Racism still alive, they just be concealing it.
Even though Mr. West changed his tune, the above statement is very much a fact. If you don’t know by now, you should know that hip hop is the music of the people. It gave us a voice loud enough for the world to hear and listen to the message. Racial tensions in America grow increasingly more volatile as #45 continues to stoke the national fire of hate. Boston MC, Newm Nera presents us with his perspective of being Black in America with his video for “The System”.
If watching this video makes you uncomfortable, then it’s guided you to that first step of understanding. Black people and people of color experience that discomfort you may feel right now, on a daily basis and in multiple aspects. “The System” details the way in which racism, prejudice and racial bias affect our lives daily.
It isn’t just hate speech. It’s Flint still not having clean water after five years while the water company still charges residents. It’s the erasure of slavery from U.S. history textbooks, it’s the “white flight” that occurred in the 50s and the gentrification occurring now. Imagine seeing the dead bodies of people who look like you shot in cold blood hour after hour. As trivial as that seems, it isn’t.
“My letter to the President signed / ‘Sincerely Yours, A Nigga'” – Newm Nera
The effects of “The System”
The Lundin Scene directed video pulls us back in time. The brown and cooler tones, rapid city scenes, and Newm Nera’s role reminds me of The Fugee’s “Ready Or Not” video with a mix of “The Message” by Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five. Videos from the Civil Rights Era are superimposed throughout as Newn Nera moves through the city. “The System” juxtaposes the past and the present highlights more similarities than differences between the two eras of time. For 80s-00 babies, we are now cognizant of these discrepancies. We can observe this behavior in real time and understand the tangible effects.
As exhausting as it is to stay informed, it’s equally as important. Newm Nera does a wonderful job condensing the many layers of racism into a song while providing some relief for the listener. Lundin Scene conceptualized the frustration, pain and passion with his direction of “The System”. Stay updated with Newm Nera on Twitter (@NewmNera) and watch the video below.