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February is African American Heritage Month and WERS AT NIGHT is honoring one artist or one song every day this month that helped contribute to social consciousness, political responsibility, or civil rights. At WERS, we believe that these songs are always bigger than just entertainment; music can be used to drive a movement or even motivate a nation.
Today we will be honoring twenty-seven year old Marcus Jamal Hopson, better known as Hopsin.
Hopsin came out with a socially conscious rap single in 2005. In Hopsin’s rap, “Ill Mind of Hopsin 5,” he addresses many issues commonly affiliated with being African Americans. He also presents how ridiculous a reckless lifestyle can be. Each verse speaks to a different group of people, such as dropouts, women, and African Americans.
The first verse describes how unfulfilling being a dropout can be. Hopsin mocks people whose idea of a good time is surrounding themselves with drugs and alcohol. In this verse he also connects dropouts to idolizing rap stars that came from the same background but ended up becoming famous. Hopsin satirizes this and points it out as a wrong way of viewing rap music. Hopsin himself was a dropout, however. He dropped out of high school his senior year to pursue a rap career, which he credits to rapper Eminem. What keeps this from being ironic is that Hopsin took his rap career seriously and prioritized that. He was not interested in drugs and ruining his life while wasting away after he dropped out.
In the third of Hopsin’s verses, he mentions the struggle many African Americans and rappers go through when they grow up in lower class neighborhoods. Often times, young men have to hustle to earn income. Hopsin mocks this as being a “stuck in a loop.” Hopsin viewed this as being unnecessary and that there were better ways to make ends meet.
Because of Hopsin’s more positive ideas for what African Americans and rappers could be as a group, he is being honored.