"Fight the Power: How Hip Hop Changed the World" was made possible in part by contributions to your PBS station from viewers like you.
♪ Man: All through the nineties and into the millennium, hip-hop was taking over America.
All over the place, all over the world.
Man: Hip-hop artists was super mainstream and they were pop stars now.
I wanted to be really different.
I wanted to be outstanding.
I just wanted to be flashy tonight.
Man: It was all about who's gonna get to the money, who's gonna be rich, who's gonna be a entrepreneur, who'll be a millionaire.
Reporter: Jay-Z owns his own record label, clothing line, and movie production company, generating half a billion dollars a year.
Woman: I see absolutely nothing wrong with doing what you love to push the culture and also, yes, earn a living.
But it's like, dude, do you know what came before having the good time?
Man: A lot of rappers had that conundrum.
I got one foot in the 'hood and one foot in the boardroom.
Where should I be?
I'm straddling both.
♪ Yes, Diddy's business gets bigger and bigger, but when you got power, then comes responsibility.
What you gonna do with it?
♪ Get it, get it, get it ♪ ♪ Get down ♪ ♪ Come on now, get down ♪ ♪ Get it, get it, get it ♪ ♪ Get down ♪ ♪ Come on now, get down ♪ ♪ Get it, get it, get it ♪ ♪ Get down ♪ ♪ Come on now, get down ♪ ♪ Get it, get it, get it ♪ ♪ Get down ♪ ♪ Come on now, get down ♪ ♪ Fight the power ♪ ♪ It's this, y'all ♪ ♪ Fight the power ♪ ♪ It's this, y'all ♪ ♪ Fight the power ♪ ♪ It's this, y'all ♪ ♪ Fight the power ♪ ♪ It's this, y'all ♪ ♪ Fight the power ♪ ♪ It's this, y'all ♪ ♪ Fight the power ♪ ♪ It's this, y'all ♪ ♪ Fight the power ♪ ♪ It's this, y'all ♪ ♪ Fight the power ♪ ♪ We've got to fight the powers that be ♪ ♪ Woman: When hip-hop started, it started from the rubble.
It started from the Bronx.
Then it gains this traction to when it gets to a point where the music that derived from that pain and that suffering then becomes profitable.
Man: But the music industry had a harder time understanding how to mass-market a defiant Black image to middle America.
And so, the narrative became cats with nice cars, girls, and fancy clothes.
This is the American dream, you know, and it has a dope-ass beat playing to it at the same time.
Man: While record labels may have been stripping back on the political messages of hip-hop, there was plenty for rap artists to be talking about.
Man: Like in New York, where Mayor Giuliani had been tightening the screws on our community.
Reporter: New York police have increased efforts in the last 4 months to combat petty crimes that make life miserable.
Woman: Mayor Giuliani supported the broken windows theory, this idea that if there's a broken window on a building, if you don't fix that broken window, when you come back tomorrow, there'll be two windows broken, or 3 windows broken.
Something that people sometimes find a little unusual but it really works, emphasizing the quality of life and crimes.
Dealing with some of the small things.
This is really common sense.
Criminals cause crime.
Police officers can have an impact on criminals.
If you arrest them, take them off the streets, and if you patrol effectively, which is even more important, you can prevent them from committing crime.
Officer: Stay down.
Man: Anytime the cops would pull us over, you got us thrown in jail.
Just be crowded.
Of course, Black and brown.
And I'd be like, "What you in here for?"
"I was drinkin' a beer."
"What you in here?"
"They caught me with a joint."
"What you in here?"
"I crossed the street on a red."
And that was that Giuliani era, where he was just like, "Lock everybody up."
Whitehead: Rudy Giuliani is also the one to increase stop and frisk.
It set up a very hostile relationship between the police and the Black community.
Reporter: The war on crime has been a key feature of Mayor Giuliani's administration, but with this extensive success has come a tidal wave of complaints of police brutality.
Man: You look at what Giuliani did to the police.
Imagine what it's like going out there and being the roughest, toughest gang in New York and operating with impunity because the mayor had your back.
It was only a matter of time before they killed someone.
Reporter: Amadou Diallo was killed early Thursday morning when police shot into the lobby of Diallo's building.
Reporter 2: Police, looking for a rapist, fired 41 bullets at the unarmed and innocent West African immigrant.
Newsome: Amadou Diallo, cabdriver, hardworking dude.
So, here you have this innocent man, this hardworking man, this migrant man who was killed, and Giuliani stood behind police.
I understand the feelings of frustration and fear and anger.
I also think it's shameful that people exploit that and try to make it worse.
The very best thing to tell people at this point is to let the legal system run its course.
Bring the jury in.
Judge: Is the verdict unanimous?
Reporter: The news that 4 New York City police officers who killed an unarmed African immigrant in a volley of gunfire were set free brought swift reaction, especially in minority communities.
Man: We are not trying to disrupt the city.
We're trying to stop city police from disrupting us.
This is something that has gone on too far, too long.
Man 2: Amadou Diallo's story?
He's a Black man coming home with his wallet in his hand and he gets shot at 41 times.
That resonates with me.
I come home with my wallet in my hand every day.
You felt the gravity of... the moment and our responsibility as emerging artists to use our platforms.
[Playing slow music] Man 3: The younger generation started to pop up and say things, you know, truth to power directly.
So, you had a movement coming up out of, like, what Dead Prez would do.
♪ The average Black male ♪ ♪ Live a third of his life in a jail cell ♪ ♪ 'Cause the world is controlled by the White male ♪ ♪ And the people don't never get justice ♪ ♪ And the women don't never get respected ♪ ♪ And the problems don't never get solved ♪ ♪ And the jobs don't never pay enough ♪ ♪ So the rent always be late ♪ ♪ Can you relate?
♪ ♪ We livin' in a police state ♪ [Siren] Newsome: I remember the hip-hop back then became very much anti-establishment, anti-police and police brutality.
Dead Prez: ♪ I want to be free to live ♪ ♪ Able to have what I need to live ♪ ♪ Bring the power back to the street ♪ ♪ Where the people live, we sick of ♪ ♪ Workin' for crumbs and fillin' up the prisons ♪ ♪ Dyin' over money and relyin' on religion for help ♪ ♪ We do for self like ants in a colony ♪ ♪ Organize the wealth into a socialist economy ♪ ♪ A way of life based off the common need ♪ ♪ And all my comrades is ready, we just spreadin' the seed ♪ Forte: There was a consciousness, a greater awareness.
That was wholly exciting, too, because that introduced this wave of self-empowerment.
We gotta get together, whether it's a union, whether it's a code of honor, or whether it's just us respecting each other as human beings.
I think it's common sense.
It feels like the music began to turn outward again.
In fact, I would argue to the early beginnings, to the roots.
And then, of course, 9/11 happened.
[People screaming] [Sirens] [Indistinct chatter] Chuck D: Catastrophe.
It's like 9-1-1, what people saw on the television screen was beyond anything that they'd seen in the movies.
[People screaming] ♪ Man: 9/11 happened... and everyone sympathized... on America.
And then we responded.
George W. Bush: At this hour, American and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to free its people, and to defend the world from grave danger.
will.i.am: It used to be when we went on tour, the world loved America.
But then that same big smile that we got when we traveled around the world, people were like... "You're from America."
[Explosions] Man: Fire!
will.i.am: Why are you guys invading a country that didn't show any responsibility for the planes?
And so, we wrote a song called "Where Is the Love?"
["Where Is the Love?"
playing] I think the reason why that song made a impact, everyone had that same question.
Black Eyed Peas: ♪ Where is the love?
(Love) ♪ ♪ Where is the love?
(The love) ♪ ♪ Where is the love?
(The love) ♪ Love: I remember when "Where Is the Love?"
Honestly, I think it was difficult for some people to translate that to hip-hop 'cause it had pop influence.
♪ What's wrong with the world, mama?
♪ ♪ People livin' like they ain't got no mamas ♪ ♪ I think the whole world's addicted to the drama ♪ ♪ Only attracted to things that'll bring you trauma ♪ Love: But for me, identifying with the Black Eyed Peas was easy.
It was them rhyming on a track that was going to be received in audiences outside of hip-hop.
will.i.am: One of the lyrics in the song was "If you only have love for your own race "Then you only leave space to discriminate "And to discriminate only generates hate And when you hate, then you're bound get irate" because it made so much sense.
It was like a simple way of saying, like, how can you only look out for your folks?
'Cause then that means other folks are looking out for their folks, and that's the whole concept of racism.
You don't know how to work together.
♪ Let your soul gravitate to the love, y'all ♪ ♪ People killin', people dyin' ♪ ♪ Children hurtin', hear them cryin' ♪ ♪ Can you practice what you preach ♪ ♪ Or would you turn the other cheek?
♪ Love: will.i.am knew where his call came from culturally.
I need what we said here to be received in not one household, not two households.
I need this to be worldwide.
Man: Selling 625,000 singles, Black Eyed Peas have the biggest-selling hit of the year.
And it played all over American radio.
Even in deep south states.
They played that.
That song became super important.
[Indistinct shouting] George Bush!
Chuck D: As the war in Iraq turned south, thousands took to the streets to protest.
That energy was brewing and the hip-hop nation said, "We ain't gonna take it no more."
Woman: Eminem is releasing a new anti-Bush video online and I have to quote Salon.com, who says, "It makes "Fahrenheit 9/11" look like a GOP campaign spot."
Eminem: Going to Bush, like, I just reached a point where I seen--like, I felt like it'd be a real letdown to any of my fans if I didn't speak on, like, how I felt from the heart.
America is the best place to live, I feel like.
We live in the best country there is, you know, and there's supposed to be freedom of speech and we got troops overseas that are dying and I feel like let's get this dude out of office because if not, he's gonna spend the next 4 years, I feel like, driving our country in the ground.
Man: Eminem became a lightning rod for whatever scared those in control in society.
He wanted to poke fun at the facade of-- or the hypocrisy of America.
♪ Hey... Oh, boy.
When I was a kid, I just loved hip-hop.
I would just take other rappers' beats and loop 'em on a cassette tape and make raps.
Just little, old me.
[Crowd cheering] So, when all these millions of people were listening to me, it was crazy to watch this whole thing, like, people were tripping 'cause I said that?
And then you realize, like, hip-hop is having this effect on me but it's having this effect on millions of other people, too.
Man: Eminem was a dope rapper.
I first met Eminem right after he won the Rap Olympics.
He became popular purely because of his talent and his skill set and the fact that he was a White guy that was outrapping everybody at that time.
Let's go, baby.
[Crowd cheering] Man: You can't talk about Eminem without talking about Dr. Dre.
Dr. Dre foresaw NWA and helped create what gangsta rap music was, but he also understood the game needed changing.
What Dr. Dre recognized in Eminem was that there's a place for poor White people to have say in this culture.
Eminem was not afraid to call out White America and say the word "White America."
Eminem: ♪ I never would've dreamed in a million years I'd see ♪ ♪ So many ......... people who feel like me ♪ ♪ Who share the same views and the same exact beliefs ♪ ♪ It's like a ... army marchin' in back of me ♪ Eminem: As a kid, you'd see "MTV Raps" and you'd see somebody like Ice Cube saying, you know, "This is--we're just basically reporting to you what's happening on the streets where we live."
A lot of the same ... was goin' on in neighborhoods that I lived in.
Carmichael: Here's a White kid out of Detroit who had gone through hard times himself.
He was able to reflect White America in ways that even Black artists couldn't.
Eminem: ♪ White America, I could be one of your kids ♪ ♪ White America, little Eric looks just like this ♪ ♪ White America, Erica loves my ... ♪ ♪ I go to TRL, look how many hugs I get ♪ Man: Listen to Eminem's early stuff.
What's going on internally in the White home.
He's writing you out, he's telling you, "Here's my struggle."
Eminem: ♪ So to the parents of America ♪ ♪ I am the Derringer aimed at little Erica ♪ ♪ Spit liquor in the faces of this democracy of hypocrisy ♪ Killer Mike: What Em showed the bigger world that hip-hop would do was unite people to understand that everyone suffers undeservedly.
He participated in the culture he loved and he brought new audience with him.
Reporter: It's the huge explosion in legal downloaded music sales.
Chuck D: It had become so easy getting hold of music.
Everything was available at the click of a button and that made artists like Eminem just get bigger and bigger.
It was the first time in hip-hop or rap music you could get somebody who really seriously is making Elton John type of money.
You went in a decade from being an intern and a college kid at Howard University, basically, and then within 10 years, you've got this empire that you've put together worth, I'm guessing, tens of millions if not hundreds of millions of dollars.
How much are you worth right now?
I mean, it's-- I'm worth a lot.
So, whenever a big company wants to sell something, who do they turn to?
They turn to the inner-city musicians to help them sell their products.
Turns out, we are a enterprise.
Man: They brand those.
It's like with Coke or Pepsi.
Hip-hop made that.
They decide, you know, Ralph Lauren or Tommy Hilfiger.
They make choices.
There's just a worldwide takeover.
On every level.
50 cent, when they announced he had just made, like, $100 million off of Vitaminwater, definitely one of the transition points when it went towards total domination of the market.
We all out here, y'all.
It's going down.
They paid me a lot of money.
[Speaking indistinctly] Reeves: Hip-hop artists understand that they are now major cultural leaders in America and being such, you have a platform, you have power.
So, when thing happen in the real world and hip-hop speaks to 'em, everybody hears it, everybody's impacted.
And that's what takes place with Katrina.
[Wind blowing] ♪ Reporter: There's now 25 feet of water where there was once city streets and flourishing neighborhoods.
This city has been transformed, tragically and perhaps forever.
Whitehead: Hurricane Katrina.
The devastation that took place was when the levees broke.
It's like that area sits almost in a bowl.
Those communities are the most economically challenged communities, predominantly Black communities.
Those that could leave, did.
So, by the time the flooding happened, the real devastation, the people that were still there were there because they couldn't leave.
Chuck D: When Katrina hit, it was personal.
It was personal 'cause I knew people from down there.
Great friend of mine.
Her and her mom.
This gentleman's house was wiped out.
The United States of America and the world saw people in New Orleans stuck on the roofs of their houses crying for help.
♪ Whitehead: The president's job is to reassure the citizens, to make us feel that things are under control, that there's someone in charge.
He did not do that.
Reporter: Coming back from a western trip, Air Force One flew President Bush low over New Orleans for a firsthand look at the devastation.
Killer Mike: That tragedy showed me government gave not one damn about us.
Government did not care to save the people who were poor and on the ground in a way that they deserved.
Katie Couric: The song you're singing at the Grammys is about Katrina, right?
In that song, you write, "I knew some people who were in that pool," right?
Are you still angry about it?
Angry isn't the word.
[Chanting "Help"] Whitehead: When there was a space for leaders to move in, hip-hop artists moved in and took over that space.
Carmichael: You know, artists like Diddy and Jay-Z getting together and donating a million dollars for all of the New Orleans artists.
Killer Mike: David Banner organized an amazing, an amazing concert in Atlanta, simply to get the money to send to victims of Hurricane Katrina.
And we were in one of the biggest stadiums in the country.
Hip-hop gave exactly what they had--themselves.
They gave their talent for the bigger purpose.
♪ Whitehead: We're looking at Hurricane Katrina, we are looking at 9/11, we're looking at the Iraq War.
People were clamoring for something different.
They wanted change to happen.
Calloway: People of color were tired of Bush.
They were tired of being ignored.
Tired of being told that a Black man could never-- or Black woman could never be president.
Got tired of that.
It's gonna take, I feel it's gonna take a Black president to make a change like that.
It's gonna take a Black president to stand up that has gone through all of that pain and heartache and turmoil in their lives and struggled to be able to set things right and balance the world out.
[Cheering and applause] Chuck D: I was there at the Democratic convention at the coming out of Senator Barack Obama.
Everybody was just throwing, like, "Who is this guy?"
Tonight is a particular honor for me because let's face it, my presence on this stage is pretty unlikely.
My father was born and raised in a small village in Kenya.
Through hard work and perseverance, my father got a scholarship to study in a magical place--America.
It shone as a beacon of freedom and opportunity for so many who had come before him.
[Crowd cheering] Whitehead: You had the senator standing up and speaking out against the Iraq War.
But in a dangerous world, war must be an option sometimes but it should never be the first option.
[Crowd cheering] He was pointing out the ills but making you feel that there was some hope involved.
The hope of slaves sitting around a fire singing freedom songs.
The hope of immigrants setting out for distant shores.
The hope of a skinny kid with a funny name who believes that America has a place for him, too.
[Cheering and applause] Thank you very much, everybody.
God bless you.
Chuck D: Barack hit my soul and he had the look.
Did I see him being president in 2007-8?
The United States of America is such in a racist place.
I--You know, I don't see it happening.
Is this fun to do?
I love doing this.
This is what politics is all about.
Can I say hello?
Woman: Obama scares me.
I just--I'm worried about what will happen to this country if Obama takes office.
[Knocking on doors] One person tell me that they're afraid that if Obama got elected as president, that he would make all the White people slaves.
You know, somebody told me that they weren't gonna vote for that [beep].
That--I think that's probably the most offensive thing that you could say.
People were like, "Get out of my face.
No Black man is gonna be president."
[Crowd cheering] Barack Obama was a breath of fresh air when you were tired of the same old politics.
Obama: We are one people.
We are one nation.
And together, we will begin the next great chapter in the American story with 3 words that will ring from coast to coast, from sea to shining sea-- "Yes, we can."
Thank you, New Hampshire.
[Crowd cheering] Reeves: By the time Obama started to run, the youthful fervor and trying to get some kind of change had really picked up.
Obama was young and he had swag.
And he was comfortable with hip-hop and hip-hop culture.
♪ Whitehead: And so, he had this mobilization.
Hip-hop artists begin to flock to his side.
Jay-Z: This is beautiful to me.
This is a thing that they don't understand.
We came out here to see you guys personally.
I think about Jay-Z, I think about Puff, "Vote or Die."
What better commercial could you have?
It's comparable to the Beatles campaigning for you.
Something that I never felt before I could feel, you can feel, our children can feel.
Don't take it for granted, y'all.
Things are about to change.
It was a whole new way of hip-hop really getting involved in getting people out to vote, in getting people registered to vote.
Reporter: Decision day at last.
Reporter 2: Turnout is huge.
Queuing time is up to 5 hours.
My daughter was of voting age.
And then my dad and my mom voted for the same person.
Reporter: Huge numbers of these people have never voted before.
[No audio] Diddy: People have died and fought for us to have this right and so, to exercise this right today is like giving back to Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks and everybody that fought for us to have this right.
We're not gonna vote for nobody just 'cause they're black, you know.
We're voting for him 'cause he's the best candidate.
[Laughter] It does feel good that we finally have somebody that's actually qualified that's given a chance.
[Crowd cheering] [Indistinct chatter] Reporter: CNN can now project the president-elect of the United States-- Barack Obama.
[Crowd cheering] Young Jeezy: ♪ My president is Black ♪ ♪ My Lambo's blue ♪ ♪ And I'll be ... if my rims ain't too ♪ ♪ My momma ain't at home and daddy's still in jail ♪ ♪ Tryna make a plate, anybody seen the ... ♪ ♪ My president is Black... ♪ Man: Obama is the first hip-hop president.
Young Jeezy: ♪ ...my rims ain't too, my money's light green... ♪ Man: The generation that grew up on hip-hop, they voted Obama in.
So, there has been a change in that regard, for the better.
[Crowd cheering] Young Jeezy: ♪ Mr. Black President ♪ ♪ Yo, Obama for real ♪ ♪ They gotta put your face ♪ ♪ On the $5,000 bill ♪ ♪ My president is Black, my Lambo's blue ♪ ♪ And I'll be ...damned if... ♪ Fat Joe: It brought tears to my eyes.
I remember going to the club that night and they kept playing Young Jeezy.
♪ My president is Black, my Lambo-- ♪ all night.
Young Jeezy: ♪ Tell him I'm doin' fine, Obama for mankind ♪ ♪ We ready for ... change so y'all let the man shine ♪ ♪ Stuntin' on Martin Luther, feelin' just like a king ♪ ♪ Guess this is what he meant when he said he had a dream ♪ ♪ My president is Black, my Lambo's blue ♪ Chuck D: Rap is a lightning rod and it connected that energy to be able to say, "Barack Obama, yes, this is your time."
Obama: If there's anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.
[Crowd cheering] Thank you.
God bless you.
And may God bless the United States of America.
[Crowd cheering] ♪ Newsome: I was at that inauguration.
It was freezing.
But he had the whole hip-hop community behind him.
It was a wave.
It was a energy.
Obama sold us hope like heroin.
It took a while for that glow to wear off.
Sharpton: A lot of people had convinced themselves that because we elected a Black man, there was Black equality now.
You elected a Black captain of the ship, but we still live in different compartments on the ship.
Do you need police, fire, or medical?
Woman: Maybe both.
I'm not sure.
There's just someone screaming outside.
Operator: OK. And is it a male or a female?
Woman: It sounds like a male.
Operator: And you don't know why?
Woman: I don't know why.
I think they're yelling "Help," but I don't know.
Just send someone quickly.
Operator: Does he look hurt?
Woman: I can't see him.
I don't want to go out there.
I don't know what's going on, so-- Man: [Indistinct].
Woman: They're sending.
Operator: So, you think he's yelling "Help"?
Operator: All right.
What is your-- [Gunshot] Woman: Just--there's gunshots.
Reporter: Trayvon Martin, a high school student, never in trouble with the law, was on an errand when he caught the eye of Neighborhood Watch captain George Zimmerman.
Reporter 2: After Zimmerman reported the teen as suspicious, two minutes later, the teen had been shot in the chest and killed.
I'm sickened with every Black life I see robbed of an opportunity to grow at the hands of the state or White vigilantes.
And with being sickened, I cannot tell you I'm surprised.
You cannot name me a decade that Blacks have not been in this country where this type of horror has not happened.
Trayvon Martin was my son.
But he's not just my son.
He's all of our son and we have to fight for our children.
Trayvon Martin happened under Barack Obama.
When I think about this boy, I think about my own kids.
If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon.
We had never heard, certainly, a sitting president say something like that from the heart.
The response among African-Americans was, "What are you gonna do about it now?"
[Police radio chatter] Woman: There were a series of very high-profile incidents during the presidential administration of Barack Obama where Black people died in the hands of the police.
Whitehead: In Ferguson with Mike Brown, you had the picture of a Black man being shot and his body being left in the street almost 4 hours.
People were frustrated, people were fed up, and it was an explosive moment.
What does it mean to have a Black president if the streets are on fire?
Man: Our folks are dying.
Man 2: We are here to be heard.
Our voices do that.
Whitehead: We saw the birth of Black Lives Matter.
That was happening under the presidency of Barack Obama.
[Chanting] Indict, convict, send those killer cops to jail.
The whole damn system is guilty as hell.
Newsome: We marched on Barack Obama's White House.
You had Black people, White people, gay people, straight people, everybody was there.
It was beautiful right there.
Chuck D: It was a realization.
It was a wake-up call.
Your president ain't here to do these things for you first.
You better figure out and make them understand that Black lives matter.
Enough is enough!
[Crowd cheering] We are tired of going to jail for nothing and never going home for something.
[Cheering and applause] Fiasco: Hip-hop is always gonna give you the song that you need.
It's gonna supply you with the theme song to the moment.
Crowd: We gon' be alright.
We gon' be alright.
We gon' be alright.
Man: Louder: Crowd: We gon' be alright.
Kendrick Lamar: Louder!
Crowd: We gon' be alright.
Crowd: We gon' be alright.
Crowd: We gon' be alright.
Reeves: The anthem of the Black Lives Matter is "We gon' be alright."
♪ My knees getting' weak and my gun might blow ♪ ♪ But we gon' be alright ♪ ♪ We gon' be alright ♪ ♪ We gon' be alright ♪ Love: I remember watching the video and every time, my stomach would go into knots.
Living in the United States during the whole beginnings of Black Lives Matter, this is what we tell ourselves, like, we're gonna be all right.
Lamar: ♪ We gon' be alright ♪ ♪ Do you hear me, do you feel me?
♪ ♪ We gon' be alright ♪ Fiasco: I think we gonna fix this.
Not that it's never gonna happen again, but we gonna be all right.
And that's what we need right now.
Lamar: ♪ Alright, alright, alright, we gon' be alright ♪ ♪ We gon' be alright, we gon' be alright ♪ Fiasco: That vision that Black Lives Matter was built on, they were the ones that was in it, 'cause it gave them a unifying thing of healing.
Lamar: ♪ We gon' be alright ♪ ♪ We gon' be alright ♪ ♪ We gon' be alright ♪ Love: People are feeling the same trauma, the same despair.
Kendrick coming with this song helped you to express your anger and your grief.
♪ Wouldn't you know, we been hurt, been down before ♪ ♪ When our pride was low, lookin' at the world ♪ ♪ Like, "Where do we go?"
♪ We done been through this before.
We fought it, we lived on beyond it.
So, the only way to express that is-- Lamar: ♪ We gon' be alright ♪ Chuck D: When President Barack Obama came in, I looked at his presidency as an hourglass.
I said, "You take advantage of your time.
Time will go fast."
By 2016, I knew that that clock was running out.
Donald Trump: I gotta go back to work.
That doesn't work.
Reporter: Donald Trump, real estate man and multi-millionaire.
Reporter 2: A wheeler and dealer who doesn't let anything or anyone stand in his way.
Chuck D: Hip-hop during the nineties embraced Donald Trump.
He showed that upper level of status.
The riches, the diamonds, the jewelry.
Donald Trump was even inside cats' bars and lyrics.
Sharpton: The aspirational side of hip-hop saw Donald Trump like a "Great Gatsby" kind of figure.
He made some of us in the movement at that time uneasy because we knew Donald Trump.
Reporter: 5 teens, 4 Black, one Latino, all charged with the brutal rape of a 28-year-old jogger in New York's Central Park.
Two weeks after their high-profile arrest, Donald Trump took out full-page ads in 4 major newspapers calling for the death penalty to be reinstated.
The Central Park 5 served their sentences, nearly 7 years in prison, but none of them were guilty.
The guys that went to jail wrongly around the Central Park 5 were people that would buy hip-hop, people that would buy rap.
So, I would try to say to a lot of hip-hop artists, the fans that are making you are the ones victimized by the guys like Trump.
I never deceived myself of who he was and what he was about.
[Crowd cheering] Trump: I am officially running for president of the United States and we are going to make our country great again.
[Crowd cheering] Fat Joe: From the first speech, you never hear this message.
He played off of racism and divisiveness.
When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best.
They're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime, they're rapists.
[Crowd cheering] Fat Joe: He had cardboards that said "silent majority."
So, what you have to understand is that cardboard was saying, "Oh, there's a lot of people who feel the same way I feel.
They just don't say it."
[Chanting "USA"] Whitehead: We saw what they call the whitelash, response to Barack Obama.
Anger and frustration.
First thing I'd like to say is all lives matter, not just Black lives.
[Crowd cheering] If you're an American citizen, stand up as Americans.
Jeffries: Hip-hop artists were no longer talking about "Here's Donald Trump, the man, 'cause he got millions."
They're talking about "What is this White supremacist doing running on the White House?"
His conversation is divisive and that's not an evolved soul to me, so, he cannot be my president.
[Crowd cheering] He cannot be our president.
We don't need Jay-Z to fill up arenas, you know.
[Crowd cheering] We do it the old-fashioned way.
Fat Joe: This country was divided and he played on that and he got elected on that.
Announcer: Ladies and gentlemen, the president-elect of the United States-- Donald John Trump.
[Crowd cheering] [Marine Band playing] Chuck: When he got elected, there was so much apathy, disillusion, that I said, "Now people have steered their ass backwards into a dark, unknown area."
[Chanting indistinctly] Whitehead: Trump had just gotten in office when Charlottesville happened.
There was a sense that we were moving backwards.
Reporter: Hundreds of torch-carrying White nationalists marched through the University of Virginia campus protesting the decision to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
You could feel the tension when you rolled into the town.
And you could see the people just kind of watching us.
Then you started seeing dudes with these big, long sticks, these AR-15s and these assault rifles.
Man: Get back, get back.
[Crowd shouting] Soon as I looked back up, bam!
[People screaming] Reporter: One person is dead and 19 injured after a speeding vehicle drove into a group of protesters marching peacefully through downtown Charlottesville.
Reporter 2: 32-year-old Heather Heyer died when a car drove into counter-protesters after a demonstration by neo-Nazis, White supremacists, and Ku Klux Klan members.
We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides, on many sides.
The times we were living in at that moment, the way that he had divided the country and some of the things that was coming out of his mouth...
I don't know.
It was getting me angry.
There was a group on this side, you can call them the left, you've just called them the left, that came violently attacking the other group.
So, you can say what you want, but that's the way it is.
You need to be aware of your platform.
Sometimes, you might need to take a stand and say certain things.
♪ It's the calm before the storm right here ♪ ♪ Wait.
How was I gonna start this off?
♪ I felt like I want to take this opportunity to let people who don't know what I'm about understand.
This is why I'm saying this.
♪ Racism's the only thing he's fantastic for ♪ ♪ 'Cause that's how he gets his ... rocks off and he's orange ♪ This is what I feel like I need to say right now.
I wanted to make it so that there was no doubt.
♪ And any fan of mine who's a supporter of his ♪ ♪ I'm drawing in the sand a line ♪ ♪ You're either for or against ♪ ♪ And if you can't decide ♪ ♪ Who you like more and you're split ♪ ♪ On who you should stand beside ♪ ♪ I'll do it for you with this ♪ Reporter: The headlines this morning belong to Eminem, who released a scathing cipher directly at Donald Trump.
Reporter 2: The 4 1/2-minute takedown is throwing the world into a frenzy.
Eminem is a truth-teller at his core, you know.
That's why he's a great hip-hop artist.
He know that there's a lot of overlap between his fanbase and Trump's, which to me is why his callout of his fans is really so significant.
If it's gonna divide my fanbase, then so be it.
You may divide some people but you're also gonna bring a lot more people together.
Maybe I could take this opportunity and this platform I have to be somebody that could inspire change.
♪ The rest of America, stand up!
♪ ♪ We love our military ♪ ♪ And we love our country ♪ ♪ But we hate Trump!
♪ Trump: Nobody has done more for the Black community than Donald Trump, and if you look, with the exception of Abraham Lincoln, possible exception, but the exception of Abraham Lincoln, nobody has done what I've done.
What the--did I see that?
Did I hear what-- did he just say that?
[Crowd cheering] Wright Rigueur: Donald Trump doesn't engage with the problems Black communities continue to face, like the problem of police brutality.
I am the big, big believer and admirer of the people in law enforcement, OK, from day one.
[Crowd cheering] From day one.
Wright Rigueur: He has visions of crime-infested cities.
We need to go back to this era of punishment.
Please don't be too nice.
Like, when you guys put somebody in the car and you're protecting their head, you know, the way you put their hand on-- like, don't hit their head and they've just killed somebody.
Don't hit their head.
I said, "You can take the hand away, OK?"
[Crowd cheering] ♪ Sharpton: What we saw in 2020 was a reflection of where we were as a country that had not made advancements.
So, we had not dealt with police brutality in a legislative way.
We had not changed the police culture.
And it just took a spark.
Hey, please, man.
Officer: You got an I.D.
I got one at home.
What's your name?
Are you on something right now?
'Cause you acting real erratic.
Stop falling down.
I'm claustrophobic, man.
Stay on your feet and face the car door.
Officer 2: Thank you.
Get down on the ground.
Stay on the ground.
On the ground.
Man: He's not breathing, man.
[Indistinct chatter] You got your-- on my right-side bag.
[Indistinct chatter] Please!
Please, I can't breathe!
Reporter: 46-year-old George Floyd died in police custody on Monday.
You could clearly hear Mr. Floyd saying that "I cannot breathe."
Killer Mike: When I saw the George Floyd murder, I think that Americans who don't believe tyranny is possible need to look at that George Floyd tape over and over and over and over again and take the fact that he was a Black man out of it and understand that this can happen to any United States citizen once another citizen is given power by the state and a uniform.
The injustice that we're seeing, it is not new.
This is centuries old.
The question is what's going to be different this time.
Wright Rigueur: The rise of smartphones means that we are beginning to capture these incidents of police brutality at an accelerated rate, and instead of now millions of people viewing this, billions of people are viewing this in very short periods of time.
Reporter: Stay at home.
That is the order tonight from 4 state governors.
It was in the midst of a global pandemic.
Everybody was at home.
Everybody was on technology.
And so, the video with the murder of George Floyd, it got shared worldwide.
Reporter: This a video of the incident.
I just need to warn you that it is distressing.
Reporter 2: This newly circulated video, you can hear Floyd pleading for air.
Sharpton: People all over the world are watching hatred and hostility toward people because of the color of their skin.
And it was all exacerbated by the fact that Donald Trump was president.
Reporter: Why are African-Americans still dying at the hands of law enforcement in this country?
So are White people.
So are White people.
More White people, by the way.
More White people.
Wright-Rigueur: There is a common feeling of anger around the globe and hip-hop becomes the guiding force that compels people to join in and speak out.
It's easy to be indifferent when there's really no proof, but now that you have proof, there's no way you can just stand on the sidelines and be indifferent about this stuff anymore.
Hip-hop communicated now not through bars and beats but through cameras and social media.
This is the powder keg.
This is the perfect storm, if you will, for the opportunity for change to come.
Social media's bigger than the news.
What happens here is worldwide.
Now is the time to plot, plan, strategize, organize, and mobilize.
Chuck D: Social media gave hip-hop the platform to say, "What we gonna do is congregate.
We gonna posse up."
Crowd: George Floyd!
Man: Say his name!
Crowd: George Floyd!
Man: Say his name!
Crowd: George Floyd!
Man: Say his name!
Crowd: George Floyd!
Man: Say his name!
Crowd: George Floyd!
[People shouting indistinctly] Crowd: Black lives matter!
Black lives matter!
Black lives matter!
Reporter: Thousands marched in London, Berlin, Tehran, Rio de Janeiro, even across the globe in New Zealand.
You don't have to call 911 anymore.
You call us, the people.
Am I right?
It's now or never!
Black lives matter!
Jeffries: We're talking about the longest protest in American history.
And arguably perhaps the largest protest in world history.
That is very much a reflection of hip-hop.
Hip-hop has always been a soundtrack for the revolutionary impulses.
Sharpton: I've said to myself, yeah, it's almost like cycles.
I emerged in the eighties.
Now you have the younger activists with Black Lives Matter.
It's always been hip-hop brought us all together.
Chuck D: When we released "Fight the Power" in 1989, we were voicing the struggle of our times.
But every generation has to figure out for itself.
'Cause you know what?
Fighting the power means it's always gonna be some ... Can you answer that ...?
♪ The year is 2020, the number ♪ ♪ A little somethin' to get down ♪ ♪ Sound of the funky drummer ♪ ♪ Music hittin' the heart ♪ 'Cause I know you got soul ♪ ♪ Brothers and sisters ♪ Love: After what happened with George Floyd, it was beautiful to see the resurrection of "Fight the Power" with classic MCs and new MCs on it.
♪ Yo, Chuck, I'm fightin' the power right now ♪ ♪ Thanks to you, Flav, and P.E.
puttin' it down ♪ ♪ Puttin' your life on the line so I can rap now ♪ ♪ The next generation still singin' "Fight the Power" ♪ ♪ Fight the power ♪ Love: It's just another way of telling you that the fight never ends.
But we're together.
Remember that we're together.
♪ Fight the power ♪ ♪ Fight the power ♪ ♪ Fight the power ♪ KRS-One: Hip-hop is a global voice of dissent and really the global voice for justice.
When people, especially in urban areas, want to get a message out to their community and to the world with feeling, with vigor, and with truth, they turn to hip-hop as culture, not just rap music.
Public Enemy: ♪ Fight the power ♪ KRS-One: In Ukraine, Kalush Orchestra, they're speaking out against what's going on in their country.
Hip-hop is you in your land, you in your country, speaking your truth to your people.
♪ Generations just how long we been at war ♪ ♪ The revolution on all platforms ♪ ♪ You break a man's mind in his back ♪ ♪ Yo, solidarity is what ♪ ♪ I'm wearin' all black for ♪ Eminem: The power of rap has brought so many people together.
So many different nationalities, so many from all backgrounds, and I don't know if that happens without hip-hop.
[Hip-hop music playing] Fiasco: Hip-hop is the communication platform.
Is it powerful?
Does it have the power to shape public opinion and shape minds?
Do I think that its best days are ahead of it?
I think there's a lot of people now realizing that it's bigger than music.
You know, it has to be.
♪ People, people, stronger than this evil ♪ ♪ Smashin' your power structure, melanin royal, regal ♪ ♪ System designed to kill and unprotect ♪ ♪ Worldwide, hit the streets just to get some respect ♪ ♪ Our fight and our rights for freedom will never wane ♪ ♪ But justice Breonna Taylor, salute Chuck and Flava ♪ ♪ Feel the same anger since Radio Raheem died ♪ ♪ Black power to the people, push forward, pride ♪ Chuck D: Hip-hop has always been like a worldwide religious experience.
I've always looked at myself as being a serviceperson.
I'm at service to the craft.
Hip-hop's greatest achievement is seriously fighting for that voice to be heard that was for so long strangled and silenced.
♪ Make everybody see ♪ ♪ In order to fight the powers that be ♪ "Fight the Power: How Hip Hop Changed the World" is available on Amazon Prime Video ♪ ♪