For the past few days I have been compiling songs and imagery from Hip-Hop in recognition of different principals of Kwanzaa [Umoja, Kujichagulia, Ujima] . But I was a little stumped by today’s principal, Ujamaa, which is Cooperative Work and Economics.
Now there is no doubt in my mind that hip-hop artists have demonstrated a level of entrepreneurship and in rare cases economic independence. But I am not convinced as to whether it is COOPERATIVE. Sure a few of their family and friends might get employed, but does hitting off your weed carrier with a couple bills count as cooperative economics? Wu Tang Clan’s Raekwon once rhymed on “Glaciers of Ice” that “his seeds marry his seeds, that’s how we keep Wutang money all up in the family” and they are the only group I’m aware of that has that mind set, actually pooling their money for the larger clan.
I’m not downing rappers making money, I’m just wondering if it’s for the benefit of more than just themselves.
Someone took up this debate online [click here] and I’d like to bring it to you all. I’ve made a gallery of examples of Economic empowerment and initiative but I’m not all the way convinced it’s for the greater good.