Jay Z argues for the power of hip hop in the latest episode of Oprah’s Master Class series, which features cultural figures like Maya Angelou, Condoleezza Rice, and Morgan Freeman talking about the civil rights movement.
“I think that hip hop has done more for racial relations than most cultural icons,” Jay Z says in the video. “Save Martin Luther King, because his ‘dream’ speech we realized [when] President Obama got elected. This music didn’t only influence kids from urban areas, it influenced people from all around the world.”
The rapper believes racism is “taught him the home … when you’re young,” but that hip hop can make kids resistant to the concept. “It’s very difficult to teach racism when your kid looks up to Snoop Doggy Dogg.”
But it’s not just the music itself that Jay Z thinks helps combat racism, but the places where people come together to listen to this music: clubs. “Once you have people partying, dancing, singing along to the same music, then conversations naturally happen after that,” he says. “Then within conversation, we all realize we’re more alike than separate.”