Rapper, Talib Kweli spoke with the Huffington Post to promote his appearance in the new film #ReGENERATION, a documentary that looks at apathy and activism among today’s youth. The conscious rapper spoke on activism, why you need to do more than just complain from behind a computer, voting, and more. You can check out some excerpts below:
On being labelled a ‘conscious’ rapper:
Being called a conscious rapper is quite a compliment. It’s a great thing to be. But as an artist, my nature is to not be in a box. Once you attach such a limited description of what I do, it shuts off a whole audience of people. I work to make sure that when I’m being described, all of it is being described, as opposed to just one thing I do.
On young people making a difference in society:
I would venture to say that only young people can really make a difference. Even if an old person says something, it takes a young person with the energy to carry it out. The change comes from the student. It comes from the youth. Throughout history it’s not been the old guard, the status quo, who have been clamoring for change.
On being active in change:
You can’t just sit at a computer and be an activist. You have to get out there in the streets. I don’t care if you’re on Pinterest, I don’t care if you’re on Tumblr, I don’t care if you’re on Twitter, you have to physically get up there and get your body on the line and put your life on the line to express your thoughts and what you believe.
On not voting:
Citizenship is participation. I’m someone who has placed myself directly at the center and at the heart of things that are going on in my community. As I get older my stance on voting has shifted from saying “I refuse to participate” to “How can we participate in a way that’s smarter and conducive to our community?” We have to raise candidates that are worthy of our vote.