Recently I was asked to speak on the Sean Bell situation by DJ Semtex for his blog. After receiving many responses from the video he posted, I felt compelled to speak on the situation even further, and decided to address it in a song. The record is called “Kill A Pig” (produced by Dame Grease), and it speaks on the fear of police brutality, just in a reversed manner (you can take a listen to it on my Myspace page). As if I were the person assaulting and victimizing them, instead of the other way around. I got a lot of mixed responses and I feel many people misconstrued the message, but I had to speak on it.
As artists, we all have voices. Some may use there’s differently then others, but at the end of the day you still have one. I am a firm believer in “speaking your mind.” I think this is something that many up-and-coming artists fail to do properly (or truthfully to put it a better way). You see, most artists tend to speak on things that the majority agree with. So let’s use Obama as an example. Because the majority of rappers and people within the hip-hop community are endorsing this man, it has almost become like a “fad” or a trend now to do the same. They are making songs, writing press releases, so on and so forth, but I bet if you were to ask 100 of these people WHY they are voting for him, 90 of them wouldn’t have any profound or thoughtful responses. Most likely they are speaking on the issue because that’s what everyone else is doing and that, to me is worst then not speaking at all.
Now getting back to the Sean Bell situation, I would like you to ask yourself a question. How many tribute songs have you heard in the past couple of weeks? I’m sure the answer is plenty. Why so many though? I really want you to sit back and analyze the entire situation. Why would so many artists make tribute songs for Sean Bell? Simple. Because that’s what everyone around them is doing. Don’t get me wrong, some may have been authentic in their efforts. Many might have even made great records, but were they really speaking THEIR mind or just the minds of the popular opinion? I didn’t make a tribute song for Sean Bell. I never felt the need to do so and truthfully speaking, it would have been unreal had it came from my mouth. The ONLY emotion that I felt was anger. It wasn’t peace. I didn’t feel like picketing or not buying items in the city on a certain day. I felt like flipping out on the establishment and using my voice to display the fear and anger that these police officers instill in people such as myself. I choose to speak about stuffing plungers up their asses, shooting them for reaching for a wallet, beating them with nightsticks and such because that’s what I wanted to discuss. That’s what I CHOSE to speak about, whether or not it made sense to others. At the end of the day, these were the thoughts and feelings I had in my mind, so I spoke on them.
I feel many artists out there are either too afraid, conformed or confused to speak about the subjects that they really want to discuss and this is the reason why you have an abundance of certain types of songs. Most will never speak on the things they feel strongly about because they worry about being ostracized and ridiculed, but can you imagine if some of our predecessors were like this? What if Grandmaster Flash never released “The Message” or if Tupac didn’t speak about “Brenda’s Baby?” Where would we be musically? Many of the greatest artists are usually the ones who go AGAINST the grain and not the opposite way around. They chose to speak their mind about topics they felt needed to be addressed and they did it in their own way. This is something I think we are lacking as a whole within our community of musicians. No one really says how they REALLY feel anymore. The messages are all generic, unauthentic and for the most part completely useless. I think it’s sad that most people are too scared to be themselves these days, but this is something that will go on for the end of time in all walks of life. I guess I am a black sheep in this herd of artists, but truthfully I like it that way.
Obama doesn’t have my vote. I will mostly likely never make tribute songs for victims of police brutality and also say things that might rub people the wrong way. You know what though? That’s fine with me and if you are an artist who doesn’t speak his or her mind then you will never understand the true freedom of speech.
For more on me and my music visit my Myspace page at MySpace.com/DonnyGoines.