Questlove Thinks Artists Won’t Make Protest Music Because They’re Afraid “Of Being Blackballed”
As more news of fatal shootings of men of color by law enforcement continue, U.S. citizens from all over the country urge people from all backgrounds to take a stand against injustice. The deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner sparked protests and unity demonstrations nationwide. ?uestlove has been particularly very vocal on the subject. The veteran drummer and social activist believes artists aren't using their talents to ignite change because of the backlash they might receive in the music industry.
"Yet anthems critical of the times are largely absent, even as demonstrators condemn the system that failed to prosecute the officers involved," said Philadelphia native to Billboard. "I think a lot of it is just due to fear of being blackballed and not making a living."
Don't get it twisted, all hip-hop artists haven't been completely silent. J. Cole—who released his single "Be Free" in light of the protests in Ferguson—has protested in Missouri and most recently in NYC. Vince Staples puts his thoughts on wax about police brutality in "Hands Up."
Earlier this month, Quest broadcasted a compassionate message to artists in all genres urging them to use their gifts of song writing, singing and rapping to create protest songs, or as he likes to call them, "message music."