Rappers Need To Stop Rapping About Hurricanes Unless They Lived Through One
Entertainment

Rappers Need To Stop Rapping About Hurricanes Unless They Lived Through One

Beyonce needs to get in formation.

149
Pixabay

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita tore apart the state of Louisiana (especially New Orleans). During the hurricanes I lived in Vernon Parish, a part of the central Louisiana region. Even though the region I lived in was a fair length away from the coast, there was extreme devastation surrounding me.

I lived without power for weeks. I stood in a FEMA line to get canned water, food rations, and ice. I was out of school for a month. Houses in Vernon Parish were destroyed by downed trees, flooding, and looting. Although I didn't live in New Orleans, I can surely say that I was affected physically by the hurricanes.

Survivors of Katrina and Rita, or any major natural disaster for that matter, have a strange bond. The people of Vernon Parish turned almost tribal during the storms. We would gather in the cul-de-sac at night around the neighbors generators and share food, water, and stories. The damage was horrible, but the sense of community was akin to the sense of community I have felt in a fraternity, writing circles, or ethnic groups. We were living through something a select group of people have lived through.

Based on the reasons I have listed, I have to say how obnoxious I find it when celebrities use natural disasters to market themselves.

This has weighed on my mind for a long time, but most recently came back to me when I listened to the song "Pray For Me", from the new "Black Panther" soundtrack. In the song, Kendrick Lamar raps the lines "I fight pain and hurricanes, today I wept/ I'm tryna fight back tears, flood on my doorsteps". The rest of the subject matter is related, to what many would call, "the black plight" (shootings, government aid, blood in the streets). The song and movie both are meant to be an inspiration to all black people, not just African Americans.

I am all for "Black Panther" and "Pray For Me" addressing black issues and being a source of pride for all black people, but the "hurricane" lyric struck me as odd. Kendrick Lamar is the greatest rapper alive, and I love him, but I don't understand how he gets validation to talk about being in hurricanes.

I might sound petty, but it isn't just Kendrick that does this. In the music video for "Formation", Beyonce is seen lying on a flooded cop car in New Orleans, an obvious reference to Katrina. "Formation" was released almost a decade after the hurricanes (which she didn't even experience). She didn't reference Katrina for timeliness, she referenced it to give her unearned credibility.

Mos Def released the song "Dollar City" as a critique on George Bush and Katrina, while he was in New York, safely away from the wreckage of the hurricane. Not to mention, Mos Def stole the instrumental from the New Orleans group UTP, people who actually lived through Katrina and Rita.

I don't think rappers, or any artists, have to live through the things they form art about, but referencing Katrina is obvious pandering of the worst kind. Katrina is primarily seen as a "black issue", and it is, for the black people who actually lived through it. A rapper who hasn't shot someone can get away with rapping about shootings because every city in America has had gang crimes and shootings.

Hurricane Katrina was something that damaged a select area only one time, it was a special happening. The singularity of Hurricane Katrina is what makes artists hiding behind it so egregious.

I love the fact that people aided Louisiana during Hurricane Katrina. I also think the love that was going across Texas during Hurricane Harvey was amazing. Americans need to band together when natural disasters strike.

The global reach celebrities had during Harvey helped to bring donations to the region, but that is vastly different than using the hurricane as a crutch to pander and increase album sales. People need to be more aware of the difference between "helping" and "ripping-off".

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Everyone remembers the first time they went to one of the Disney parks. Spinning in teacups and having Goofy wrap his arms around my 8-year-old self were some of my fondest childhood memories, and I'm surely not alone in that.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

These Superfood Beauty Products Show Kale And Matcha Work For SO Much More Than We Thought

Just another summer's day with a cold glass of kombucha on my face.

I've been vegan for about six years now, so a love for fresh vegetables and superfoods has now become a core part of my being. Don't get me wrong. I love my indulgent, creamy pastas and truffle fries more than anyone. But I keep most of my focus on eating clean and healthy so I can indulge guilt-free.

But I'd say about a large part of my diet has always, unknowingly, included superfoods. Being Indian, lentils, beetroot, garlic, ginger, and whole grains have been core essentials on the family dinner table since I could digest solid foods.

Keep Reading... Show less

Now that college is around the corner for most if not all young adults, students once shook by a pandemic now have to shift their focus on achieving their career goals. As if we thought we had it together already! As an NYC girl, I have always seen myself as a hustler, hungry to advance my career in journalism by having one skill: working hard.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

5 BBQ Essentials Every Vegan Should Bring To Avoid Summer Cookout FOMO

You'll have your whole family drooling when you bring these goodies over too.

All vegetarians and vegans can relate when I say this: summer barbecues aren't fun when there's nothing you can eat.

Keep Reading... Show less

Kourtney Kardashian has decided to leave "Keeping Up With The Kardashians" after nearly 14 years and although we saw this coming, it breaks our heart that she won't be there to make us laugh with her infamous attitude and hilarious one-liners.

Kourtney is leaving the show because it was taking up too much of her life and it was a "toxic environment" for her.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

We Asked You How You Felt About Resuming 'Normal' Activities, And Some Of Your Answers Shocked Us

The New York Times asked 511 epidemiologists when they'd feel comfortable doing "normal" activities again, considering COVID-19. We asked our peers the same thing, for science.

Last month, the New York Times surveyed about 500 epidemiologists asking about their comfort level with certain activities once deemed normal — socializing with friends, going to the doctor, bringing in the mail. That's all well and good for the experts, but they are a very niche group, not the majority of the population. What do "normal" people feel safe doing? In certain states, we've seen how comfortable everyone is with everything (looking at you, Florida), but we wanted to know where Odyssey's readers fell on the comfort scale. Are they sticking with the epidemiologists who won't be attending a wedding for another year, or are they storming the sunny beaches as soon as possible?

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments