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Do Artists Have a Responsibility to Speak Out on Social Justice Issues?

Chance the Rapper and others weigh in.

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Chance the Rapper took time to educate his Twitter followers about responsibility.

Recently the Chicago-based rapper was mistakenly attributed to ESPN's town hall event surrounding race relations, “An Undefeated Conversation: Athletes, Responsibility and Violence”.

Chance not only clarified that he won't be attending any such event- he took it upon himself to take the opportunity to speak out about his personal beliefs about police brutality.

Chance slammed the media for claiming his attendance at the event. “I saw some publications report that I'll be at the @espn forum about athletes' and celebrities' responsibility to speak on issues. Not true,” he tweeted.“But since I won't be there let me just say a few thoughts on ‘responsibility.’”

“It is the responsibility of our court systems to fully represent and work for the people in all cases of murder. It is the responsibility of all media outlets to correctly label all killings by [first] responders as what they are: Murders. It is the responsibility of all first responders to deescalate unlawful situations and restore peace without committing murder. And it is the responsibility of athletes and celebrities to say all that out loud whether at a forum, on twitter or at work.”

Chance the Rapper is woke.

The most hot button issue in our nation right now is the combination of police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement. Tensions reached an all-time high following the shocking deaths or Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. All Lives Matter has become the universal handle for all those opposing Black Lives Matter, and some would say, belittles what African Americans go through on a daily basis.

I wanted to know more, so I asked asked a hip hop artist in an interracial relationship what responsibility means. “Yes we have huge responsibility to speak out. We have the platform,” Justin Kali told MERRY JANE.

“Artists like N.W.A. Paved the way for us as artists to speak out on the issues and start the conversation for change.”

Justin is happy just where's he's at, in the comfort of his own home, despite the pressing issues at hand in America. “Just me and you and Mary Jane,” he crooned on B-Real TV earlier this year.

Do artists have the responsibility to speak out?

Chance the Rapper and many others think so.

Chance the Rapper collaborated with other artists including Beyoncé, Rihanna, A$AP Rocky and Alicia Keys to release a video challenging the nation to end police violence.

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