Hasan Minhaj Highlighted The Power Of Rap On An Episode Of His Netflix Show

Hasan Minhaj‘s highbrow/lowbrow current events show probably wouldn’t be the first place you’d think to find both salient critique of hip-hop’s current trends and analysis of its outsized political impact around the world, but in his latest episode of Patriot Act With Hasan Minhaj on Netflix, he did plenty of both. Thanks to the show’s Youtube page, you can view the entire episode above without a Netflix password.

From breaking down Soundcloud rap’s takeover of the genre to the use of rap as the world’s primary form of political protest music, the comedian covered a lot of ground in Sunday’s episode, including some clever digs at every rapper from Lil Pump (who “looks like Lenny Kravitz f*cked a Christmas tree) to the president of Turkmenistan, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, who appeared in a hilariously bad video performing a rap about the country alongside his grandson last year.

Although Minhaj made his views on “mumble rap” pretty clear throughout the episode — backed up with commentary from “Martha Stewart’s best friend” Snoop Dogg, no less — he was quick to pivot to civil rights abuses that have been perpetrated against hip-hop’s adherents in countries like Spain, where 12 rappers were arrested for their lyrics in 2017 behind a vague law that prosecutes “terroristic speech.”

He also focused on Thailand’s Rap Against Dictatorship, whose song “My Country Has” racked up over 58 million views and called out political corruption and free speech abuses. As Minhaj pointed out at the conclusion of the episode, “Because of streaming, hip-hop is helping to galvanize movements around the world.” Whether they come packaged in a “Soundcloud rapper startup kit” or not, rappers are using hip-hop to speak truth to power and giving fans around the world plenty to think about.

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