The last month has been a flurry of activities from the men and women of hip hop on the one topic the world expected to find a lot of opposition to, homosexuality.
And the media has been all over this story. Questions like how will Hip Hop receive Frank Ocean’s coming out of the closet or how will the culture, the art react to Jay-Z saying he supports same sex marriage?
Hip Hop as a culture is known for being chronically homophobic. The men ooze of nothing but pure unadulterated testosterone and the term “gay” is mostly used as an insult.
So Frank Ocean was risking a lot coming out of the closet but he was assured it wouldn’t be as bad because the biggest in all of Hip Hop, rapper Jay-Z, had voiced his support for LGBT and the community had not lost its head.
But away from the culture and we look at the power these brands have and you realise that they are much more than entertainers, they are important voices and influential people who help the world see things in a different light.
Every word they utter is weighed and dissected like that of a politician and someone like US President Obama must have really been happy to have been supported by Beyonce’s husband.
That kind of a voice is something you find in all other genres but it lacks in Kenya and most of other countries. Here’s the thing, an industry this big, this lucrative, needs to etch their influence in the Kenyan fabric.
They need to support causes that shocks the ruling elite, they should be so influential that their voice is sought on issues affecting Kenya and her people. I don’t mean that they should be all over like Francis Atwoli but on social issues.
You reading this and thinking they are not that important? Have you seen how politicians have jumped on Prezzo’s bandwagon? Have you seen how people have been worried that people are getting emotional over Prezzo and voting to ensure he wins Big Brother than they do a political candidate?
Don’t call them ignorant, don’t think they are petty, just realise how much power these people we call celebrities hold. They give us a chance to escape from life’s everyday hustle and the entertainers need to know they have value and are worth a lot.
Who is the one Kenyan entertainer who would stand up and voice an issue that changes perceptions or strengthens them? Exactly, none.
But is that a hard thing to do? Not exactly, just ensure that you handle sensitive issues in your music, plays or even shows and slowly, people start taking you seriously.
Look at it this way, political satirists probably play a bigger role in the world than say political analysts because they show another side of the argument that clears things up.
People like Churchill, Nameless, Eric Wainaina, Sara Mitaru should be on the forefront of raising issues in their own different ways and it can be a song that sparks that mind that will change the world.
People like Tupac were politicians in their own right because behind the vulgarity, they packed major political opinions and analysis never seen and they did it their own way.
So our entertainers should do more than just ask us to raise our hands like we just don’t care because when it comes to issues we care about, we do care.
I am not talking doing political songs because from history, they are the most boring and yawn infected things ever. Just do your social commentary as only you know how.