Those of my age group, might get the play on words in my title. It comes from the rapper 50 Cent’s album title and movie “Get rich or Die Trying”.
Today is election day and if you haven’t voted yet, make sure you get out there and do it. I can’t stress the importance of this duty. Many have died, fought, and bled to protect and even get the privilege we now have. At the bare minimum at least honor these heroes.
I went to vote this morning and as I looked around I noticed that I was the only person younger than 40 at the polls today. I was greatly dismayed and it reminded me of a conversation I was just having with my 16 yr old cousin yesterday about how its our civic duty to vote. What is it about us young people that we think that everything is so much more important than our governance? Why does it take for us to become 40 somethings and above to realize that it was probably our inaction in our youth that produced the zeal in our adulthood to try to vote out our wrongs? Is it not said to never put off for tomorrow what we could do today?
Imagine if we actually worried about the weight of the vote from the moment we turned 18. What type of governance would we have if our representatives knew that young people were just as much a political “threats” as seniors? Did you know that if the youth were looked at as a threat equal to seniors that maybe politicians would care about the full spectrum of issues from youth to elderly? I could go on and on with this, however this isn’t my main point.
Curtis Jackson aka “50 Cent” is only a couple of years older than me. Obviously, he has much greater influence, and that is why I’m somewhat picking on him today. Im going to save my criticism of his music and person for another day for now. My overall “beef” with him and those like him like Shawn Carter aka “Jay-Z” and others is that they easily get the youth like me to buy their CD’s listen to their music and their message(whatever that is) yet for some reason, don’t see their influence as a prime opportunity and privilege to take one day out of their lives to be socially responsible.
Why can’t these same guys produce a record or track every two years or so that motivates their audience to be socially responsible? Think about the possiblities if they used their reach to get their listeners to realize that outside of partying and having a “good time” that we still have a society that isnt ideal, by any standards. I remember in the last election Marshal Matthers aka “Eminem” released a track that was politically motivated and it was brilliant “Mosh”, in which the video was released a week before the election. I hoped this would be a new trend for artists with such influence, but apparently its not.
My overall point is this. Voting is important and serious business. This is how we are heard by those whom govern us. This could easily spin into a post questioning the social responsibility of artists, but Id rather not go there right now. I just wish that one day little black boys in the inner city like me would grow up to be just as interested in Getting Rich or Die Trying as Going out to Vote or Die Trying. Maybe I wish too much.