Hold On Change is Coming: A Cry for a Musical Shift and an Artist that may be the Answer

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WRITTEN By: Trenesse Wade

Living in an age where social and racial injustices are ignored or deflated, I can only turn to my faith and music for encouragement and reassurance. Music has the power to lift your spirits, make you cry, and incite rage. So why haven’t rappers, especially black rappers been more vigilant during these times of struggle?

I know that several rappers have made monetary contributions to the community, by way of creating youth programs and scholarships; but when will they begin to voice the concerns of the people through music and use their platform for something other than glorifying the almighty dollar, and the perks of the dollar?

In no way, am I saying that a lower socioeconomic status or less “pride” for an accomplishment is the answer. But I challenge rappers and upcoming rappers to be mindful of the message they convey. Not to say that rappers are solely responsible for the negative depictions of people of color; which clearly is ingrained in some people in this country; but why aren’t rappers, or should I say, more rappers using their musical platform to talk about the concerns of their consumers and communities?

A little black history fact, year to date, 118 black males have been killed at the hands of law enforcement. We are in July, every month has 30-31 days (excluding February), you do the math. There is a serious issue that has been an underlying issue in this country for centuries, race.

After watching footage of the 48 hour murder spree, I am concerned and a bit more concerned than normal. If you haven’t seen Fruitvale Station, head to Netflix now and add it to your que. In this movie, based on a true story, Michael B. Jordan plays a character that was gunned down by police, after being told to put his hands on the ground and complying. The shooting of the character in the movie is eerily similar to the way in which, Alton Sterling was gunned down in Baton Rouge. The only striking difference is that character didn’t have an officer kneeling on his chest.

I say all of this to say, why aren’t we hearing more, musically and lyrically, from black artists, specifically rappers. During times of crisis black people, historically have always used their music to communicate messages of hope, freedom, and resistance. Why aren’t we doing the same today? Why aren’t we using our platforms to uplift our communities and hold the powers that be in this country accountable?

Fear may be a major foothold. But aren’t these rappers big and bad, they definitely claim to be so when they speak about violence and drug trafficking in their music. Not to mention the many rappers that have mentioned raping women under the influence.

It’s time for a change in music. As an avid music listener, I look forward to more albums and marketing tactics that focus on uplifting my people. I’m not saying every song has to have a meaning, but at least let the topic in the song (if there is a topic) be tolerable.

An artist I’ve been listening too most recently is Fool Boy Marley. Fool Boy Marley is a native of Detroit. His name Fool Boy Marley is double fold, as it pays homage to his hometown and long time friends in Detroit and the late and great Bob Marley. In many of his lyrics, he focuses on his rough upbringing in Detroit, but he also speaks on how he intends on improving his neighborhood with his platform.

In his song “Oh No”, he challenges the stereotypes associated with rappers. He touches on women and fame. He also makes a clear stance on how he feels about the pitfalls of fame and vows to remain focused on his craft and bettering his community and the lives of his family members.
Fool Boy Marley also helped to reshape my view of rappers, as well. Watching him on Snap Chat, challenged me to step outside of my comfort zone and be more involved in my community. He doesn’t only rap, he’s a loving godfather, friend, and son. He speaks candidly about visiting his mother in the hospital, his love for his friends and community, and is unafraid to show the world how much he loves his goddaughter and the youth.

During our interview he gave me a view pointers to share with the rising artists that have the talent, but aren’t sure how to market themselves to record labels. Here are Fool Boy Marley’s three (3) tips to the new generation of rappers looking to be signed. He would know, he’s currently signed to Sony and BMB and from the looks of it, Fool Boy Marley is well on his way and I hope to cover many events and songs to come from him.


Fool Boy Marley’s 3 Tips of the Trade
Stay independent as long as possible. Build your brand in your hometown and get as much radio and club play as possible.
If you are already signed to an independent label, make sure that the major label that signs you is willing to take them along for the ride.
Be open to change. A major record label may ask you to speed up your tempo, etc. Just be open to the idea, it doesn’t mean you have to stifle your content.

To hear Fool Boy Marley’s music, head over to YouTube. Listed below are his social media handles. Enjoy!


Instagram: @foolboymarley
Snap Chat: Fool Boy Marley

YouTube: FoolBoy Marley


Darshay K. Lampley is a Broadcast Journalism major and Creative Writing minor at Jacksonville State University. Upon graduating, she anticipates a lucrative career in the entertainment industry. Darshay is an entertainment journalist, on-air radio personality, and is currently writing her first book. Darshay believes that her ambition along with her strong faith in God will lead her down the pathway to success. "God is within her, she will not fail." Psalm 46:5

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