Lisa Evers, who reports exclusively for Fox5 and Hot97 with her reputable and straightforward “Street Soldiers” segments touched upon a very important topic earlier this week – hip hop and politics. As one of the cofounders of Hot97’s Hip Hop Votes, Lisa believes hip hop can lead the way for change.
Before Lisa spoke with her panel, she talked to Bronx Borough President, Rubén Diaz Jr. who also stands by the idea that “hip hop can unite people like nothing else.” Ruben went on to say, “hip hop needs to put its thumb on this so we can influence the outcome of this election.” He made it clear that if we want to see change, the starting point begins with voting.
Unlike the past two previous elections where President Obama connected with the hip hop community, telling the public that he listens to Jay Z, this years candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have not made that same effort. This has caused urban communities, to lose interest in the election.
According to political analyst, apathy may play a major role in the result of the election. Artist such as Jay Z, and T.I, have been making statements about the issues urban areas have been dealing with such as police-community injustices, gun violence, and social inequality, but there is a greater need for the political aspect.
One of the panelist on the “Street Soldiers” Hip Hop and Politics segment, Tamika Hall-Frye aka Lady Blogga, the managing editor of Cool Media, believes that a few years ago, “it wasn’t such a big deal for artists to make a statement about politics” but in today’s society they have a responsibility to do so. In order to conquer the issues that the hip hop communities are dealing with, the entertainers who have the power to reach the masses have to use their platform in ways that can help their people.
Another panelist, Tony Herbert, founder and advocate of Without Boarders recognizes that mediums such as “Street Soldiers” is the bridge that connects urban communities to the greater issues of our nation. Tony appreciates the artist who have publicly spoke out about the issues at hand but the problem arises when the entertainers don’t match their actions with the messages they put out.
“If we don’t get the messages put out the right way, it will be perceived and others will gravitate to it and use it for their favor” Tony said. Tamika believes that there needs to be consistency with the messages.
Author, attorney, and host of “Combat Jack Show” Reggie Osse, was another featured guest on “Street Soldiers” and he believes, “you need a shift of consciousness before you have action.” He spoke on how racism is still a rising issue in this country and children are being taught at an early age that black lives matter. Reggie realizes that shifting the consciousness is a long process but “we need to start focusing on a concrete plan of attack.”
Reggie also paid respect to artists such as Beyoncé who are taking risks against their cooperations or endorsements and standing up for black lives matter issues. Lisa raised the question, “is this greater awareness translating into more action at the polls?” As Lisa called it, “not in a real way.” Lisa mentions that people are turned off by the political process because they feel neither of candidates are qualified so they are “checking out.”
Tamika went on to say, “we can’t check out of this election, we have to be very aware that the last thing we need to do is not vote.”
Tony advised that if you don’t want to vote for a president, at least vote for your local officials because they have a direct connection with our government.
Tony and Lisa believe that one way to make voting “cool” would be if artist put together a concert but you could only enter if you are registered to vote.