In difficult times, I’ve routinely turned to art to understand my world and understand how I’m feeling. And perhaps now more than ever, I need something to express a sense of numbed horror, outrage and indignation I’ve felt over Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, and countless others. Of course, whether or not an artist feels inspired to say something politically motivated is a deeply personal choice. And although some folks have been critical of hip-hop’s overall response, there have been a number of a hip-hop acts who have responded with music including the likes of Los Angeles, CA-based Clipping. And adding to that list is a long-awaited collaboration between old school legends De La Soul and Chuck D. An
“The People” is an anthemic and staunch criticism of the systemic sociopolitical factors that create Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner and countless other senseless and violent deaths. Certainly, more protest music is needed. And it pairs a trio of incredible emcees spitting righteous lyrics over an incredibly soulful, old school sample – the sort of sample that would make Pete Rock proud.