Young Thug’s Apathy And The Lost Voices of Ferguson

September 24, 2014  |  

A few weeks ago, somebody reached out to me and told me “we failed.”

It was just a friend of mine, who has a love of Hip-Hop that rivals my own. The difference is that he, unlike myself, has been living a decadently R&B life the older he gets. R&B life, meaning he’s chilling with the wife, kids and the occasional Sunday dinner at the local Red Lobster. When he told me we failed it stung a bit for me, because I knew he was right and I’m still active in Hip-Hop.

Over the weekend, BET hosted the coveted BET Hip-Hop Awards in the guts of Atlanta, GA. It was a fun affair indeed, which is what Hip-Hop is rooted in. But there’s another side that Hip-Hop has always offered too. It has always been an agent for change.

On the red carpet, rapper Young Thug was interviewed by Bossip and the conversation went like this:

Bossip: They are doing a special on Mike Brown and the Ferguson situation. What do you think needs to be changed with the way Black men are policed?

Young Thug: I think that goes with the critics and the laws and that ol’ s**t. We having fun. We iced out. We having money. That’s how we doing it.

Bossip: So you feel that its not the artists place to speak on social issues.

Young Thug: No.

I’m not even mad at Young Thug. First of all, I cannot condemn him personally for his walk of life, nor the walk of life of many in America. We chastise young African Americans (and others) for standing in line for those Jordans, but it becomes a national holiday of acceptance when the iPhone 6 comes out. So, why should we be mad at Young Thug? His mentors aren’t about politics. Ferguson is the uprising of the month, but nothing else has really dominated the headlines. Sex, social media, capitalism, reality TV and extreme wealth are always at the forefront. Lastly, Young Thug’s life, times and experiences are fully supported by 1) fans and 2) big companies. He is living the American Dream.

Meanwhile, down in Ferguson I had the opportunity and the honor to meet a collective of young people named the Lost Voices. They have been camping outside of the area where Mike Brown was tragically slain. The Lost Voices have been so-very-vocal about the police and their questionable practices in the Ferguson area. They are living the American Truth.

The Lost Voices are a collective of 10 young men and women, ranging from 15 – 43, and they – like Young Thug – were at the BET Hip-Hop Awards. Personally, I wish they were able to walk the red carpet and answer those questions Janee of Bossip asked, as I am sure she wanted a slightly different response to her poignant queries. Everything ain’t for everybody, even though it should be as it relates to African Americans bettering their situation.

Young Thug, born Jeffrey Williams, is a 22-year-old male from the projects of Atlanta. We could look him with disgust or somebody can pull him to the site and educate him about why he needs to understand what is going on in Ferguson, why its a good idea to include substance in music and lastly have knowledge of self. On the other side, the Lost Voices have a few rappers in their camp. I’m anxiously awaiting their music so we can support it in the same manner we support Young Thug’s movement.

So, did we fail? Not yet. But, parents, mentors, educators and others that know better need to step up to the plate grand-slam style and shine light. Young Thug is a young Black male trying to change his conditions. So are the Lost Voices. Lets spend more time, energy and money on the young people that are struggling to hold fast to the values we claim we represent. Click here for more on The Lost Voices and how you can support their campaign in the name of Mike Brown.


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