Saturday evening (Oct. 14), REVOLT Music Conference played host to one of the most critically and culturally important panels yet to be organized after Trump won the presidential election, calling on an expertly curated group of artists, activists and writers to discuss and explain how they use the power of hip-hop to challenge the political system.
The panel, which was brilliantly moderated by Jeff Johnson, the CEO of JIJ Communications, was comprised of ten individuals who continue to utilize their platforms with the utmost urgency and responsibility, tirelessly advocating for social justice, challenging oppression and denouncing the malevolent actions of the current administration.
During the explosive, informed and passionate dialogue, artist/activists Mysonne, Joey Bada$$ and T.I. were joined by the Rev. Shane R. Harris, President, National Action Network San Diego; Datwon Thomas, Editor in Chief, Vibe; Rob Kenner, Executive Editor, Mass Appeal; Vanessa Satten, Editor in Chief, XXL; Karen Civil, Author, Media Maven, Brand Curator; and Shaheem Reid, Host/ Writer/ Producer, REVOLT TV.
With each esteemed panelist offering instrumental and impactful words of wisdom and furthering the dialogue necessary to making a real impact in our nation and in our communities alike, attendees and those watching live from home were provided with tools, resources and inspiration to continue this integral and difficult work fighting against a system rooted in racism and designed to oppress people of color and minorities.
"When we fight white supremacy, we neutralize Trump," moderator Jeff Johnson said, opening the panel. "When we fight white supremacy, we neutralize those that support Trump. But by focusing on Trump, all we're doing is focusing on tweets that are disconnected from a president that hasn't even been able to pass a single piece of legislation. If you don't get it, that means he hasn't done anything. And so as disruptive as he has the potential of being, he becomes more disruptive when we give him more power than he has."
"So I'm excited about the brothers and sisters that are on this panel because they're doing actual work and they got recommendations. And those of you in this room are doing work. And if we can talk about what is the plan that we use to create power for the people that are part of a community that love hip-hop, then we automatically defeat a president that will only be there for a short time," Johnson continued. "We fought Bush, we supported Obama, we fought Trump but many of our communities didn't change. The question is how do we use hip-hop, how do we use economics, how do we use art, how we do we use politics, how do we use the power of our voice to change the reality of the people that can't afford to come to the REVOLT Music Conference but are waiting on a nation of people to provide inspiration through art and excellence through business to not just make money, but to make social impact."
Take a look at the full "Hip-Hop Vs. Trump" panel discussion from the 2017 REVOLT Music conference in the live stream above.
“Support the people who are speaking on the causes. That’s the best thing people behind the scenes can do.” –@joeyBADASS— REVOLT TV (@RevoltTV) October 14, 2017