Jay Z and Beyonce’ have had a week full of politically charged statements, charitable donations, and public backlash. This is in stark contrast to what many criticized as silence and seeming disinterest from hip hop’s first couple. Jay Z, however, has been making quite a few moves behind the scenes dating all the way back to Tidal’s first concert in October 2015.
Remember that huge Tidal concert on 10/20 that caused scrutiny towards Jay Z and his latest musical venture? Well if you payed for the concert, good for you! Turns out, $1.5 million of the proceeds from that concert is going to to #BlackLivesMatter and other social organizations and activist groups. The concert featured major acts and Tidal co-owners such as Beyonce’, Nicki Minaj, and Jay-Z.
The announcement came on the day Trayvon Martin would have been 21 via Mic. Grants will be administered through The New World Foundation to nonprofits across the United States including the Trayvon Martin Foundation, Dream Defenders; Illinois, Hands Up United, and organizations in Maryland, New York, and Ohio.
Paired with Beyonce’s visual for her latest drop, “Formation” and controversial Super Bowl performance, the couple are making dynamic statements within the hip hop community regarding the importance and necessity of the #BlackLivesMatter movement and social change. It all begs the question, ‘Are we ushering in the latest era of hip hop’? You know. The one where artists embody change and bring awareness to the current social climate as it relates to minorities. Is this the second coming of a conscious movement?
Righteously expressive and unique, the hip hop world is taking on a voice mastered into trap beats and culminated by true tales of Black life in its wholeness and eccentricity. We must honor the many voices of our music as it is today and give praise to those who do use their platforms to convey the messages that make it no further than our respective Twitter feeds. The only wrong answer is non at all.
“If you are silent about your pain, they’ll kill you and say you enjoyed it.”
― Zora Neale Hurston
By. D. Milan (@By_dmilan)