This song has been to date the longest project I have ever worked on. It is simultaneously one of the musical accomplishments I am most pleased with. Not only does it sound good sonically, but the message is also precisely what I want it to be. As a writer and an artist I often find myself wanting to change things when I return to a project. Like oh, that is the wrong snare, that hi-hat is just a little too high, or that line could be rapped better. However, with “This Ain’t Nothin New” none of that is occurring. Part of my deep sense of accomplishment is the feeling that my project is finally complete.
You will find “This Ain’t Nothin New” on all major streaming platforms.
Verse one of this song is about how the history of oppression has been washed away and made trivial. It calls into question the sources of our information and reassert the importance of our internal understanding of the oppression we feel.
Verse two digs into the contradictions between the supposed oppression overcome and the current counterpart. Michelle Alexander’s “The New Jim Crow” was a major influence to the formation my analysis. Jim Crow being another name for #segregation Alexander cleverly argues that serrations is very much still alive and thriving, it is merely couched under a new name with different conditions. This verse piggy backs on that understanding and expands the conversation to more than prisons. The right to abortion and bodily control seems always under threat and Arizona just repealed the Roe v Wade legislation in the State. The real argument of this verse is that not as much had changed as people often want to believe. “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”
Verse three is about the continued reactionary response to social justice and Liberation movement across generations. It’s also about how the hate groups of the past, namely the Ku Klux Klan and White Citizens Councils have their modern counterparts; i.e. the Tea Party and Proud Boys, etc… not to mention the fact that there are still kkk and Nazis out here. Fascism has not died. In fact, it seems like there is a resurgence of it on every continent. These are scary times, for certain. The nasty part about having our history rewritten to make invisible the truth of the past and to hide the factors of our present, is that they can use that foundation to manipulate our acquiescence and thus our consent to be oppressed. Thus, #KnowledgeIsPower in this sense because we will not accept anything other than reality and from that point is the point at which our struggle for Liberation begins to thrive.
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