Lyrical Realities

“If our struggle is a strain then the strain is dominant
My name is prominent for entertainment that’s laced with consciousness…
The common myth that we’re savages with no history or accomplishments
Or knowledge of ourselves, they did a job on us
Considering the prediction of economists
Machines will do our jobs for us
The future for the working class is ominous
They got is indoctrinated through a brew
A religion mixed in with abuse…”

-Talib Kweli-

Though I didn’t watch the Grammys, it made me think about lyrics and how powerful (or not) music is to relate struggle, joy, history, identity, and on and on. Full disclosure: I’ve got a small obsession with Talib Kweli and Mos Def (Black Star). There are scores of artists out there who are adept at telling stories of local struggles and local knowledge, and how that local knowledge has been systematically de-legitimized, but I choose to focus on Black Star for today. Here’s my contribution to deeper thinking about social realities through lyrics. What’s yours?

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