Shaun Bailey, life-long London community worker and hip-hop fan, asks if we’re profiting off the backs of our young dead. Hip-hop has become a goldfish bowl, he says, and everybody has their face pressed up against the glass.
The advisor on youth matters to Britain’s prime minister David Cameron, Shaun Bailey is one of many people (among them KRS-One, Jesse Jackson and victorian literature expert and self-proclaimed hip-hop fan John Sutherland) joining a roundtable discussion on the merits and detriments of hip-hop’s impact on society tomorrow. The Guardian has an interesting article (you’ll have to look past some eyebrow-raising spelling though, “Fug Life?” Is that a London thing?) that takes a stab at many of the potential talking points, ranging from rap’s positive role in the Arab spring to the sexism in many of it’s lyrics. You can join the discussion yourself through it’s Google+ Hangout. I’d definitely be tempted to do so, if I didn’t have a job to attend to. Gotta plug into the Matrix to get food on the table, unfortunately. BBC Radio 1 DJ Radio 1 DJ Trevor Nelson, when asked if he thought hip-hop enriched or degraded society, pretty much hit the nail on the head already as far as I’m concerned though:
If we’re going to be honest it does both – the beauty of hip-hop is that if you want to party, you can. If you want to preach, you can. There’s no hip-hop committee. It’s a free voice that goes straight to the point.