Is the son of the legendary Afrobeat pioneer, Fela Kuti to stand corrected? On Friday morning U.S. time, Friday afternoon in Nigerian time, Afrobeat icon Seun Kuti took to Instagram to release a string of rants starting with the facade of Nigerian professionals and ending with a piercing statement to mainstream Black rappers in America.
“Dear black Rappers of the United States, you want to know why Oprah and Gayle are only doing documentaries about the black sexual predators? I’ll tell you, it’s the same reason y’all only kill black men in all your songs too. Y’all know the vibes.”
Kuti’s comments began to flood with statements of opposition. One follower commented, “That’s not the same thing big bro…because, people only know what they relate to and if most of the ppl you grow up around are mostly the same race you’ll always relate violence, heartbreak, love, passion, etc,” the user wrote.
Kuti’s comments may have been triggered by Snoop Dogg’s recent comments to Gayle King, in light of her interview with WNBA legend Lisa Leslie covering the late Kobe Bryant’s legacy. The “Gin and Juice II” rapper went viral on Wednesday after he shared his thoughts on the interview in defense of his late friend in a video where he can be heard calling the news anchor out of her name.
Kuti responded to the user, where he expressed his dislike for the act ultimately putting into context how he believes American rappers serve a responsibility on how to tackle matters of such magnitude.
“So the people whose mouths were used to spray the bullets of this ‘weapon’ have no responsibility? Calling our mothers and sisters and daughter bitches and hoes for 30 years and they are asking us today why Oprah and Gayle can’t talk about white men?” Kuti wrote.
Rappers in America and Hip-Hop culture, in general, is the most influential music genre among the Black youth in America and most African countries. While hip-hop music may hold the aesthetic of negative “black on black,” that is not always the case. Hip-Hop is not the foundation of black on black attacks. This concern can be traced all the way back to the 17th century and beyond, where specific African kingdoms faced combat due to matters of power and trade.
Seun’s message to American rappers may appear to be rather extreme, however, there is a jewel to pick up from the Afrobeat icon’s rant. He also did not choose any sides as he initially recognized both perspectives. Hip-Hop music will always have a diverse league of talk points. The realities of America cannot be altered. However, there can be a practice put in place for effective ways of expression for Hip-Hop’s most influential acts in this dominating age of social media.