For a very long time now, Hip-Hop stars have been rapping about green. Unfortunately for the environment, their idea of greens consists of dollars bills or weed. But as we enter into a time of environmental conservation, some in Hip-Hop have begun to turn their direction to the Green Movement, and there is no better culture to take the helm of moving us into greener pastures. Not only does promoting environmental consciousness reduce our carbon footprint, it also offers youth more opportunities into an expanding job market.
Organizations such as Urban Go Green, founded by Davis Osiris James, have been created to spread awareness of the growing Green job market. Using Hip-Hop as common ground, Urban Go Green has brought the youth closer to the idea of incorporating Earth friendliness into their lives. The Urban Go Green campaign even launched its own tour in 2008 visiting major cities such as Harlem, Washington D.C, Atlanta and Newark.
The California-based organization Grind for the Green uses a similar approach, employing Hip Hop outlets to educate youths in inner city areas. Co-Founder of Grind for the Green, Zakiya Harris, has even been able to produce solar powered Hip-Hop concerts! The movement towards a more green conscious society is certainly in the works and there is no better voice to lead it than that of Hip Hop.
Grammy Award-winning group, Arrested Development, has used their conscious-rap abilities to promote a healthier world. In the song, “Greener,” the group makes a strong case for living an Earth responsible lifestyle. The group, which is known for its upbeat, positive messages, is often seen as counteractive to the mainstream “Bling, Bling” rap scene. Their efforts are not alone though. Other Hip-Hop stars and moguls have taken to living a greener lifestyle by casting away a meat diet. Artists such as Raekwon, RZA, Pharrell, Missy Elliot, Ziggy Marley, Russell Simmons and The Roots have all been proponents of going vegetarian or even vegan. Even Common has been featured in PETA ads fighting against animal waste.
While going Green and Hip-Hop aren’t exactly two peas in a pod, their combination has undeniable positive effects. As our country navigates into a Green world, Hip-Hop has proved that it’s getting ready for the ride.
~ Salvatore DiBenedetto (@SaysSal)