Politics + Music Television = Spreading Old Messages to New Viewers
by Lady Glock
Nick Cannon's new video for his song Can I Live? may raise some eyebrows.
The concept of the video is taken from the true story of Cannon's mother. Based on the visual, she apparently considered having an abortion when she found out she was pregnant with Cannon, but changed her mind last minute.
In the video, Nick Cannon follows his “mom” (played by Tatiana Ali…that's right, Ashley from Fresh Prince) into an abortion clinic. Through his singing and that of Anthony Hamilton, Cannon convinces the young woman to keep her baby, who will eventually become a superstar singer/comedian/actor.
In the video for Kanye West's latest track Diamonds (From Sierra Leone), little black eyed children tell horror stories of how they are bought, sold and killed in the diamond mines. The video ends by flashing “Please buy conflict free diamonds.”
With these videos and the soon-to-be taped Live 8 concert, it seems that musicians with a conscious are on the rise again. And while artists have always seemingly been aware of the world outside their champagne and gem encrusted lives, the messages they are promoting are different than previous ones.
Still, it seems a bit ironic that artists would be promoting certain political messages. While I'm not going to argue with Nick Cannon's very personal story, I will say (as a woman who is very Pro-Choice) I don't think it's Cannon's place to be telling women whether or not they should be keeping a baby. I'm curious as to what his reaction would be if one of his groupies got pregnant with his child. But that's just my opinion. (I feel the same about the idea of one of the Bush twins getting pregnant.)
As for Kanye…well, I'm curious as to how many of his diamonds are “conflict free.” The Bling era never seemed to be that concerned…so why start now? I wonder which diamond seller is financially backing Kanye's endeavors. Or rather his earlobes.
It's fantastic that so many Hip Hop artists want to promote social causes. It's great that they use their songs, albums and videos to spread these messages. But do they actually believe in them? Do they practice what they preach? Or does it look good for public consumption?
Either way, it doesn't really matter what the artists do. They still have the loving adoration of their fans. Just look at MJ and R. Kelly.