We are in some serious times. The racial climate of America is at a hostile place. As blacks we seem to be re-living the same injustices of the past. America has done a good job of always putting race issues by the wayside and not acknowledging our plight. Police Brutality is not a new issue. The relationship between the black community and the police has been a hostile one since the original police officers or better yet overseers used to go on slave patrol in order to capture, strike fear, and punish the black slave population. Hip-Hop as a genre that represents young blacks in the inner city (the target demographic for police murder and brutality) has spoken up about these issues since the 80’s and 90’s. White America had a hard time believing these truths most likely because blacks were viewed as criminals and thugs and not as credible sources. They probably thought blacks deserved the brutality they were receiving. Just like the excuses of today they most likely pointed to the statistics of blacks doing more crime than whites, not even taking the time to come to the educated conclusion that where there is poverty there is crime and a lot of blacks happen to live in poverty. It’s human nature that when an individual has nothing, he’s willing to do anything, even take a life or sell drugs in order to feed his family. Wouldn’t it make sense to provide solutions for the issues that causes an individual to commit crime, such as providing jobs, improving education, and providing opportunities for people in arduous environments. That would make sense if you wanted a better world, and to improve the lives of people. But if you just wanted to exterminate and demonize a whole race then you would imprison blacks, promote the narrative of them being inherently evil, and shoot them down like dogs in the street. To make matters worse, part of the reason black people are in the economic state they’re in is because the generations of the past weren’t able to get high paying jobs, or high positions in society in general due to racism. That means our parents weren’t able to teach us anything in regards to climbing the social and economic hierarchy. You still have black youth of today being the first in their family to go to college.
I can go on forever. Let me stop ranting. As a testament to us re-living past racial issues, I have a list of 5 rap songs from the golden era of Hip-Hop that describe the current state of America. If music from 20+ years ago can accurately describe the current state of race issues in America, that means two things; 1. Nothing has changed, and the plight of blacks is not being recognized and 2. We need to do something about it, If not now when? another 20 years?
One of 2pac’s most notable records. He poetically spoke about the plight of the black individual living in the inner city. He starts of speaking about suicide due to the depression of being poor and black in America, then he ranges from speaking about poverty, police brutality, lack of options as well as accountability on our part to take control of our destiny.
Cops give a damn about a negro, pull a trigger, kill a nigga he’s a hero.
2. Public Enemy- Fight the Power
The revolutionary anthem for Hip-Hop. Chuck D’s rap style is reminiscent of the great civil rights orators of the past. Think Malcolm X. The emotional nerve that this record strikes with is still felt by black citizens of America today. Furthermore, this record is a call to action to make change in our communities, something that’s obviously needed at the moment.
What we need is awareness, we can’t get careless; you ask what is this? My beloved let’s get down to business mental self-defensive fitness.
3. Krs-one – Sound of the Police
This record by the teacher Krs-one sheds light on the feelings that the black community have towards the police. He breaks it down from a historical perspective describing the similarities between the overseers of slavery to the police officers of the present. He also details the unequal treatment that blacks receive from police officers. It’s a very accurate description of what’s occurring at this moment. Krs-one also does a good job expressing the anger he feels and his need to carry weapons just in case.
You need a little clarity, check the similarity, the overseer rode around the plantation ;the officer is off patrolling all the nation, the overseer could stop you what you’re doing, the officer will pull you over just when he’s pursuing; the overseer had the right to get ill and if you fought back the overseer had the right to kill ,the officer has the right to arrest and if you fight back they put a hole in your chest
4. Ice Cube- Endangered Species feat Chuck D
Off of the Amerikkka’s Most Wanted album and the Kill at Will EP, this was Ice Cube’s introduction as a solo artist. He came out with a bang and he was more political then he’d ever been before. This record featuring Public Enemy’s Chuck D provides the concept that the young black individual is the new endangered species in America. He speaks in terms of the police and the government not caring about what goes on in poor black communities, and the police basically having a license to kill. Chuck D continues on this same narrative.
Every cop killer goes ignored, they just send another nigga to the Morgue, a point scored- they could give a fuck about us, they rather catch us with guns and white powder.
5. 2pac- trapped
This record from the 2pacalypse Now album is definitely worth listening to. This is before 2pac developed to be the prolific artist he would be remembered as. Despite that, you’re still able to see the vast potential for greatness. Lyrically 2pac describes how blacks are negatively affected by police brutality as well as the ghetto in itself. He details the unequal treatment he receives from police officers as well as the internal “black on black” violence that occurs and some of the reasons why it occurs, with some of it being because of pride and ego.
One day I’m gonna bust, blow up on this society , Why would you lie to me, I don’t see a trace of equality.
These are frightening times that we’re in. Blacks have been asking for fair policing, and justice since before we were all born. Hip-Hop has been reporting on these injustices since its genesis, yet the powers that be refuse to provide an adequate solution. We’re at a point where some people may take matters into their own hands, and that’s unfortunate all across the board.