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How We Gonna Make The Black Nation Rise (if they won’t hear their own?)


>This week’s Village Voice runs a cover story on how "Black-conscious hip-hop deals with an overwhelmingly white live audience," an important subject worthy of serious discussion. Unfortunately, Bakari Kitwana’s piece doesn’t pose the big questions to the mainstream hip-hop community, and it’s left to the ‘alternative’ hip-hop artists themselves to acknowledge the awkard truth.

"My audience has gone from being over 95 percent Black 10 years ago to over 95 percent white today," says Boots Riley of The Coup.

"I do so many shows in front of mostly white audiences that it’s the norm," says Zion of Zion-I. "When I get in front of a Black audience it’s like, ‘Finally you’re here, feel me.’ We’ve done shows in Chicago and São Paulo, Brazil, and it feels good to be in front of our people when they are feeling it. But there are some thugged-out crowds where our message doesn’t resonate, and Black folks will say that they aren’t trying to hear hip-hop artists remind them of their problems."

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