Joyner Lucas is a hip hop artist out of Massachusetts best known for his controversial, and vivid storytelling. His latest record has stirred up mixed emotions from people of all backgrounds and races. “I’m Not Racist” is his latest single that has the internet going crazy. He takes on racism in Trump’s America, but this isn’t your expected #BlackLivesMatter protest speech. Lucas plays both faces of racism in America, and who better than someone who is mixed?
“I see a black man waving his gun, but I’d rather see a black man claiming his son”
The first verse gives you perspective from the eyes of white America and the impact that this presidency has had. What middle-class Trump supporting white Americans think about Blacks. He touches on welfare, the N-word, black on black crime, jail, and police brutality. The video shows a white man sitting face to face with a black man, rapping Lucas’s verse. He looks like your typical racist Trump supporter, spewing lyric after lyric in the face of the black actor. The amount of emotion and hate felt through the video is unexplainable. Knowing, that although this is “just a song” or “just a video”, there is truth to the words being spoken. This is racism in America in 2017, and its only getting worse. The first verse ends with “I’m not racist, but there’s two sides to every story, I just wish that I knew yours”
“And even if I wasn’t picking cotton physically, that don’t mean I’m not infected by the history”
Verse 2 takes on the African American perspective in today’s racist America. It touches on #BlackLivesMatter VS #AllLivesMatter, oppression, racial profiling, cultural appropriation, police brutality and most importantly systematic racism. He breaks down the use of the N-word, and why it’s NOT ok for non-blacks to use it…even if they have black friends. The fact that making money the “right way” is so hard, and how police brutality has affected the black community. How ostrisized the black community feels now, and what that means for the future of coexisting.
The song sends a powerful message and is a perfect use of his platform. With shock also comes criticism. There have been many responses from both ends expressing their frustration on the matter. Those in support of #BlackLivesMatter feel that Lucas didn’t capture the African American perspective well enough, or that he didn’t embody the anguish and frustrations of the black community enough. Its opened up the discussion about racism in America again, and now it’s through different views.
Check out the video below, and tweet us @U92SLC with our thoughts.