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Political hip hop is a subgenre of hip hop music that was developed in the 1980s as a way of turning hip hop into a form of political activism. Political hip-hop generally uses the medium of hip hop music to comment on sociopolitical issues and send political messages to inspire action, create social change, or to convince the listener of a particular worldview. It was inspired partially by politically-focused 1970s artists such as The Last Poets and Gil Scott-Heron, as well as the Black Power movement and revolutionary politics of the 1960s and 1970s. Various hip hop artists emerged in the 1980s espousing political messages and providing social and political commentary, with the American group Public Enemy in particular establishing themselves as one of the first predominantly political hip-hop groups. The genre has helped to create a new form of social expression for subordinate groups to speak about their exclusions, injustices and lack of power.
|Political hip hop|
|Derivative forms||Conscious hip hop|
There is no all-encompassing political hip-hop ideology; rather, there are multiple perspectives that range anywhere from anarchism to Marxism to the values of the Five-Percent Nation. Hip hop and politics have long been intertwined, with many hip hop artists using their music as a means to speak out about political and social issues and express their views on current events. Over the years, there have been a number of hip hop songs that have addressed political issues such as police brutality, racism, and poverty, among others. Some well-known examples of political hip hop songs include "Fuck tha Police" by N.W.A., "Changes" by Tupac Shakur, and "Fight the Power" by Public Enemy.
Many hip hop artists have also been involved in political activism outside of their music. For example, Chuck D of Public Enemy has been involved in a number of political campaigns and organizations, and has used his music and public platform to speak out about issues such as police brutality and racism. Similarly, rapper and activist Common has been involved in a number of social justice causes, and has used his music to address issues such as police violence and racial inequality.