Jeezy, Common and more talk hip-hop and politics in new Hulu documentary

'Hip-Hop and the White House' shows the relationship between the genre and presidential policies

ByGina Sirico OTRC logo
Saturday, April 20, 2024
Jeezy, Common talk hip-hop and politics in new Hulu documentary
Jeezy, Common and more from the hip-hop community talk music, politics and the thread that binds them in "Hip-Hop and the White House."

LOS ANGELES -- The evolution will be televised.

The new documentary, "Hip-Hop and the White House" explores the relationship between the music genre of hip-hop and the politicians who shape the policies of this nation.

"We feel that this is really timely because we've had the 50th anniversary of the creation of hip-hop and then we have this election. And hip-hop has more influence than it ever had before," writer/director Jesse Washington told On The Red Carpet.

"We really had to set the stage for what hip-hop came out of and the political consciousness that was baked into the culture from the beginning just by virtue of existing in this country and being on the receiving end of presidential policies since the 1970s," he continued.

KRS-One, Roxanne Shante, Bun B, YG, Common and Waka Flocka Flame are among those featured in the documentary, along with Jeezy, who narrates the film.

Their stories go back to the 1970s and 1980s, from the war on drugs, which so many rappers wrote about, to NWA to Eazy-E attending a Republican group's luncheon with then President George H.W. Bush, to rapper YG's anthem railing against former President Donald Trump.

"The first rapper to engage meaningfully with a president was Eazy-E. And then you go all the way to the other side of the spectrum and you've got YG, another LA dude," Washington said. "And so when you approach a YG, when you approach a Jeezy, who has probably the most powerful political anthem in history with "My President," I think they welcomed the opportunity to talk about the making of these records and what was behind it and what they were thinking and their own personal political evolutions."

In the documentary, Jeezy reveals how months prior to the 2008 election of President Barack Obama, he kept hearing this beat in his head, singing to himself, "my President is Black," and decided to go to the studio right then to record it.

"What we want people to take away from this film is this is the history of where hip-hop comes from. It's not just trivial, a lot of the artists that you think might not have a political consciousness really have something to say," Washington continued.

"We want people to think that we, as a hip-hop community, those of us who live and love and respect and appreciate the culture have a power and a voice in this political process that we may be underestimating. And so this year in particular and in future years moving forward, hip-hop has something to say and that means you the hip-hop audience as well have a role to play in this process."

"Hip-Hop and the White House" streams on Hulu April 22.

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