Youth, Change and Hip Hop, What's The Next Step of The Revolution?

You guys already know that I’ve been waiting for this moment in time. Like a lot of black kids, I’ve been calling for change and revolution since middle school. I grew up with Malcolm X and George Carlin as heroes and was geared towards counter culture approaches in regards to systemic reform. And that’s a large reason for why I even started this platform, so that I can have a place to connect and discuss with likeminded people looking for change. And through time, I’ve found that tribe and it seems like the universe has conspired in favour of our ideals. We’ve actively been calling for revolutionary change, and suddenly we were hit with all of the ingredients for the revolutionary stew.

First a virus that has shut down all distractions such as jobs, movies, clubs or sporting events, it has forced us to focus on life and what really matters. And that has resulted in a world of people hungry for change. People have united on a global front to fight the unjust killing of yet another unarmed black man, George Floyd, in Minnesota. And despite the horrific spark, the intention and results of the people is beautiful and magical. But it got me thinking about the concept of “change”.

We have to outline exactly what it is that we would consider change. We have to make sure that the change isn’t just pacification. A lot of corporations that fund racist organizations, or are actively racist, are just fronting for the gram and posting a black screen. They’re still polluting the planet and stripping people of land and resources, and yet they still gain favour with the public for posturing. But even further than that, we have to find a way to prevent ourselves from becoming the problem we are fighting in the first place. Make no mistake, this is a generation defining moment in time.

Our generation is officially in the history books for facing a global pandemic and protesting injustice, on a global level, at the same time. We’re globally united as a force to dismantle corrupt institutions, and that’s beautiful. But never forget the “boomers” that we make fun of, were once in a very similar position. Never forget that the boomers were the hippies. So a lot of your parents and grandparents attended the summer of love as weed smoking men and women hungry for change, equality and world peace. Quite like our generation, around the world, during the summer of 2020. And yet here we are in a world of war, exploitation and inequality. That shows you the system is powerful.

The next step in change seems to be cultural and of the self. It seems like the next step is to go within and really understand oneself. It’s important to learn about your likes, dislikes, strengths and weaknesses, and it’s important to talk to yourself. And I felt corny writing that, but it’s true. Power corrupts. The hoarding and posturing with wealth, resources and status have been the downfall of many societies. Capitalism clearly allows for a disproportionate concentration of resources and therefore power within a small group of people. But the much advocated for socialism allows a concentration of political power within a small group of people. And a lot of times people that even seek those positions of power aren’t people that want the betterment of society, but people that want to control it. And so, both systems are flawed in a world where people are greedy.

That’s why the work has to be done within. Our current system didn’t allow time for us to think for ourselves. And now we can see the effects we can have, once we get the time to think. Well now we have to see why we even think, what we think, to begin with. We have to see where our values and biases lie. We have to come to the understanding that we are all ultimately chimps, with a bunch of chimp-like behaviors, based on our desires and emotions. And sometimes fulfilling all our selfish desires isn’t necessarily good for the species as a whole. And we are ultimately going to be responsible for the world, until our time comes. So I think the goal during our time should be to actively cause the least amount of damage to the planet and species, while creating the most positive progression, with our best understanding and abilities of the time. That means the most positive progress and innovation, with our least biased and most accurate expertise on the issues concerning the world, from the foremost sources in all fields.

We have the resources at hand to create the best possible universe to exist in, and yet we squander our ideals for chimp shit. Our excess, greed and gross passive consumption actively holds us back from a cool ass world, in the most pragmatic way. If humanity didn’t put so much focus on our social lives and consumption, the entire species would be light years ahead by now. We have gifts like our brains, our abilities to communicate with each other and manifest abstractions in the real world, and even our opposable thumbs. It’s like we’re doing a group project but it’s not being completed because a couple of guys are busy arguing about who’s dick is bigger. And it’s like, a lot of us don’t care about your dick insecurity, just let us get back to work. Imperialism is inherently regressive. There’s too many slippery slopes that we’ve already been down. We should have literal teleportation devices and a sustainable world by now, but information has been and is actively being repressed, watered down and society has been regressed, multiple times, due to dark ages and the withholding and destruction of information. Because those in power would rather a population that is just smart enough to run the machines and create products they can consume. But now we’re a serious force. We have the internet, and most of all of the information, the world has ever known, at our fingertips.

We can’t lose this power bickering over dumb shit like colour and sexuality. Okay, we’re black, some people are gay, some people are trans, who gives a fuck. We get it. We’ve been having this argument for centuries. It got annoying a hundred years ago. And obviously this is an oversimplification of the tensions and systemic oppressions that do exist, but they exist in order to control people. The reason we’re having these arguments is because people in places of power have successfully divided and conquered the people. And now we’re at a place of a relatively large amount of unity. The whole world is a part of these protests. It’s not just a couple of guys at a park in San Francisco, anymore. Well now let’s do the work to better ourselves from becoming those people that would even want to distract, divide and conquer. We have to decide, as a species, that our ultimate goal is positive progression, and then we have to act on it individually, for the group.

We can easily dismantle the system that oppresses, but that can be tricky because if we’re easily corruptible and focused on self preservation and grandeur, then we can become that which we dismantled. In the same way you learned how to recycle, learn how you can unlearn what you know, and use your strengths for the positive betterment of the species. Outline what it is that you think is your strongest suit, that will also have a positive impact on the world around you. I believe my strengths, among other things, lie in my ability to communicate abstraction and create tangible expression. And so I’ll use my strengths for what I believe to be the positive betterment of the world around me, to the best of my ability with what I know now. And I’ll support those around me in their quests for positive progress.

And I’ll continue learning, and as time progresses I might learn information that is contradictory to what I know to be true now, and I’ll be willing to change my mind and opinions based on what I know to be the truth. I will make mistakes, we all will. But as long as we’re able to refresh and progress a system, instead of becoming cogs in a machine that ultimately controls us. Because no, not all individual police are bad. But the system they operate within is institutionally and structurally racist, and so even a black cop would just become another cog doing the machines bidding, as opposed to an individual that probably joined the force with good intentions, in order to serve and protect the people. That’s what happens when you attach yourself to an ideology or a way of thinking. We’re always evolving and learning new information and it would be insane not to update the software. We do it with our phones all the time, so why not our brains and systems. And that’s also why we can’t “cancel” people.

Because everyone’s gonna make mistakes and be problematic, but as long as you learn and grow from it, you shouldn’t be ostracized from society for it. That’s also the complex with our current prison industrial system. People are taken to prison and then ostracized from society after going through what is supposed to be a rehabilitation centre. But instead you’re sent off to slavery, and then not allowed to earn back your freedom once you’re out, because a lot of jobs don’t hire ex convicts. What’s the goal? Are we exiling anyone that has ever made a mistake? Then we should all be cancelled. But that’s not the goal. The goal is to learn, grow and progress. And every human being deserves that basic right. But we’ve been regressing so often that we forget, and instead focus on primitive bullshit. Caveman concepts like shiny stuff and going faster have caused us to destroy one another, hoard information, resources and harm the land we inhabit.

We should be grateful that we made it out of the food chain, and many of us typically don’t have to worry about a lion taking a bite out of our necks on our way to work. And we have the ability to make and enjoy movies, paintings, books and music, space exploration, chemistry, physics, architecture, planes and skyscrapers. We’ve done a bunch of dope shit. But we keep losing track of the bigger picture for petty debates because people have a vested interest in a dumber population that can be easily controlled, manipulated and forced to do the ruling classes bidding. There is definitely a way where we can coexist, maintain our freedoms and live in harmony with each other and nature, while also being innovative, focusing on the sustainability and betterment of society, community and the family unit and all of the positive attributes and ideals that society stands for. Calls for revolution can frighten people into thinking that means an oppressive takeover because that’s what we’ve seen from Europeans calls for revolution in the form of socialism, where dictators murdered their own people and withheld information from the public.

Instead, that’s the system we live in today. We need to actually focus on achieving the ideals of ultimate freedom, without our excessive nature in the acquisition of resources from the planet and exerting status and power over other people. And to achieve that world we have to strive for it individually. And that’s where the “looking into oneself” part comes in. Understand our true nature. We can all easily be selfish, manipulative and prone to corruption. Even those of us most vehemently calling for change. The real change begins within us. If we change ourselves individually, we begin to change our community and the overall culture. We can actively change the culture from greed, self preservation and excess to education, harmony, progress and innovation by striving for it individually. And we can start by critically thinking about what’s of utmost importance for the betterment of society as a whole, with our particular strengths and fields of interest. Black kids in North America are the most influential human beings in the world. So much so, that our cries for change have sparked a globally relevant movement. Hip Hop is the most influential tool in the world and we started that too. And we’ve made a lot of corporations, a lot of money, using our likeness for profit.

They put us in the movies, runways, music and magazines while paying us scraps, because they know we are influential by merely existing as ourselves. And so we’ve been pimped. But now it’s time to pimp the system. We can use our influence to change the global culture. There’s kids in the Congo addicted to lean because their favourite rapper talked about it. How about instead of promoting stuff for the pharmaceuticals and fashion brands, we promote stuff for the progress of humanity as a whole. Every rapper and NBA player was out protesting for George Floyd this past week and it’s been beautiful. But what’s the point if we’re all just gonna go back to dampening our levels of awareness. Are we really gonna go back to allowing these white owned corporations to continue glorifying and profiting off a culture that promotes our deaths?

What Hip Hop has taught me is entrepreneurship, positivity, trying to learn, educate and better my community. And it’s honestly a culture I love which is why when I speak, I feel like I represent it. That's why I produce and compose Hip Hop music and that’s why our articles, short films, podcasts and Instagram page are centred around Hip Hop. We don’t discuss Hip Hop because the corporations have finally decided to let us know what we’ve already known for years, that Hip Hop is the #1 genre in the world, and the most influential and profitable medium of communication in the world. It’s because I love and live Hip Hop. I believe Hip Hop is a world changing medium. The people in power recognize how powerful Hip Hop is, which is why you’ll see Kanye West in a MAGA hat and Kendrick Lamar shaking Obama’s hand from time to time. And that’s us. That’s something we made. Our essence has created the most powerful medium of communication on the planet. And our essence also created this Black Lives Matter movement that has occupied the global consciousness for the last week. Well now we have to decide what the next step is. After we protest, we have to change.

And true change comes from a change in the culture, and we are in control of that culture. To change the culture we have to change ourselves. And that’s when we can impact the system. If we learn about ourselves, we can mobilize, strategize and create a system that isn’t liable to our own human corruption, where it can be reviewed and changed, according to what we know to be true at the time, made with language that is easy to understand and remains accessible to the general public, and changeable when presented with more information. And that includes adapting to technological changes. It doesn’t make sense that the smart phone isn’t being utilized to create more informed voters and an easier more accessible voting system, that allows us to also choose where we allocate resources with our own tax dollars. That’s what democracy was supposed to be. And that’s what I personally try to live by. To do the best in my wheelhouse for the positive progression of society with what I know to be true in the moment. And yeah I fumble and fuck up, because I’m just a 21 year old guy, but I’m trying to be better, so we can all be better. And that's not a destination journey, that's forever. And I think if we all tried getting better, we can make this really dope. And in the grand scheme, things might be the dopest now that they’ve ever been, in terms of innovation and progress. But it’s come at the cost, exploitation and harm of the people, planet and resources. And we all know that. So let’s thoughtfully restructure the system towards the betterment, freedom and equality of all members of society.

This is an era where we’re thinking about concepts like community policing, defunding the police and universal basic income, which are concepts that we are able to actualize, that have proven to be successful in lowering crime and creating happier communities in countries around the world. We can end world hunger, we can end wars. The reason we haven’t is the same reason why a lot of things in the system openly operate unethically. Because they are profitable. War is profitable, world hunger is profitable and even the death of unarmed black people is profitable. Ethics, morality and values over profit have to be instilled in the culture, in order to be reflected in the system. It needs to be instilled into corporations business models, education and the way society operates. Morality and ethics are subjective which is why we have to consult with the foremost experts in all fields and find out what exactly harms the people, planet and resources and how we can conduct those systems in the most optimal and least objectively harmful way, while also maintaining our quality of life and freedoms. These aren’t causes for politicians or corporations to decide.

And that’s why corporations and politicians keep the conversation on division. The division in our races, sexuality and gender, when that’s not what they’re supposed to be here to do. They’re here to serve us for the betterment of all of society. But we get sucked into debates and teams and flags. And we forget why we were on the team in the first place. It’s like if you were in recess and you picked teams to play basketball, but instead of playing basketball, you’re arguing about the choice of shirts you’ll wear to the game. At some point we have to get to the game. If we can all be fed, clothed and educated enough to bring on the betterment of society as a whole, why wouldn’t we do that. And we have to remember that is the goal, when we attempt to dismantle this current system of governance.

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