HIP HOP HAS GROWN UP AND ENTERED THE REALM OF POLITICS
True Hip Hop heads know that Rap is not Hip Hop, and that it is merely one element of Hip Hop and the culture. What seems to be lost in today’s day in age is the element of knowledge. There are far and few artists who undeniably represent Hip Hop as a culture and all of its elements.
Hip Hop legend and pioneer DoItAll from Lords of the Underground has taken a pledge to formally give back to the communities and boroughs of society by running for Councilman-At-Large for Newark, NJ. 25 years ago Hip Hop was introduced to The Lords, and now 25 years later “Chief Rocka” is rocking the political arena.
As a member of the Communications Team on the campaign, I had the chance to speak with Du regarding his candidacy for city council. Tune in to the interview below. Remember to vote B5 on May 8th and be part of history in the making!
MJ: First and foremost, salute to a strong and prominent 25 years in Hip Hop, and the entertainment business as a whole! For those who don’t know you have starred in some Indie Films as well as Law and Order, Oz, and even the Soprano’s! So why politics? What possesses a renowned and celebrated Hip Hop artist to open the door of politics?
DoItAll: Thank you! My decision is an accumulation of many things. One being a Hip Hop Artist. That allowed me to travel the world and to be able to see firsthand how different countries and different cities use the culture of Hip Hop to galvanize people in their communities. Another decision was based on my time being around elected officials in the great city of Newark NJ. That allowed me to be a fly on the wall and learn who was working on the people’s behalf and who was not. Lastly, the decision was based on a conversation that I had with Tupac Shakur over 20 years ago about how Hip Hop Artists need to become as popular as we can so that we would be able to go back to our perspective cities to create big and better youth initiative programs and to be able to start nonprofit organizations as well as run for political office. A goal so we can directly and effectively vote on Laws, Ordinances, policies & issues that concern the residents.
MJ: You mentioned on the radio how early on in your music career about that profound conversation with Tupac. I think of the irony with that conversation as Tupac was extremely political with his rhymes and known for preaching to his fellow artists about coming together and changing the world. If he was still with us how would that conversation flow today? I can envision Tupac being one of your biggest supporters!
DoItAll: Tupac would have most likely have followed his own advice and entered into politics himself.
MJ: You have a powerful campaign followed by patrons of every walk and culture of life from our youth to seniors. Can you share some of the immediate changes you plan on developing in the city of Newark?
DoItAll: I will fight for the city to make a greater investment into our youth. For example, the city had a summer jobs program that was under funded. 5000 young people applied and only 2500 were placed into jobs. In our city every child deserves to have the opportunity.
MJ: Aside from the campaign you have other endeavors heightening in the new year. Tell us about those.
DoItAll: I have a few film projects that are on hold until the campaign is over as well as a 25-year anniversary tour and music coming with my group Lords of the Underground.
MJ: As a fan I have to say thank you! Thank you for continuing to create timeless music and blessing fans with 25+ years of longevity!
DoItAll: We’re still at it. We just came back from Switzerland. We do about 60-100 shows a year!
MJ: Let’s take it back to music. As a vet, what jewels can you drop for up and coming artists? What would you say is needed for them to truly embrace the essence and elements of Hip Hop?
DoItAll: I would say Hip Hop was always used as a platform where you could tell or showed people how you and your family, friends, loved ones or your peers were living the culture. The narrators of the culture are the rappers. I would tell these rappers to narrate what they see and how they are living the culture. I would also tell them to be mindful of the influence they have over a weak or impressionable mind and deliver a message. Utilize your platform to inspire.
MJ: Are you hopeful the DoItAll for Newark Campaign will encourage and empower those artists to become more involved within their communities?
DoItAll: Yes. I pray that I am the spark for artists who are more popular than I am. I want them to go back to their communities to do great work.
MJ: As we wrap up, please let everyone know how they can donate to the campaign and continue to support you and “Raise The Torch”.
DoItAll: People can donate to the Doitall for Newark@ Movement by Texting “Doitall” to 973-846-2211 (wait for a quick text back). Donate from $1 to $2,600. If anyone donates anything over $2,600 I will have to send it back.
MJ: Thank you for taking the time for our readers, it has been an honor!
DoItAll: Thank you! Just remember when people love their city they can change it!