Kanye’s Antics Make Him Look Worse Than Ever

Hip-hop used to have social relevance. Now it’s losing its meaning.

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But what few bothered to point out was Macklemore’s cunning and patronizing deflect. As a political strategist, I can smell planned messaging when it's cooking. He knew he was in Florida, about to perform and accept an AMA in the most notorious of the 26 "Stand your ground" states. Smartly, he came out ahead in the end, with relatively intelligent remarks about the need to repeal one of the most controversial self-defense laws ever legislated.

All of which makes Macklemore look relevant—even if it’s a marketing ploy—and Kanye look trivial—even if he might really have something to say.

Of course, it's great to see artists using their talents to catapult themselves into the top tax bracket. Still, I can’t help but refer back to Harry Belafonte’s critique of the hip-hop notables who’ve seemingly “turned their back on social responsibility.” Macklemore, perhaps sensing this, stumbled across the best way yet to completely clown the modern black emcee. And while cats in wife-beaters are crying about how they were profiled during a shopping binge at the Gucci store, others write the obituary of a boom-bapping golden age when hits about important issues of the day lined the record-store shelves. 

Charles D. Ellison is a veteran political strategist, Washington correspondent for the Philadelphia Tribune and chief political correspondent for Uptown magazine. When he’s not mad, he can be reached via Twitter.

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