The Carter's: Holly Repping the Hood

During Black History Month I watched a lot of documentaries and was reminded of the roles artist played in the Civil Rights movement. Nina Simone, James Baldwin, Sam Cooke, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Mahalia Jackson and so many more. Black artist were compelled to lend their voice to the cause.

So, it's easy to understand why Harry Belafonte would call into question the lack of activism of todays artist. In a 2103 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Belafonte said, “And I think one of the great abuses of this modern time is that we should have had such high-profile artists, powerful celebrities. But they have turned their back on social responsibility. That goes for Jay-Z and Beyonce, for example.” Ouch.

Jay-Z didn’t take kindly to the call of his elder. More than a year later Jay responded on the Magna Carta Holy Grail track “Nickels and Dimes” (“I’m just trying to find common ground / Before Mr. Belafonte come and chop a nigga down / Mr. Day-O, major fail”)

It’s a new year and I’m sure Mr. Belafonte’s chest is puffed up with pride over what The Carters are doing now. A few weeks ago on a lazy Saturday afternoon Bey dropped a F bomb on the world and called it Formation. And if you didn’t get blown away on Saturday, she gave an encore, laced with bullets in her Superbowl performance of Formation. And just like that, Bey shook up the world and became the most valuable player in the Superbowl, in music and in pop culture.

Formation is action packed with hot sauce, biscuits, bamas, baby hair, breakdancing, Big Frieda and more. And thats just 2 minutes in. Bey brags about her southern roots, her Michael Jackson nose. The lyrics felt like an anthem of sorts to black people, forgotten people, poor people. Bey claimed us all in Formation and under no uncertain terms sang, I’m black and I’m proud.

But you know whatever makes Black people happy, usually makes white people mad. What sounded like a celebration of black culture to us, sounded like a threat to white folks, especially to the police. They have planned a boycott for Bey’s tour dates in Florida. So why didn’t all this happen when Eric Clapton sang, I shot the sheriff? (Hands on hips) Uh-huh.

BTW, word on the street, aka the internet, hubby Hov has donated 1.5 million bucks to Black Live Matter. Yay-Yuh!

The Carters have grown up and are becoming quite the activist. They are one of Forbes most powerful couples. Not all power is based on dollars and cents. Mr. Belafonte understood they had the power to sway minds, hearts and visions through their art. If the Carter’s didn’t know exactly how much social and political weight they carried, now they know. We all know.

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