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A Specter is Haunting the Hood: Traces of Socialism in Rap Music

Ali Cagil Omerbas


This article aims to demonstrate the links between the Hip Hop Culture -especially rap music- and the ideas of philosophers, politicians and activists of the left view. Although rap music has turned into a multi-million dollar industry in United States, Hip Hop artists maintain the revolutionary world view of the black freedom movement, which has not ceased since the early days of slavery. Starting from the mid-20th century, the movement became much more organized and aimed to equip black people with socialist ideas, hoping to create an extremely educated and self-sufficient community. The ideas formed by Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Mao Tse-tung, Malcolm X, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and especially Black Panthers Party are still embraced by the Hip Hop Culture and can be traced in various songs and performances. This paper tries to draw attention to such examples, especially in rap songs.


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Hip Hop Culture; Rap Music; Black Freedom Movement; Socialism; Black Panthers Party; Immortal Technique; Public Enemy

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