Hip-hop tycoon Jay-Z may have written a rap song for President Obama, but he doesn’t credit politicians or individual leaders with improving race relations in the United States. “[Hip Hop] has changed America immensely,” he said (via Mediatakeout). “Hip-hop has done more than any leader, politician, or anyone to improve race relations.”
He contends that the power of music can help children revere individuals of all races and in doing so, protect them from negative influences. “Racism is taught in the home,” he continued, “and it’s very hard to teach racism to a teenager who idolises, say, Snoop Dogg. It’s hard to say, ‘That guy is less than you.’ The kid is like, ‘I like that guy, he’s cool. How is he less than me?’” Isn’t the Snoop Dogg example a little outdated? Perhaps, but I see his point: It’s a lot harder for parents to convince kids to hate someone that they’re bopping their head to every day.
If that wasn’t a bold enough statement, Hova also cites music clubs as an example of hip-hop’s triumph in race relations: “That’s why this generation is the least racist generation ever,” he said. “You see it all the time. Go to any club. People are intermingling, hanging out, enjoying the same music.”