Hip-Hop’s Relationship with Conspiracy Theories, a Short Commentary

By Rali Chorbadzhiyska

I stumbled upon this article on Vice the other day, titled ‘Why Hip-Hop Loves Conspiracies’.

Here is a list of most conspiracy theories from various artists that the author of the article goes through:

  • The earth being flat
  • Charles Darwin is a Mason
  • NASA is showing people CGI photos of stars
  • The US government invented Ebola (to control population)
  • Jay-Z is part of the Illuminati (I have heard of similar rumours about Beyonce, Madonna and Rihanna)
  • The ‘questionable’ death of Tupac, Biggie, Aaliyah and others
  • The Jews finance AIDS experiments on South Africans

Etc.

As ridiculous as all these sound, I am interested to know more about their origin; the origin of the need for conspiracy, if you’d like.

As discussed in the article, J-Zone says: ‘Hip-hop was born out of neglect and despair, so it has no respect for authority,” J-Zone said. Part of any rapper’s job, he added, is to “question, attack, and distrust everything’.[1]

Or: ‘as an African-American, “you go to school and they skim over your history. It’s just that you were enslaved, then Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks happened, now it’s gangs and drugs and poverty. They slide over everything you accomplished, and you’re forced to think, ‘Everything the establishment told us is a lie’.[2]

Bun B: ‘This is a result of systematic oppression of entire races of people’.[3]

 

Meanwhile, I am thinking of another conspiracy theory – What if rappers know these things are wrong but use them to create controversy? The aim of Hip-Hop is to question, to stir (creative) riot, to move its audience. Then, is there a problem with the culture getting involved with those conspiracies? I am not aware if it serves as false education, people would potentially believe it. However, at the end of the day it is just another source of information and anyone is free to choose what to believe in. 

[1] https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/why-hip-hop-loves-conspiracy-theories-bob-flat-earth

[2] See the original article.

[3] See the original article.

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