I started writing lyrics to inspire, challenge, and uplift. (I put partying and releasing stress under the inspire category.) I think about how much artists have affected me with words and I want to have that same impact on others. Yet as of late, it has become extremely difficult to listen to musical wasted potential. In a world full of turmoil with so many urgent issues facing us, it is difficult for me to tell you to wear Gucci belts and spend $300 for $30 bottles of liquor. So when given the opportunity to speak to millions of people, what will we as artists say?
I sat down to watch the Presidential debate and was utterly disturbed by Republican Candidate Mitt Romney's use of what some call "Coded Language." When asked about women's equal pay and equal opportunity, once you strip away the fluff, Gov. Romney basically said 'I made sure I hired a couple women for the sake of appearance and I don't make them work late so they can go home and cook.'
When asked about gun violence, Gov. Romney more or less landed on the topic of single parent families, citing them ultimately as the reason for deviant criminal behavior. When you think about single parent families, what demographic comes to mind? What is alarming is that you could feel the tone in his voice. He went on to address these underprivileged communities with an aura of judgment as opposed to empathy.
In my generation we refer to what Gov. Romney is doing as "Talking Slick" or "Talking Greasy." It is the age old art of subliminally trying to mind f-k the audience with an elevated indirect game of word association.
So right now you are probably thinking "J. Keys what does this have to do with the music of your generation?" The answer is simple - EVERYTHING. Through non-response, we are allowing one of our loudest voices to go unheard. By talking about bottles in the club in response to health care policy and about expensive foreign cars in response to stimulating the economy, we are complicit in the muffling of our own voice.
In the 80's and early 90's, hip-hop music commonly included content that challenged the status quo. In turn politicians, corporate America, and conservative government tried to ban and censor hip-hop artists such as 2Pac, Public Enemy, and N.W.A. In 2013, we have more mediums than ever to get our voices heard, yet we are censoring ourselves with materialism and monotony.
Let's resist y'all! Let's speak, be heard, listen, and be listened to!