How Rap is Saving the World 

Written by Grace Braddish, ESLLC 2018-2019

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In March of 2017, I had the opportunity to attend a Climate Reality Leader training in Denver, Colorado. The convention had many interesting speakers come to teach us about climate change and its lasting effects on Colorado, the US, and the world. One of the most interesting people to grace the mainstage was a boy named Xiuhtezcatl Martinez. At the age of 17, he had made himself a landmark figure of the fight against climate change, by spreading his message through rapping with his sister. His songs spoke to growing up in a time of dramatic changes happening to our natural world. Martinez’s raps were full of hurt, fear, and passion. The message behind them were clear and intentional. Although music is not directly associated with climate change, it can act as an easy way to reach the message of climate change to a new audience. 

Another rapper named Baba Brinkman is writing about his frustrations on climate change by performing onstage. His rap “Make it Hot” comments on how we have reached a cycle of producing carbon emissions, and how we could correct this through a carbon tax. His rhymes are thoughtful and impactful, often criticizing how humans are perpetuating climate change by being “carbon addicts”. He speaks on himself even being a hypocrite, by being flown across the world to perform a song about reducing emissions. He has gained much popularity for this style of rap and has influenced how the conversation on climate change has continued. 

Climate change is typically talked about in a very scientific and scary way. However, with artists beginning to write music about it, it has been introduced to a whole new audience. This is another way of expanding the conversation to people who might not have been as educated on the subject. Social justice has always had a part of the rap world, so it is amazing to see that climate change has started to be a topic of discussion as well. Hopefully this trend of music themed around climate change will continue, in order to create a better world for us all.

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