11 Rappers Who’ve Demanded Reparations in Songs
“We so elated, we celebrated like Obama waited until his last day in office to tell the nation, brothers is getting their reparations/Hey a man can dream, can't he?”—J. Cole on “Be Free”
As Jermaine Cole once put it, the idea of African-American slaves or their descendants receiving reparations has been just that, a dream, ever since slavery was abolished in 1865. In reality, the figurative 40 acres and a mule seems more like wishful thinking than something that will actually happen.
Recently, the topic has been pushed to the forefront once again, with multiple Democratic presidential hopefuls supporting the idea. Author and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates, who published “The Case for Reparations” in The Atlantic five years ago, recently testified at a House hearing on H.R. 40, a bill that seeks to establish a commission to look into the feasibility of providing compensation to those who are eligible.
So, what would reparations look like in 2019? The Game has an idea. "It looks like 40 aces and Lamborghini. Forty acres and a Lambo," the Compton rapper recently said. "I don't know what it's gon' do [to the economy]. It don't matter what it does because the country was built on the backs of, you know, slavery."
According to their lyrics, there quite a few rappers who strongly believe reparations are in order to right America's past wrongs. Over the years, several MCs, including Tupac, Pusha-T, Nipsey Hussle, Lil Wayne and others, have touched on the topic on tracks and strongly suggested that monetary atonement needs to happen.
With the big payback becoming a hot topic in the news once again, XXL compiles a list of rappers demanding reparations via song.