In a recent appearance at Chicago’s Lux B Studio, Congressman Bobby Rush joined two generations of Black men on a panel to discuss the intersection of hip-hop and politics. DJ L and Carl West were the other two panelists who participated in this spirited discussion.
The discussion started with a history lesson about Rush and his specific contribution to the Civil Rights Movement. Rush shared many stories and revealed that he met Fred Hampton through Stokley Carmichael at a meeting in Maywood, Illinois. Rush wanted to create a chapter of the Black Panthers in Illinois and asked Hampton to join him.
Rolling out asked the congressman how he thinks hip-hop can move the conversation of politics forward and create the leaders we need in the future.
“I think that there has to be more interaction. My generation doesn’t really understand the hip-hop generation. The reason we don’t understand is they communicate differently. My generation is used to having one person at the top talking to other groups of people. Like the preacher talking to the congregation. The hip-hop generation ain’t going for that,” Rush said, “you have to speak with them heart to heart and show that you are concerned about them a lot before they hear what you say. We have to understand that hip-hop is a cultural phenomenon. We have to know that rather than telling folks what to do we have to listen to what folks think they ought to do.”
Rush is currently running for re-election to Congress to represent Illinois in the 1st Congressional District. Rush has recently come under fire for his endorsement of Michael Bloomberg for president of the United States. Some find contradiction in Rush supporting an individual who implemented and enforced a “stop and frisk” ordinance that disproportionately affected Black people in New York city while he was mayor.
Take a look at a few pictures from the event in the gallery above.