It's the rare occasion when you see the best-selling artist in any genre make a significant political statement, let alone in hip-hop. And you'd expect such a statement from a southern hip-hop artist to be even rarer still. Because I think we all know people from the South aren't as smart as people from other parts of the country[1].

So you can imagine my surprise then when I read recently that TI, the best-selling artists in hip-hop today, has come out in favor of deporting illegal immigrants.

To wit:

If they came here illegally, man, they might need to, you know... It seems rough, and cruel, and harsh; but to be fair to everybody, the people who trying to get over here the right way, I think they might need to be put back over there so they can, you know, find a way to get over here the right way.

I couldn't have said it any better myself. I mean, I could have, but let's not lose the point here. TI is arguably one of the most important rappers from his region, and illegal immigration has been a true scourge on the black community. If so-called hip-hop activists were really concerned with building some sort of movement, this would be as good an opportunity as any, no?

Unfortunately, I wonder if so many so-called hip-hop activists are really concerned with becoming anything other than Jesse Jackson-style poverty pimps. As it is, you hardly ever hear from these bags except when it's time to make yet another failed attempt to swing a presidential election for the Democratic party.

On the rare occasion that you do see them take a stance on an issue, it's something having to do with easing this nation's drug laws. As if what the black community really needs is more violent, drug-addled criminals stalking our shopping malls armed with AK-47s. Not to sound like my old man, but what the black community could really use is a job.

But to get a job you need an education. How can our children ever expect to learn anything if hardly anyone in the school speaks English? Instead of reading A Separate Peace, like your father did in high school, kids out in Californina find themselves caught up in epic, Jim Morrison-style race wars. It's no wonder only three black men in this country have a job right now[2].

I've said it before and I'll say it again: If hip-hop activists want to be taken seriously, they should get behind an issue that has real potential to have a positive effect in the black community. TI, one of the best rappers from Atlanta, is leading the way. Now it's time for the Russell Simmons-es of the world to step up.


[1] It's true. Face it.

[2] Three and a half if you count Elliott Wilson.