The hip-hop community has been leading the charge when it comes to lending support to the growing Occupy Wall Street Movement. But now hip-hop’s older rebel cousin, rock, is joining in on the protests as rapper David Banner and rock guitarist Tom Morello recently showed up at Zuccotti Park to show their support for the movement.
In an on site interview with MTV’s RapFix, Banner, whose philanthropy and activism dates back to his early days of stardom, talked about his disappointment in not seeing more of his hip-hop cohorts involved in the social activism or recording music that’s reflective of the community topics like Hurricane Katrina and Troy Davis.
“One of my only criticisms of hip-hop right now is that we all … have become so corporate that people don’t even feel like we’re a part of the people especially rappers and punk rockers. People always felt like we were them, we were their voice,” said Banner. “We’re still at war, we’re in a recession, where’s that in the music? I don’t hear that in the music”
Banner continued, “People don’t feel rappers or entertainers in general are really a sub-section of real people and the backlash is apparent,” said Banner, before praising fellow southern rapper Big Boi for his activism during the Troy Davis case.
Though Banner may not be pleased with all of his hip-hop brethren, he’d undoubtedly be happy Morello, who also appeared at Zuccotti Park on Thursday to protest and perform for demonstrators.
“Every successful, progressive and radical movement needs a soundtrack and I’m just helping to provide,” said the Rage Against The Machine guitarist to MTV News. “I played at Occupy L.A. last Saturday and Occupy Wall Street today now, and it’s a movement now that’s in 13,000 cities across the country, and it’s growing every day,” he told MTV News. “I think the sky’s the limit. There’s no telling what this is going to be, and [if] you’re watching now in your town, you can begin occupying your town today.”
In the southern tip of America, hip-hop artists are becoming active in the movement as well as Atlanta rapper recently showed up at Woodruff Park to support demonstrators at Occupy Atlanta. Amongst the 50 tents setup up by protesters, Mike shared his surprise with supporters over the lack of support from regular citizens and shared his own reasons for joining the cause.
“There’s not enough opportunity for young people to take advantage of the American dream.”
However, more are expected to become involved after organizers for Occupy Atlanta and Atlanta Hip-Hop Day announced that they are teaming up for a music fest headlined by legendary hip-hop group Afrika Bambaattaa, scheduled to take place in the park on Oct. 22 and 23. Organizers do have one potential snag in their plan though. The festival will take place severel days after Mayor Kasim Reed’s deadline for protestors to vacate the park. We’ll see whether Reed will allow organizers to go through with the festivities.
What are your thoughts on activism amongst those in the hip-hop and rock communities? – nicholas robinson