This is a song that I originally released back in late 2012, one of my first targeted and explicit political records. It makes sense. For years I have been advocating for prison reform, as well as equality and justice in our policing and sentencing. I have focused on race and class since I was a kid, first connecting to Hip Hop. And I have personally experienced (and witnessed) abuses by police and in jails and the courts.
Always a renegade, my activism began in childhood with the guidance of my mother. I created my high school’s first (now annual) Diversity Day with the Anti-Defamation League. While earning my Bachelor’s in Sociology from Vassar, I founded the school’s Prison Reform Group, lobbied New York State Congress for the repeal of the Rockefeller Drug Laws and worked or volunteered at Green Haven maximum-security prison, an alternative-to-incarceration center, a probation office and an at-risk youth center.
This is a serious subject for me, and Canada’s L.Ment provided the perfect soundscape.
“They just stop them and frisk, you better move real lightly /
I heard they got a contest, ask Bill O’Reilly /
Afraid you’ll get locked up, they’ll throw away the key /
They’re free to move across the sea, you ain’t even free /
Still awaiting retrials, for drug deals, in New York /
Overcrowded Louisiana, California it’s sport /
Chicago is a wasteland, even colder in the summer /
No education, programs, now they murdering each other”
Originally written for: Hip Hop Renaissance