Ian Kamau + Big Sproxx social commentary in “America” (download)
Toronto-based artist Ian Kamau writes:
There is a crisis in America. This crisis began with the first European settler encountering the indigenous people of the land; the First Nations. This crisis continued with the first enslaved African landing on the shores of North America, and the first Japanese internment camp. There are too many examples to name.
This crisis is a crisis of value, value of economy over human life and the environment that sustains it, value of one perception over another, value of the rights of one group over another and the hypocrisy of “freedom” by force.
This skewed perception of value is present all over the world but in no place is it so extreme as in America, presently the wealthiest and most powerful country in the world. The injustice in America is both it’s foundation and it’s eventual downfall (see Rome for details). The crisis is a moral one.
Produced by Big Sproxx, the producer behind the Freedom Writers, I wrote the song but left the names out because this has happened many many times before, and will happen again. It is a sister song to ‘Black Bodies’ a song I wrote for my 2011 album One Day Soon, that song was about violence inside the black community, ‘America’ is about violence (structural, political and social) toward the black community in the form of police brutality and the injustice that seems to inherently follow it. ‘America’ is told from the perspective of a member of the community who witnesses the shooting, reflects on it’s reality and ends up on the streets in chaotic protest.
This song is a protest, but it won’t solve the problem, people will.