What Kendrick Lamar, Drake, and Kanye West Say About the Black Experience in America

April 3, 2015 8:29 PM

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If you think about it long enough, the American Dream is not for the black man. The idea that a certain set of traits will bring you power and bounty, or the belief that you simply pull the resources off of what is essentially a shoelace to achieve greatness could not possibly include the black man. The very essence of being black is rooted in the idea that you cannot even get down with that shit. You can't live in a white supremacist country and believe the ultimate dream is for the systematically oppressed—it just don't add up. This point could be said to be the very theory of hip-hop itself: We are not you and we want to be us.

In this year where the black experience faces possibly its most vital conversations for a generation, many lament the lack of reflection in popular black music. While some rappers are lauded for their "consciousness"—a term that rings excessively hollow in 2015—others are seen as unconcerned or down...

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