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Political Rap Emerges as the New Punk Rock

With the Trump administration dominating headlines in every news media outlet that covers politics, American who oppose the status quo are looking for musical outlets that support their opinion.

 

In the 1980s, punk rock provided the soundtrack for the anti-Reagan crowd. During the Bush era of the elder George H., hip-hop icons Public Enemy led the charge against those who wanted to undermine the African-American experience. During the dark days of the Iraq War and the Great Recession under George W. Bush, alternative rock and rap metal groups such as Rage Against the Machine were crucial in terms of supporting the political counterculture.

 

These days, a veritable resistance is brewing among Americans who oppose the strange Trump White House, and it is up to rappers such as Killer Mike and Run the Jewels to deliver political messages through their music.

 

Michael Render, better known as Killer Mike, is fondly remembered for his support of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, whose progressive ideas for the United States under Democratic rule were embraced by African-Americans, immigrants, young voters, and the working class. Killer Mike is one half of Run the Jewels, a successful hip-hop duo that many fans are designating as the leading musical voice of the anti-Trump movement.

 

Killer Mike has been careful to not accept a political label for Run the Jewels. According to a news report published by Metro Times in Detroit, Killer Mike has declared the Run the Jewels is not a political rap group, although he has been quick to mention that he supports ideologies of freedom.

 

Even though Run the Jewels still invite artists such as Zack de la Rocha, the very political and antifascist lead singer of Rage Against the Machine, to the recording studio, Killer Mike wants fans to know that their work is social and not political. When Killer Mike actively campaigns in support of Senator Sanders, his political colors are in full display, but that is not what he wants from Run the Jewels.

 

In the end, there is little that Killer Mike can do if his fans decide to appropriate the songs produced by Run the Jewels as anti-Trump anthems.

 

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