When Hip-Hop first started to catch it's wave of acknowledgement it was to save people from the streets and to bring the party back to people that had to go without from society. The 1970s and especially the Reagan Era of America in the 1980s saw the inner city become a desperate place filled with crime and the cries for acknowledgement from the government and higher ups in society to know there are people that need help in this country and their voices need to be heard to heal the racial and economical divide that still exists in this country today. In the 70s and 80s though the social and political climate was changing due to technology and the many wars on people of color due to economics, racism, and policies driven to keep the people in need voiceless.
Hip-Hop started out in the park, the went to the house parties, and soon navigated itself into mainstream life. Hip-Hop was on movie screens and on the TV screen in the home bringing you the stories of men and women from all parts of the United States of America and around the world who had voices that needed to be heard. We saw and heard stories of police brutality, poverty, love, social disparity, and positive self imagery that went against the belief of those who chose to define the Hip-Hop generations as deviants, unworthy to be recognized in pain or in joy as the movement of society shifted towards the beat of a new tempo.
The rise of Artists like Public Enemy, X-Clan, Wise Intelligent, Paris, and of course 2PAC, to name a few of many, brought conscious thought to the formation of Generation X's thoughts as we danced to the thought and creativity of messages in music, while upholding the HBCU and mainstream education practices this country taught us. Yet, it is Hip-Hop that continued to fuel our desire to be more.
We saw the rise of business moguls in the music industry like Master P, and Jay-Z. We saw the rise of educators like Marc Lamont Hill, Questlove and 9th Wonder. We saw ladies take their places in power following the lineage of power established like Silvia Robinson as business women that own media and are leading the culture into a new age of beauty and wisdom in the money field of life. With all of that we as a Hip-Hop culture and movement still have yet to crack into the needs of its' people until recently.
With the rise knowledge in the world and Generation X taking over in the power sections of society. Hip-Hop has transcended from art and music for a certain demographic into the number 1 selling and celebrated genre in the world. Hip-Hop is in media of course, but also in education and now in the most important arena in the world, Politics. 2 men that we celebrate for moving into this arena are Andre "Noodle" Rainey and Dupre' "Doitalldu" Kelly.
Andre Rainey has served as Mayor of Peekskill, NY and is growing his political career into moving into higher levels of government as well. His gift for Hip-Hop has been giving people the view of where he is from and being a voice for those people on beats. With classic songs under his belt like 'Stroll On' featuring Big Snuff (RIP), the MC Noodle Noo gave people a 1st hand perspective of not letting the world tell you who you are or what to be by leaving negativity behind. Taking his life experience and lessons learned from life and representing the people that did not have their voices heard, Mayor Rainey takes his Hip-Hop and MC art from the booth to the political assembly fighting for the children that need a differing view of what Hip-Hop is and can be when used for the good of the people. While still releasing music, Mayor Rainey is fighting for the minds and the inspiration of the children of his community to see that Hip-Hop is not only glamor with posts, likes and streams attached to it. Hip-Hop can also be serving the community, protecting others and ensuring rights for the generations to come so all people can have pride in their community and the future generations can go even further off of the moves that have been made before they were handed over the charge to lead society into its' new direction. Salute to Mayor Rainey and his journey into NY Assembly and his political career.
Dupre' Kelly is known to be "Chief Rocka #1" from the Lords of the Underground group out of Newark, NJ. He has had songs on TV, video games, and in movies. He is visible in and around the city meeting people and being among the people he has entertained, but caught the bug from a conversation he had with the late great Tupac Shakur. As told by Mr. Kelly", Pac talked about politics and building the community and now Mr. Kelly is living that vision out with a won seat for West Ward Councilman in his city of Newark, NJ. Newark, NJ has a bad reputation of being a nothing city with nothing good in it. People have said it is a terrible city, with no hope, no guidance, and no good people. As I differ from these statements that have been made, Councilman Kelly is a symbol for that belief to aid in change and bring light to the good of the city he represents. With his newest album, Brenda's Son, Councilman Kelly tells his story while giving his first MC her respect as telling where he comes from and how he repays her faith in him by making wise choices. She could not be more proud to know her son is taking steps to put his city on his back and giving the children of the city a new physical example of how Hip-Hop is more than a music it can be powerful in aiding society into a new age of enlightenment that can help all of our people from the eldest to the new born children that come to Earth inheriting the work needed to be great as God has called us to be. Being dubbed the "Hip-Hop Obama", by Fredro Starr we salute the Hope and change Councilman Kelly represents and look forward to where he takes his new political career as well.
Hip-hop is ever growing and pushing boundaries. As we go into the new landscape of technology, social and financial responsibility we all need to recognize the it is that inspiration we give the youth that will lead our next wave of political leaders, social leaders, and society of tomorrow. While being men of color and taken for granted by a country and system built to see them fail. Mayor Andre Rainey, and WestWard Councilman Dupre' Kelly are examples of Hip-Hop leading the world to a better place. By teaching the community how the vote works, and using it to put people in power that look like us and come from the same land as us as well. By putting people that came up from the mud and played in the dirt with you, that respect and bond will always lead to a compassionate place to not let a people go that you may represent on a high level one day. The Bible says to elect leaders from your own to represent you because will not, and look out for their own first. May Hip-Hop be represented and we set up institutions to keep this positive change going forward to lead our future generations into the freedom and power we long to see outside of music and sports and into politics, law making and civil peace between all from the Parks to the town halls all over the world. Next Stop is the Presidency and as been said before, "I Told You That WE Won't Stop."
Interview links for more coverage of both gentlemen below.
Mayor Andre "Noodle" Rainey:
Noodle Noo Celebrate Life featuring Lazel:
Councilman Dupre' "Doitalldu" Kelly:
DoitallDu The Life: