Hip-Hop Artist/Producer Draze Talks Social Issues Through His Music

Draze
Draze (@thedrazeexperience)

Seattle Hip-Hop artist Draze recently released his latest single “Ain’t Nobody Talking About No Real Shit” featuring D’Angelo. The song is featured on his newest mixtape Seattle’s Own, which he dropped earlier this year.

“Ain’t Nobody Talking About No Real Shit” is a song that addresses that fact that other artists aren’t discussing important issues in their music. If we think about just a few of the problems in the world that are worth mentioning, inadequate food and drinking water, women’s issues, civil rights, police brutality, the victimization of African American men, and the recent antics of our American President would all be on the list. However, when we listen to music on the radio all we hear is a lot of talk about partying and buying expensive things; especially in Hip-Hop. And the music that comes from those artists doesn’t depict the realities of most Americans, let alone global citizens.

The idea for “Ain’t Nobody Talking About No Real Shit” came about from an interview that D’Angelo gave. The R&B singer talked about how everyday issues aren’t being discussed in music. Artists generally reference having a good time and popping bottles, bragging about what they have and who they’re with. The interview gave Draze the inspiration to create a song that fills that void.He decided to expand on D’Angelo’s statement and use his lyrics to point out some of the things that we should be worried about.

In the music video, images of police brutality and the systemic inequalities that Black Americans face in society are displayed. And these aren’t the old black & white videos of our grandparents getting attacked by dogs and sprayed with water hoses. They’re videos of things that have happened within the last couple of months and years. Innocent Black men who have been victimized, and Black people who are still suffering.

Another point that we can take away from the song, is even if artists choose not to address the issues at hand they should at least produce content that doesn’t taint the community or the culture. For example, a lot of rap artists have lyrics in their songs that negatively talk about women. Whether it’s calling them disrespectful names or referring to them using derogatory terms.

Does anyone remember watching the scene from A Different World, where the character Charmaine, portrayed Karen Malina White, accuses Patrick Malone’s character Terrell of calling her a hoe? They held a big trial to see if he would get kicked out of school. And at the end of it all, Jenifer Lewis who played Dean Dorothy Dandridge Davenport told the young man “Never call a woman something that you wouldn’t want somebody else to call your mother.”

In the beginning of the song, Draze makes the point that rappers make similar statements, forgetting that they have mothers, aunts, and nieces. How about we all apply a similar philosophy to words given by Draze and Jenifer Lewis by respecting all women as if they could be our mother, aunt, grandmother, cousin, niece, sister, or daughter? And to take it a step further, we can also respect all men in the same fashion. Or how about jumping off the deep in and everyone respecting each other like human beings? Wouldn’t that be just plain crazy?

Draze

As a rapper, writer, and producer, Draze’s music has been featured on television shows including Love & Hip Hop, Empire, SportsCenter, T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle, The Rape Game, and several others. He’s the product of two Zimbabwean parents who immigrated to Seattle. One of the most important things that his parents brought with them from their homeland was music.

His early experiences of music caused him to travel down the path of what he already knew. Growing up, he learned to play traditional instruments and performed. So for Draze, going into the music industry and becoming a professional musician was a natural progression.

Outside of music, Draze has a lot of philanthropic and entrepreneurial endeavors that he’s been working on. One of the most impressive is his initiative to launch 100 Black-owned businesses in the Northwest within a calendar year. He’s roped in a couple of Seattle Seahawks and political analyst Angela Rye to help his movement gain traction. It’s incredible to see someone invest so much of their time and energy into their community. Everyone likes to “turn up”, but Draze is setting the example that you can do what you love, have fun, and make the world a better place, all at the same time.

Martel Sharpe

Martel is a writer in Atlanta, who’s cooler than a polar bear’s toenail. He loves reading, writing, and brunch. Reach out to Martel through email, martel.kontrolhomme@gmail.com or follow him on Instagram and Twitter @markopolowe.

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