“I can’t lie like I don’t rap about killing and dope, but I’m telling my youngins to vote.” These honest lyrics are the latest from rap superstar Lil Baby. The highlighted lines are from his new song and video titled “The Bigger Picture,” which was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement. I chose to highlight these lyrics because Lil Baby’s transparency and willingness to step out his comfort zone for social issues is exactly what’s needed from those with platforms in our current climate. The new school era of hip-hop is notoriously known for a lack of activism and intellectual stimulation; in fact, the identity of modern rap is often labeled the exact opposite. As enjoyable as Lil Baby’s music is, he himself knows how his music is perceived. Violence, sex, drugs, and money are the four deadly sins of rap to the point where outsiders have stereotyped the entire genre because of them. The solution, of course, is for new school artists themselves to flip their own reputations.
In the visual for “The Bigger Picture,” Lil Baby is among several protesters in the streets of Atlanta, symbolizing a greater urgency for entertainers to put their personal agenda’s aside for unification amidst worldwide unrest. Among these protesters included Antonio Brown, an Atlanta councilman, humanitarian, and entrepreneur. The lines from the chorus “It’s bigger than black and white, it’s a problem with the whole way of life” dismiss the notion that this issue is strictly a black and white problem. Instead, it is a anti-racist versus racist problem that requires participation from all people who fall under the former category. It is especially critical for those with privilege to be the most outspoken if real change is to occur; namely white individuals, heterosexuals/cigenders, celebrities, and anyone with some form of power. Watch the visual for “The Bigger Picture” below!
Words by Brandon Washington