This week we have been discussing the influence that social issues have on the creation of hip hop, and how artists use their music as a way of social activism to address issues that are near and dear to their hearts. We have looked over a wide variety of artists who have spoken out through their lyrics, ranging from eminem to Tupac. All of these artists have common issues that they are concerned with; black lives matter, police brutality, gun violence, the government–the list goes on.
The artist who’s lyrics I chose to dig deeper into were J. Cole’s. J. Cole is a young black man, who is part of the modern day hip hop flow. He is most passionate about the black lives matter movement, and speaking up about the hood and how where he comes from has made him who he is today. I took a look at his song called called “Immortal.” While the song has a good beat and just seems like something decent to listen to while you’re driving around town, the lyrics go much deeper than just being a catchy song if you really take the time to listen and appreciate what J. Cole has to say.
This song touches on a few different social issues; black lives matter, gun violence, drug abuse, racism, police brutality, all things that are most commonly sang about by rappers who have come from places that have caused them to experiences these things. He focuses mainly on the fact that people in his community are dying, and there are people to blame for this. His fellow brothers should not have to sell drugs to survive, and worry about whether or not they will live to see another day when they are walking home on the streets at night.
J. Cole hit home on a good amount of social issues that are relevant to society today, and you can listen to the song yourself here: