Institutionalized: The Love Affair Between Hip-Hop and Capitalism

I believe that hip hop fundamentally is an extremely capitalist and anti-socialist medium, and it is paradoxically fascinating that rap is considered the voice of the oppressed when it is so clearly in love with the oppressing influence of capital.

It is no coincidence that rap’s worship of wealth, women and success have led the medium to idolize Donald Trump right up until the moment of his Presidency. You don’t get to praise Lucifer until he achieves the throne, and then act like he’s betrayed you. Donald Trump, in the pages of hip hop lyricism, would be considered a mythical hero by an alien race observing the history of that lyricism up through the 90s.

Why? Well, because rap is in love with capitalism. Simon Reynolds wrote: “To ‘get real’ is to confront a state-of-nature where dog eats dog, where you’re either a winner or a loser, and where most will be losers”.

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