Rap Music Manifesto
By Brother Saye


We respectfully demand more from those artists who claim to represent our communities, while they promote violence, guns, sex, drugs and alcohol consumption. As an artist, I also was guilty of sometimes rhyming about such issues, so I am not just pointing the finger, trying to bad mouth others. Let’s make no mistakes here, I am sure some artists give back to their communities annually, and many of their efforts are never highlighted by the media. Despite all of that, many artists still support a system that keeps our communities in turmoil, and in economic shambles. They continue to promote drugs; sex and violence in their music, under the idea that it is just entertainment, and that movie producers’ are doing the same, (which they are) using this as an excuse to hold no accountability and responsibility for their actions. Others claim they are just reporting what is going on in their hood, or bringing light to the negative issues which exist. The analysis concerning the cause of the problems within our communities, and the violence that exist within our communities, have been going on for long enough. Now seriously, who’s still falling for the idea that songs (poetry) about how you smoked the guy who stole your quarter pound of weed, or how you smashed the broad you saw in the club last night, gets people united to solve problems?

How about highlighting news that makes a difference? If people are selling dope, than don’t brag about how much dope you sold or smoked. Make songs explaining that there is a problem with drug use and drug distribution. Explain some of the reasons why people are selling dope. If you’re into creative writing, tell the horror story, and then at the end, let the kids know, you told a story that needs to be resolved. Share your opinions on ways to attack the problem. Discuss these issues during concerts, on social media, and on your website. Share multiple outlooks and ways to improve conditions. Attach information about organizations that help in resolution to these problems with songs, so it won’t just look like your promoting the violence and the foolishness we hear all around us. If you’re a gangster who decided to get out the streets, into the booth, keep it 100, and go for the all-around improvement and elevation. Don’t behave the same way with your mouth in the booth, as if you were still in the streets. In some cases, these “Gangsters” are harder in the booth, than they ever were in the streets. Most of the music promoted by record labels has negative impacts to many individuals around you. Think about being more diverse in your message. If you are really trying to make a positive change out of the crime life, do so. The reality is that most artists are just exploiting this negative lifestyle for self-glorification and for capital. They have sold their souls for a little gold. Many conscious artists are banned from radio and are not picked up by major labels. The ones who are signed are forced by their labels to create songs promoting sex, drugs and violence for financial gain. If they do not comply, they are usually shelved away. We advise artists to break away from the artistic chains, and to create a critical thinking movement, dealing with educational and economic empowerment, within low-income communities. We ask that artists create a new communication line with their fans, getting more positive and useful messages out to the masses. In turn I, and an army of others who support this cause, will help you promote and sell your artistic works. This way, you will no longer have to compromise your integrity and brainwash the minds of our children. Yes, parents are still responsible for raising their own children, but artists set trends and create appeal, and we understand this.

What we ask of the artists:

- Create and perform more positive and conscious music.

- Reduce the promotions of guns, sex, drugs, and violence in your music and in your videos.

- Speak on the problems that exist in your communities without glorifying it in your music (be more creative as an artist)

- Promote nonprofit organizations, and difference makers in the community, the same way in which you promote alcoholic beverages and clothing companies.

- Join together and strategically maximize your strengths, by gathering resources, and investing in low-income communities, in order to help build them back up.

- Clearly explain to younger viewers, listeners and consumers that you are an entertainer and that your negative songs are not to be copied as a lifestyle. Don’t confuse children by promoting violence and drug use in your videos, and later giving charity. Give young people clarity as to what your principals are, and where you stand on social issues.

- Be responsible for the things you say. We all make mistakes, now it is time to stand up like men and women, and to pull each other up. Instead of waiting for government, and for one great leader among our ranks, use your talents and unite, to make the necessary changes needed to survive in an oppressive, unproductive society.

Consumers and Fans:

We have to hold the media and the artists responsible for what they present to us. When they claim to represent our communities in their songs and in their videos, we have to demand that they communicate our needs in a responsible manner, without glorifying only the negative daily events, for capitalistic gain. We have to demand that record companies allow artists to create more conscious and positive music, and eliminate some of the negative images within music videos. On the back-hand, we then need to support the artists by purchasing those conscious and positive songs. Sex, money, and drugs, has always been the key element of the entertainment industry, but we can no longer allow ourselves to be exploited by artists and big businesses. Major radio stations need to play conscious and positive songs, more often than they currently do. The consumer has to demand these changes. Artists with subjective political views are often banned from radio, but artists talking about selling drugs, pimping females, and drinking poison, are often praised with additional rotational spins. Record labels are in business to make wealth, and the power of the consumer dictates how much wealth these labels gain. We need to create financial avenues for those conscious artists who support our agenda. Artists need to be able to break the chains of their record labels, and to be able to make a living. If we support these artists, they can in-turn, freely and sincerely speak on our behalf, without worrying about the consequences of political scrutiny, and record label suppression.

First step is to circulate and create dialogue concerning this article.