Election Results!

In case you’ve been on Pluto with Future for the last few weeks, let me give you a recap on some of the highlights of the 2012 Election:

  • Barack Obama won the presidency (and not only did he win, but he also he won all but one swing state).
  • Tammy Baldwin became the first openly gay person elected to the Senate.
  • Mazie Hirono became the first Buddhist elected to the Senate.
  • Tulsi Gabbard became the first practicing Hindu elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
  • Maine, Maryland and Washington voted to permit same-sex marriage.
  • Minnesota voters rejected a ban on same sex marriage.
  • Colorado and Washington voted to legalize marijuana for recreational use.

From the results of the election, it is obvious that our country is becoming more diverse and more accepting.  People from different races, religions, and sexual orientations are becoming leaders in our country.  Social “norms” are being broken and redefined to give people rights that they deserve. Bill O’Reily even claims that the “white establishment is now the minority.”  Although this is far from the truth, America’s traditional values are changing.  And this change could be great for the hip hop community in many different ways. Based on the results of the election, if America continues with the amazing growth and change I think that hip hop will also change for the better, becoming more accepting itself and become accepted as an influential genre.

If you’ve been reading my posts, you’d know that the legalization of marijuana has been a topic that I’ve covered. And yep you heard right, weed has been legalized for recreational use in Washington and in Colorado.  When I wrote my post about weed and hip hop a few weeks ago, I never thought something like this would happen so soon.  In fact, in my first draft I wrote, “Marijuana will probably not be legalized anywhere in the U.S. anytime soon.”  Boy was I wrong, but what does this really mean? And what effects will it have on hip hop?  People look down on hip hop because of its drug related content and a lot of this content is in reference to marijuana.  If marijuana becomes recognized more as a recreational drug similar to alcohol or tobacco, the marijuana content in hip hop might become more acceptable.  Minorities who have been disproportionally affected by the criminalization of marijuana will be relieved of this burden.  This includes many rappers and hip hop artists including Wiz Khalifa, T.I., Nelly, Soulja Boy, Rick Ross, Lil Scrappy, Snoop Dog, DMX, Jadakiss – the list could go on and on – who have been arrested for possession and use of marijuana.  If marijuana ever becomes legalized and accepted on a federal level, it will protect the reputation of the artists and the art of hip hop.

             In a previous post, I wrote about how Frank Ocean’s bold move to publically announce that he is bisexual could change the face of hip hop.  As the nation becomes more accepting of homosexuality, hopefully hip hop will too.  Same sex marriage is currently legal in nine states and the District of Columbia, but it is still a hot topic around the country just as Frank Ocean who is openly bisexual is accepted in the hip hop community, heterosexuality isn’t a complete norm.  Just as America is and has been dominated by straight white males, hip hop is and has been dominated by straight black males.  In both cases it’s going to be hard to break the stereotypes that have been reinforced for years, but both America and hip hop are taking strides to change.

            America and hip hop are simultaneously changing. What happens in American politics can have big effects in hip hop as seen above.  Hip hop is not just a music genre- it’s a lifestyle, community, art form and so much more that changes and grows just as the country changes and grows.  As America becomes more accepting of things and ideas outside of the norm, I believe hip hop will become regarded as more than music that degrades women and badly influences the youth, but instead a respectful art form. 

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