When you think of Freedom you don’t necessarily think of Rap. But I think in the coming years the two will become more and more associated. Big Boi, formerly one half of the hugely successful Rap Duo “OUTKAST”, shocked a lot of people when he revealed he didn’t vote for Barack Obama.
The revelation came out when Big Boi was on a black radio station and the host was asking him if he had encountered any real world racism recently. He replied in fact he had while going through an airport. He related that a white woman came up to him and expressed how great it was for his people that Obama was re-elected president. Big Boi responded to her “Bitch, I voted for Gary Johnson.”
Can the message of freedom reach those who are inundated from birth that they should defer and submit to the state? The answer is a definitive yes. The Freedom Philosophy is the most inclusive philosophy on the planet. It is as Leonard Read wrote simply “anything peaceful.” Every one, even those who listen to rap music, can embrace this ideology. And in fact can become interested in the ideas of Liberty because they listen to Rap music.
I am a big fan of quality music. Whether its rap, blues, rock, country or classical. Rap music is a very American form. It is in the same tradition as the blues and classic country. Like any other musical form there are the quality groups and there are the sub par ones. Most folks who aren’t familiar with quality rap music, think that it’s all thundering bass, abrasive lyrics, and cursing. What they unfortunately miss is the rich tradition of Rap expressing the ideas of Liberty, in particular the struggle of the individual against the state.
The future of the Freedom movement could very well rest upon a singular individual in the Rap community creating a Freedom Anthem that an entire generation could rally behind.
NWA, a gangster rap group who burst onto the scene in the 1980′s is one of the best examples of rappers who protested the encroachment of the state against the individual in the past. The focus of their songs was the brutality of the police against them, their family and friends.
And what was the reason why the police hassled these inner city young black men? It was mainly because of the drug war. Most people do not realize that the drug war as well as gun control were began to systematically oppress minorities in this country. Today these laws are still performing their intended task and also adversley affecting the majority as well.
Gun control in this country began in earnest in the South after Reconstruction to restrict black men from owning firearms. Because of this prohibition unfortunately thousands of black men in the South were lynched with the police at the very least turning a blind eye. The KKK the most notorious of the groups involved with lynching began as a gun control organization. They understood back then, like the Federal Government understands today, that it’s a lot harder to control and kill people if they can defend themselves.
The drug war, especially against marijuana, began because the drug was associated with black Jazz musicians. The fear of the establishment was that white youths would be drawn into this counter culture. So the war on black marijuana smokers began in earnest in the 1930′s. It was done to maintain the status quo.
Fast forward to the 1980′s when Crack Cocaine swept through America. Back then I heard rumors that the Government was selling crack in places like Compton. I dismissed those reports as ludicrous. At the time I still believed the U.S. Federal Government was a force for good. NWA and other rappers were adamant that the CIA was indeed flooding the inner ciites of America, especially in the L.A. area with crack cocaine. Leaked documents and firt hand accounts have now difinitively linked the Federal Govenment to traficking drugs in America.
Rappers were on the forefront of getting the word out about this horrible hypocrisy. The Federal Government was selling the drugs to fund wars waged by the CIA in South America and at the same time waging a “Drug War” in the inner cities and across the U.S., to stamp out the selling of these very same drugs. This dual growth of Government through the selling and combating the sales of drugs has led to an explosion in the growth of government. Like many government activities meant to oppress the minority, the machinery once built and swithed one is quickly turned against the majority.
That is why it is so important never to dismiss any Government oppression against individuals who may be different than you. This is because the state is truly color blind and it is always looking to increase its power at the expense of the individual. Like Ayn Rand wrote “the smallest minority in the world is the individual.”
I hope Big Boi expressing his support for liberty will spark others who have traditionally viewed the liberty movement as a tool of the establishment, to take another look at those looking to live more free. Today there are millions in the Freedom Movement working to expose the corruption of the State and limit its power so everyone, not just certain people in society can live free. There is not anyone alive who hasn’t run afoul of the state and those in the Rap community are no different.
More Individual Liberty is always better for everyone. Big Boi understands that. His announcement that he voted for Gary Johnson is a huge deal. I hope others in the Rap community and entertainment will come to discover that increased Individual Liberty for all is the best way to live.
AdvocateofLiberty and huge fan of Outkast