Accountability is now topic at the forefront of modern social issues, especially for rappers looking to break into the industry. From the notorious “Cancel Culture” phenomenon to the Black Lives Matter movement, holding wrongdoers accountable has become a major focal point in our society.
This being said, there are, of course, numerous celebrities who use their voice to call attention to said issues. For this list, we will be focusing on rappers who have used their popularity to call attention to the importance of social accountability in recent years.
1. Noname holds accountability to a new standard
When it comes to rappers, Noname is leading the charge in the era of accountability. She uses her Twitter account to highlight injustices and inequalities.
Throughout her career, she has been quite passionate about showcasing police brutality, and she has been heavily retweeting videos of police abusing their power. She uses her platform to support pro-blackness and discourages support for the oppressive white normative society.
She has also been using her Twitter to call attention to the crisis in Cuba. Cuban citizens have been openly protesting and criticizing the Cuban government for social and political grievances spanning decades.
Calling attention to these issues that don’t directly impact you is a perfect example of using your voice to promote accountability on a massive scale.
2. Lil Baby is the voice of the next generation
Along with general music superstardom, Lil Baby has become a prominent voice in social justice advocation. He was an active protestor during the George Floyd protests last year. Most importantly, he dropped one of the most conscious tracks of the year in “The Bigger Picture.”
In this song, Baby calls out society and the criminal justice system for their failure to hold problematic people and policies accountable. The Music video for the song has over 140 million views on Youtube, and won the BET award for “Impact Track of the Year”.
Baby has also been to the Whitehouse to discuss these issues among others with Vice President Harris. It is nice to see that although Lil baby has been experiencing monstrous commercial success, he still has his priorities in respectable places.
3. Meek Mill is one hell of an advocate for prison reform
Ever since Meek Mill’s vindictive prison sentencing in late 2017, he has made it a part of his mission to help reform the criminal justice system.
He has appeared on the news, he has had conversations with lawmakers, and he has made it quite clear he takes this calling seriously. He has also looked out for prisoners by donating masks, which is something our federal government should have been providing.
He serves as the co-chair of the REFORM Alliance. They are an organization that works to change the nature of parole and probation for convicted individuals. Meek’s commitment to establishing accountability in the criminal justice system is admirable considering his demanding career.
4. Megan Thee Stallion is empowering females to speak out
Megan has used her platform and experiences to promote accountability in the music genre. She used getting shot by Tory Lanez as a way to speak on abuse in relationships and wife-beater acceptance in hip hop.
She used public outrage towards “WAP” as a way to shame those who oppose female empowerment. She used the situation with her old record label as a way to warn other artists of the greed and poor treatment artists face, at the hands of higher-ups in the music industry.
Overall, she is a walking teachable moment. Her ability to transform misfortune and backlash into lessons is second to none. She deserves praise for not letting these situations weigh her down and instead of using them to hold people accountable for their actions and beliefs.
5. YG is holding politicians accountable
Now let’s get something clear, it is not the aim of this article to be political. However, whether you love, or hate Donald Trump from his time as president, you would have to be crazy to not agree that there are numerous things that he has done that need to be answered for.
Aside from his political discourse, YG has been another proponent for the BLM movement, as well as advocating against police brutality. In 2020, amidst the George Floyd riots, he released the song “FTP“, which is a call to action to stand up to continued mistreatment at the hands of law enforcement.
The title of the song, in tandem with YG’s Compton roots, showcased that the black community in southern California has been continuing to deal with these issues since back in the NWA era of hip hop.
Rappers and the Era of Accountability
Rappers have a well-deserved reputation for promoting a culture that is generally anti-accountability. Luckily, there are people in the industry that are changing our perception of what a “rapper” can be.
These individuals demonstrate that artists are people with passions that go beyond clubbing and flexing. As society changes, so do our entertainers. Who knows, maybe someday hip hop may shift to a more inclusive culture with accountability in high regard.
Until then, we should celebrate these trailblazers for putting themselves out there and promoting something so relevant to our current social climate.