We’re going to highlight some of the indie artists who are stepping up and speaking about racial injustice.
If you’ve caught a glimpse of your local news station on television, then I’m almost certain that you’ve heard about all of the racial tension that is now being highlighted. If you have a cell phone with Internet access, you’ve heard. Hell, if you’ve sat on public transportation for at least two minutes or even passed people on the street, I’m sure you’ve overheard people talking about the recent events that have stemmed from and pushed the conversation of racism.
In light of those events, many, including myself, have questioned why our favorite mainstream artists have been particularly quiet about it. I’m especially disappointed when my favorite rappers don’t touch on the issues in any way, given the historical roots of hip-hop, and its role in providing a voice for disenfranchised people who have been silenced – especially since those people are the same community of people who rappers benefit from directly.
But, I get it; mainstream artists and rappers have “images” to uphold. They have endorsers and sponsors to be conscious of. They have other fan bases they hope to crossover into and cater to/appease (we’ll get into that in another piece though). This is why I’m particularly proud and appreciative of the indie artists who are showing up fearlessly and shedding light on these issues. Many of them are using their voices and art to talk about the injustices and racial tension happening. Some are using social media, some are participating and supporting socially conscious music events, and some are using their music visuals to speak up. It’s certainly commendable.
Here are five times when indie artists used visuals to talk about racial injustice. Stay tuned for part 2 of this series.
Mick Jenkin – “Treat Me”
“Come off of them benefits, un-tripple all of our sentences. treat me Caucasian. Give me a loan with no sin attached. Give me that privilege. Give me that. Treat me Caucasian.”
Dizzy Wright – “They Know Why”
“How you see us scream but you aint hear us? I see the way you act when you get near us. Im realizing why the police fear us. They know why. They know fucking why. And if you don’t obey, they they’ll kill you.”
Khemist – “Man Down”
“I heard a man scream as he was gunned down in his vehicle with his two friends in attendance who were wounded. Did you see the news? That man Sean Bell was getting married if the damn cops aint aim, shoot, and reload firing about 50 shots. Officer Oliver shot 31, switched the clip, let with a full pension, now works at a car dealership.”
Isaiah Rashad – “Ronnie Drake”
“Hope they don’t kill you ‘cus you black today…Came a long way from a boat and an auction. Now we got names and a vote and a coffin. Aint shit change but the coast we adoptin’.”
Marv Mack – “Paula Deen”
“Look at how they got us in the news…Niggas hanging from a noose… If I was Zimmerman they would’ve shot me in the car. Let alone send me home without a motherfuckin’ charge.”