Why I finally like Jim Crow…

No not the laws. I’m talking about the song on Sho Baraka’s Talented 10th album. This album came out over a year and it is probably one of my favourite albums. Period. However I always had a problem with the song after first listening to it. He constantly used the ‘n’ word so at first I was trying to understand how one of my favourite Christian rappers found it acceptable. I must admit, I didn’t really give the song a chance, as soon as I heard the chorus I pretty much dismissed the song. But a year later I finally gave the song a chance and I really like it.

In my opinion, Sho Baraka is the C.S. Lewis of rap. He has the ability (and has realised it) to bring the gospel to the people who wouldn’t go to church. Here is the song that really made me a bit iffy:

I finally realised that it is by using the ‘n’ word that Sho Baraka was able to get his point across. It would only be possible to highlight the injustices that happen, such as racism by doing so. I was going to write this post as soon as I finished listening to it for the third time in a row, but thank God that I didn’t. Instead I decided to do my reading for my course. I was reading a text by Andre C. Frank about developing countries and how they are often underdeveloped as opposed to undeveloped. He concluded by saying “to change their reality they must understand it.” That is so true! When Sho Baraka uses the word, he is criticising black people for acting in a niggardly manner. Although he doesn’t completely blame them for the situation that they are in, he shows that those who are able to ‘escape’ haven’t really done much. Rappers in particular.

Here are my 4 favourite lines:

1) Did they fight for civil rights so we can sit on gold?
I can’t walk in your shoes, you keep selling your soul
No, ain’t much Booker T. when you look at me
But a whole lot of Dubois  making noise,

2) Yeah, I’m trying to leave the island, but swimming through bleach
Come on son, why you always ruin the move
Race talks happens every time you enter the room
Cause, there’s ignorance in the masses
Too many people think racism is past tense
We fight for blackness, but we don’t know what black is
I know it ain’t the zero sum of white men

3) Say hello to the great cultural brainwash
Washing my brain through some of the things the race talk
Miseducate, colonise, divide, teach beauty is straight hair
And the bluest of eyes, and because of lies

4) How the privileged man says it’s time to move forward
And say the game’s fair when he monopolised the board
And corporate greed just manipulates the poor
Outside the hood I don’t see liquor stores
I know God’s Sovereign and I should pray about it
But a man won’t stop it, if it increases its profits

I realised that it was actually very narrow-minded of me to judge this song. Racism exists. He was highlighting a prevalent issue, just because it was out of my comfort zone, it doesn’t mean that it is wrong. I am really starting to love the controversy because that is what makes the song. As Christian’s it is our job to make a change and that is exactly what he is doing.

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