There's a potent strain of leftist politics woven into the history of rap and hip hop, and these artists have been pushing it harder than ever in recent years.
With all the negative attention that Kanye West has been earning for himself in recent days...and months...and years, it's important to remember that he is a political outlier.
The vast majority of the time when rappers involve themselves in politics, they do not align themselves with figures like Donald Trump. There is a long tradition of hip hop artists using their platforms to call attention to important social movements and endorse liberatory left-wing politics.
These 12 artists are some of the most significant voices in hip hop and politics who have made serious efforts to spread important messages, and in some cases have done a lot more than that.
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BTS ARMY made sure the new single broke records—whether it was the group's best song or not.
In April of last year, sensational K-pop girl band Blackpink broke a major YouTube record with the premiere of their music video for "Kill This Love."
The video garnered nearly 57 million views in its first 24 hours, narrowly edging out the record Ariana Grande had set several months earlier with her cringeworthy ex-smearing anthem "Thank U, Next."
But less than a week later, Blackpink's record was thoroughly smashed by the slightly more sensational K-pop boy band BTS with the video for their single "Boy With Love," featuring Halsey. The record that had taken more than 14 years of YouTube's slow, incremental growth to set, was—in a matter of days—surpassed by a wide margin.
The rapper recently endorsed her fellow Bronx native, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, for president in the 2024 election.
As if becoming a massive, record-breaking hip-hop star in three short years wasn't enough on her resume, Cardi B has become somewhat of a spokesperson for progressive politics.
The Bronx rapper has hardly spent a second out of the public eye since entering the universe's collective consciousness with "Bodak Yellow" back in 2017. But in spite of naysayers speculating that she might be a one-hit wonder, Cardi has gone on to rack up a total of four number one hits ("WAP" among them) and a No. 1 debut album, all while juggling new motherhood, constant scrutinization over her marriage to Offset, and an ongoing beef with Nicki Minaj.
But even in the midst of this insanity, Cardi has found the time to get involved in a cause bigger than herself: politics, featuring her leftist heroes in Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.