"If you're a Kanye West fan, you're not a fan of me. You're a fan of yourself. You will believe in yourself. I'm just the espresso, I'm just the shot in the morning to get you going, to make you believe you can overcome the situation you're dealing with all the time." - Kanye West
"My emancipation don't fit your equation." - Lauryn Hill
"Change the game, don't let the game change you." - Macklemore
"Build a home, teach a class, start a revolution. Free the mind, heal the body, talking evolution." - Jay Electronica
In his BBC Radio 1 interview, Kanye West mentioned that rappers started making hip-hop because they wanted to be anti-machine, they wanted to be the opposition, they were the underdogs. But they went through all this trouble trying to change the game that they ended up becoming the man, the establishment, the machine. Sometimes I want to burn Barbie dolls and crack iPhone screens because our generation has become so pro-mainstream. We're stuck in this loop of reblogging and hashtagging, letting the man into every aspect of our lives; texts, tweets, Instagrams and how long can that really go on for?
But initiatives like STR.CRD remind me that there are voices, that there are creatives, tortured artists who are going to raise their hands and speak a little louder. They're the skateboarders do backflips, activists crying about sexism, classism, racism, the rappers who aren't going to regurgitate subject matter about drugs and sex, they're the designers who stay underground and independent, not because that's why they're trapped or where they're waiting for mass corporation to pick them up but because that's where they're in control, where they are free.