Angel Haze speaks up about being sexually abused on her powerful new track, and her testimony couldn’t have come at a more urgent time.
This right here is why mainstream feminism needs to wake-up and learn about intersectionality. Important artists like Angel Haze get looked over and their tracks get pigeonholed, and it helps nobody, when these are messages that need to be heard by everyone.
Moreover, hip-hop has long rewarded artists who break the silence and speak truth to power, and that may end up being the case again. Groups like Public Enemy started a conversation about police brutality against blacks and Latinos long before data about the racism of “stop and frisk” policies made its way to the public sphere. LGBT hip-hop artists continue to carve out their own spaces and challenge sexism and homophobia, and when those connected to hip-hop communities come out, as Frank Ocean did, it provides fuel for more prominent figures like Common and Kanye West to challenge bigotry. And finally, during this election system, some of the most poignant critiques of our political system have come from rappers like Lupe Fiasco and Killer Mike. In their music and media appearances, these artists ask pointed questions about the usefulness of electoral politics and the two-party system for the urban poor, whose degradation and marginalization remain no matter who is in the White House.