Is it oochie wally or one mic?: a dialogue on hip-hop and social activism

Sometimes in life you just have to sit back and ask yourself, “Is it “Oochie Wally Wally” or is it “One Mic”? Is it “Black Girl Lost” or shorty owe you for ice.” I always loved how Jay-Z has his way with words. This phrase plays a huge role in today’s climate of society. Everybody loves to preach about  “keeping that same energy” but when the time present itself to practice what is preached, that energy tends to rarely be reciprocated. 

Now don’t get it confused because it’s still important for people to be consistent with what what they preach. Everybody is always down for dialogue as long as it’s used to help people understand and empathize more with the plight of others. But in some instances, it comes a point where all of a sudden, a message gets lost in the sauce and eventually turns into a broken record.

A snippet of the visual YFN Lucci’s new record “Boss Life” had surfaced on Twitter in which Offset appears, where he raps:

Whole lot of gang in here (gang)/ Nawfside niggas, no names in here (Nawf) / Pinky ring crystal clear, 40k spent on a private Lear (fyuu)/ 60k solitaire (60 ball)/ I cannot vibe with queers (uh-uh) / I got the heart of a bear (huh) / Bustin’ them down by the pair (bust down)…

After the snippet surfaced, Offset was immediately hit with heavy scrutiny and criticism regarding use of the word “queer" even his girl Cardi B was criticized for defending her man.

I always practice empathy and understanding with people who are offended by certain words, but when it reaches a point where it starts feeling like the same song has been left on loop over and over again, then it starts becoming an issue. After sitting through many countless arguments and debates, I asked myself if the outrage was genuine or just people were picking and choosing who they were going to be angry at.

I won't say Offset wasn’t wrong for his word choice, which rappers have a responsibility of being mindful of. But Migos' views on homosexuality have been documented more than once. Does it really should come as a surprise? People are entitled to feel however they wanna feel, but what's bothersome is selective outrage.

Too many times I’ve seen where people pull out the favoritism card when it comes to certain rappers or celebrities. They’ll be outraged when certain rappers drop a homophobic line, but when the moment comes that their favorite does the same, not a word is said. The selective outrage has been at an all time high within the past few years, and social activism has become questionable in today's world.

When social activism became most prevalent after the death of Mike Brown in Ferguson, MO, Social activism was used as a means to not only keep everybody in the loop, but to also help create open dialogue in our space where we share how we truly felt about the mishaps of what was going on. At one point, social media activism was considered a means towards making some effort and contribution towards movements like Black Lives Matter. Nowadays, it’s hard to tell if people are genuine about a cause or if they’re just that damn good at hiding their poker face.

Hardly anything these days feels genuine. It just feels like it’s at a point now where I’m starting to believe a lot of figures heavily involved are solely in the movement for personal gain. The problem with a lot of people who are suddenly woke is that even though they may have have freed their minds, they’re enslaved to their egos. I rarely see those people using their platforms to educate the ignorant. Instead they drag and belittle those who may not entirely understand what's going on, and a lot of people are making it worse by cheering it on.

It doesn’t make one any more better or worse than the other, Nor does it help better the situation. It only looks bad on those who are truly genuine to their cause.  If you’re going to preach online, then it’s important to know and understand what you’re truly standing for. If you don't, then what you say and do is meaningless. And when it becomes meaningless then we will be asking you “Is It Oochie Wally or is it One Mic”?