The Hip-Hop Election
Conventional wisdom was Republicans would eke out a victory in Georgia. After all, they only needed one, whereas the Democrats needed two. And if it weren’t for the need to have in excess of 50% of the vote to ascertain victory, Perdue would have won in November, and he was ahead by about 90,000 votes or so anyway, not an insignificant margin.
But I’m not so sure about that anymore.
Welcome to 2020 America, where nobody knows anything. They used to say that about the movie business, now we can say it about politics. No one, and I mean NO ONE, predicted that Donald Trump would do so well in November. Of course he didn’t win, of course on a popular level he was trounced by approximately seven million votes, and he he lost decisively in the electoral college too. Ignore the Senate shenanigans, but beware of Trump pulling a rabbit out of his hat, martial law, who knows, the Donald has superseded limits again and again, however the tide is now turning, with his veto overridden by the Senate just this week. Trump is already fading away, but as per usual, Trump makes great news, and therefore media can’t stop glomming on to his story, reporting it, whereas after January 20th that’s gonna change, coverage is going to dissolve, and Trump with it.
Furthermore, nothing in America works anymore. The disastrous rollout of the coronavirus vaccine proves this. And Republican values have exacerbated the problem, their anti-government hogwash, insisting on lower taxes, means municipalities don’t have enough money to execute inoculation. Then again, government is the enemy… I thought the Republicans were supposed to be the law and order party, but now they’re all about DISORDER!
But shake your fist at me all you righties, you’re missing the point, it’s not about me but about African-Americans, influenced by artists, rappers and filmmakers and…
Hip-hop works. It dominates current music. Sure, you may get shot in the process, and that’s unfathomable to me, that a hundred and fifty years later we still live in the wild west, but there’s fame and riches and most of all…impact.
This is where youngsters get their messages, from hip-hop.
And there’s even hip-hop in country music. Think about that, talk about the future, all those youngsters in the south listening to hip-hop are gonna continue to vote for redneck, racist, isolationist policies? I don’t think so.
And January 2021 is quite different from November 2020. In Georgia, they have HOPE!
It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Georgia was firmly ensconced in the south. And leftward-leaning southern states like Tennessee and Florida are now firmly red, who’d expect Georgia to be an outlier?
But it was.
Atlanta is the epicenter of hip-hop. Sure, there’s hip-hop in New York and Los Angeles, but as a result of technology, the internet, you no longer have to be in those two latter metropoli to make it in music, as a matter of fact you can be ANYWHERE, there is no flyover country anymore, everybody has the tools of creation and distribution at their fingertips.
But if you live in New York or Los Angeles, Atlanta gets no respect. It’s still seen as a second-rate city. Furthermore, in self-satisfied New York, news central, it is believed NO OTHER CITY compares, no other city is important…just talk to a New Yorker, they’ll tell you it’s the GREATEST CITY IN THE WORLD!
Might be, but I’d rather live in Los Angeles. And many African-Americans would rather live in Atlanta.
They call Washington, D.C. the “Chocolate City.” Yet, it’s not even a state! But Georgia is. And in Georgia, African-Americans are now organized, credit Stacey Abrams, they’ve been screwed one too many times, they’re fighting back, ergo the victory for Joe Biden.
So now what?
Well, Trump can’t stop denigrating Republican governor Kemp, and he just called the Senate races “illegal and invalid”… Yes, Trump is peddling pessimism, he’s not living in the real world, and this does have effects. If they want to win, Republicans have to advocate mail-in voting. As for believing the virus is a hoax and no masks are necessary and you can just show up and vote on Tuesday…in yesterday’s New York Times article about what went down in the room where it happens, in the White House, at the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office, Tony Fabrizio, Trump’s pollster, revealed the confounding news:
“But what set off debate that day was Mr. Fabrizio’s finding that more than 70 percent of voters in the states being targeted by the campaign supported mandatory mask wearing in public, at least indoors, including a majority of Republicans.”
–Trump’s Focus as the Pandemic Raged: What Would It Mean for Him? “President Trump missed his chance to show that he could rise to the moment in the final chapter of his presidency and meet the defining challenge of his tenure.”
But Mark Meadows and Stephen Miller, et al, believed that the base would revolt, so there was no mandatory mask edict.
Meanwhile, Covid-19 is raging.
However, people still forget that so many more people voted for Biden and that the Senatorial game is rigged against the Democrats, the less populous red states still get two Senators.
But now it all comes down to Georgia.
Atlanta is not only the epicenter of hip-hop, it’s the epicenter of African-American culture in the United States. And since the people are Black, and in the south, they don’t get much attention, not what they deserve on a national level. Isn’t this what all the hoopla has been about this past year, the underrepresentation of Blacks?
So, you never want to give people hope, not if you want to keep them down. Demoralization is real. But, if you see you count, all bets are off. And that’s the feeling permeating so many of Georgia’s residents now.
So, I was checking my Twitter feed today, where the pulse of America truly lives, those who say otherwise just don’t want to lose control, they’d rather what they say determine the narrative, and I came across a tweet by T.I.
T.I? The rapper? He’s got 9.1 million Twitter followers!
T.I.’s tweet said:
“Wise words @tylerperry Georgia, we gotta show up!!
And below these words was a video of Tyler Perry speaking.
Tyler Perry… A king of cinema. Who makes his movies in ATLANTA!
He’s not worried about production values, he’s not worried about appearance, Perry’s talking directly to the camera, speaking his truth.
Unlike too many celebrities, Perry is neither talking down to his audience nor evidencing a lack of education and intelligence, quite the opposite. Perry is down in the pit with the proletariat. He’s a combination of English teacher and coach. He’s wearing his hoodie, he’s not afraid. And he’s laying it on the line, this means everything, people have to vote, to turn back Mitch McConnell who doesn’t want people to get help.
And contrary to the supposed internet rule, Perry is not talking in a quick soundbite, he’s taking two minutes and twenty seconds to get his message across, check it out:
— T.I. (@Tip) January 2, 2021
Listening to Perry inspired ME, it gave ME hope. And even though Biden won I haven’t been so hopeful. But the people who have always gotten the short end of the stick, the African-Americans, they now see an opportunity, and they’re acting on it. It’s exciting.
There’s not a news outlet alive that’s got the power of a hit song or a hit movie. Never underestimate the power of entertainment. And despite so much over the top fluff and other shenanigans, hip-hop’s roots are in truth, telling people what is really going on in the streets, educating them and making them feel alive.
The light bulb went off in my head. And I felt, once again, the mainstream media had missed it. But Googling, I found one major outlet that got it, CNN:
African-Americans are on a roll. They can feel it. This has been their year, they’re finally gaining some power. Sure, there’s a counter-narrative on the right, but not only was the whole world watching, over the summer the whole world got in the streets and Biden did win, and Georgia was key.
So maybe the two Democrats can eke out victories in Georgia, maybe Democrats can gain control of the Senate.
But maybe not. Never underestimate efforts on the right to suppress the vote and influence election outcomes. That’s their mantra, didn’t Trump talk about “levels of voting that, if you ever agreed to it, you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again“?
So maybe it’s not about a song. Maybe, like that old mantra, all politics is local, especially in today’s cacophonous world. Maybe it’s less about songs than credibility, and everybody knows rappers have more credibility than pop singers, never mind so many politicians. And now with a defined area, with the rest of the country in relief, the cultural titans of Georgia, the African-Americans of hip-hop, will sway this election.
Maybe not. But this could be a harbinger of things to come. I hope.
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