Kanye West’s ‘New Slaves’ & 3 Other Dope Songs U Should Know that Tackle This Subject

Kanye West has pissed off two presidents

Kanye West

I’m loving the way Kanye West got his anti-prison message across with his new song ‘New Slaves’.. He stepped outside the box and had the video beam on sides of buildings in 66 cities.. That got every talking.. His appearance on Saturday Night Live added to the hype and of course him calling out private prisons (CCA-Corrections Corporation of America) took it over the top..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BKGp1XqddM

peep the lyrics to Kanye’s song..

[Verse 1]

My mama was raised in an era when/Clean water was only served to the fairer skin
Doing clothes you would have thought I had help/But they wouldn’t be satisfied unless I picked the cotton myself
You see its broke nigga racism/That’s that “don’t touch anything in the store”
And there’s rich nigga racism/That’s that “come in and buy more”
What you want a Bentley, fur coat and diamond chain?/All you blacks want all the same things
Used to only be niggas /Now everybody play me
Spending everything on that Alexander Wang/New Slaves

[Hook]
You see it’s leaders and it’s followers/But I’d rather be a dick than a swallower
You see it’s leaders and it’s followers/But I’d rather be a dick than a swallower

[Verse 2]

I throw these Maybach keys/I wear my heart on my sleeve
I know that we the new slaves/I see the blood on the leaves
I see the blood on the leaves/I see the blood on the leaves
I know that we the new slaves/I see the blood on the leaves
They throwing hate at me/Want me to stay at ease
Fuck you and your corporation/Y’all niggas can’t control me
I know that we the new slaves/I know that we the new slaves
I’m about to wild the fuck out/I’m going Bobby Boucher
I know that pussy ain’t free/You niggas pussy, ain’t me
Y’all throwing contracts at me/You know that niggas can’t read
Throw him some Maybach keys/Fuck it, c’est la vie
I know that we the new slaves/Y’all niggas can’t fuck with me
Y’all niggas can’t fuck with Ye/Y’all niggas can’t fuck with Ye
I move my family out the country /So you can’t see where I stay
So go and grab the reporters/So I can smash their recorders
Yeah they confuse us with bullshit/Like the New World Order
Meanwhile the DEA/Teamed up with the CCA
They tryna lock niggas up/They tryna make new slaves
See that’s that private-owned prison/Get your piece today
They prolly all in the Hamptons/Braggin’ ’bout they maid
Fuck you and your Hampton house/I’ll fuck your Hampton spouse
Came on her Hampton blouse/And in her Hampton mouth
Y’all ’bout to turn shit up/I’m ’bout to tear shit down
I’m ’bout to air shit out/Now what the fuck they gon’ say now?

Brother J

Brother J

While folks ponder over Kanye’s lyrics and the overall concept behind this song, we should keep in mind other artists who have hit on the subject of the prison industrial complex..and a return to slavery.. One of my favorites is Prisons by X-Clan‘s Brother J..along with jazz man Christian Scott.. This song came out a few years ago and went all the way in on this topic.. it starts off with political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal speaking and was a good precursor to Michele Alexander‘s ground breaking book the New Jim Crow.. which hit a year or so later.. Brother J’s lyrics are searing much the same way as Kanye’s

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FF5BddCHDfs

dead prez

dead prez

The classic cut that everyone should re-listen to is Police State by dead prez.. This is off their debut album Lets Get Free and features Chairman Omali Yeshitela of the Uhuru Movement.. Like Brother J.. dead prez goes all the way in on the topic.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8c_UdWo4Zek

sister souljah

sister souljah

This next song/video is a serious throwback to the hey days of Public Enemy and the Golden Era of Hip Hop.. Long time activist Sister Souljah was introduced to us via the song Buckwylin, put out by Terminator X of PE ..This led to her securing a record deal with Epic Records.. This song Final Solution: Slavery is Back in Effect was her first single..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcWgPEUT_x0

Lastly if folks want more info on prisons and their connection to Hip Hop be sure to read this article we posted a few weeks a back from rap artist Homeboy Sandman..Here he talks about the investment BET and MTV have in CCA and other private prisons.. You can peep that article HERE

Dead prez, Mikeflo & Mos Def (Yasin Bey) Remake Nas classic in honor of Trayvon Martin

This is a nice re-make of Nas‘ song ‘Made You Look’ by Mos Def aka Yasin Bey, dead prez and Mike Flo. Its called ‘Made You Die’ and it’s a tribute to Trayvon Martin. Its a dope song we all needed to hear as it definitely hits the mark in a big way..

I recently got a chance to talk to M1 of dead prez earlier this month about the song and he noted that all of them happened to be in New Orleans at the same time for some events surrounding Katrina survivors when they got together and decided to do something special for Trayvon..He noted its important for artists to step up and give the people something to be inspired or be healed by.. He noted the streets are his office and he and his crew will always be there for the people. In other words it was a no brainer for them to do such a song..

During our convo, M1 also gave some insight about the climate in and around Sanford, Florida.. M1 used to live in that area and still has family down there.. While its overtly racist, he noted that the Uhuru Movement is headquartered not to far from Sanford and hence there is a strong spirit of resistance in that area..

You can peep our interview with M1 at the link below..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WcmUAG210oM

Below is a video of the group working on the song ‘Made You Die‘.. here they give some insight as to why they decided to step up and represent..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54heaNynlfs

Trayvon Martin Tribute: Mos Def, Dead Prez & MikeFlo “Made You Die”

M-1 of dead prez always represents for the people

Mos Def and dead prez come together to do a song that pays tribute to Trayvon.. We had a great convo with M1 the other day about this.. He reminded us that Florida is also home to the Uhuru Movement an oragnization that helped shape and mold him.He said the spirit of resistance in the Sunshine State is strong and should not be overlooked or underplayed.. Here’s what they did..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jz8-lEof–I