The Three-Minute Challenge

Hip Hop should reflect the historical significance of our shifting political landscape

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The Three-Minute Challenge Hip Hop should reflect the historical significance of our shifting political landscape

BY KEVIN BRITTON

“Those songs on the radio may glorify violence, but in my house we give glory to achievement, self-respect and hard work.” - Sen. Barack Obama, June 15, 2008 (Father’s Day)

Before I launch into my political Hip Hop tirade, I’ll set the stage: Most of today’s radio-friendly Rap singles run about three minutes in length. And according to a 2005 USA Today article, a billboard in New York City’s Times Square funded by an anti-war advocacy group projected the cost of the war in Iraq to be, at that time, about $177 million per day, which comes to about $7.4 million per hour or $122,820 per minute.

So even without adjust ing for inflation, during the three minutes that your local FM voice-tracked DJ spins Soulja Boy’s tall tales of “super soaking” young women, about $368,000 has been spent on a mili tary action which most of the country believes needs to come to a swift and decisive conclusion.

I believe those three super-soaked minutes of pre cious commercial airtime could be put to much better use, and I’m reasonably cer tain that the presumptive Democratic nominee for President of the United States — the self-proclaimed “skinny Black kid with big ears and a funny name” — would agree.

So, if within the context of a highly contentious politi cal campaign all this rings of déj

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