panther themed half time performance!


But Mr. Cool J  stated it best when asked about Kendrick's performance prior to the ceremony "...that's what art is about. It's not about whether you agree or disagree, it's about stimulating conversation and provoking people to have a conversation about society." And here lies the issue when it comes to certain Americans because as a country, we continue to vehemently remain in a state of denial.Instead of addressing the elephants that reside in our rooms of improvement, we sweep such discrepancies under a carpet made with strands of selective memory. When forced to confront such injustices, labels such as irritants, rebels, and anarchists begin to roll off of  the silver and  forked tongues of pundits. Why? They're paid to do so! But more disturbing, they have internalized the notion that such treatment is warranted.

Changing the minds of such individuals is,unfortunately,an exercise in futility. However, as long as we continue to fight the fine fight and those with influential power continue to utilize public platforms as a means of  social progression as well incorporating economic boycott into our movements, just look at  the University of Missouri ya'll , then I feel quite confident and assured that in the long run "We Gonna Be Alright"!- CgN

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