Murder To Excellence Essay

735 words - 3 pages

The plight of African Americans in the United States is currently one that we are still fighting to overcome. From slavery, to strained race relations, to institutional biases that help to prevent a majority of African Americans from realizing the “American Dream”; it is more than safe to say that historically it has been difficult to achieve success as a black person in America. It is made even more difficult by the intra-racial violence that plagues African American communities. According to the Bureau of Justice statistics, approximately “ 9,000 African Americans are murdered every year. Ninety-three percent of the time, the murders are perpetrated by other blacks.”1
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2 Jay-Z also references one of the many influential members of the Black Panther Party, Fred Hampton, “I arrived on the day Fred Hampton died/ Real n***** just multiply”. Although Jay-Z intended for the lyric to be a sign of respect for the costs Hampton paid for his political activity, Fred Hampton’s son did not agree, "Fred Hampton didn't die; he was assassinated […] saying Fred Hampton died is like the school teacher telling students that Christopher Columbus discovered America."3 Jay-Z and Kanye effectively invoke a sense of protest, personified by their forthright lyrics and the staccato beat.
Kanye West begins immediately in the first line of his first verse: “And I’m from the murder capital where they murder for capital”. Kanye West was raised in Chicago which has been deemed the murder capital for the country. A huge percentage of the murders are done to young black men by the hands of young black men. He has lived through the realities of losing friends and relatives to the culture of violence that has consumed many inner cities in America.
Then, there is a shift and the song takes on a more jovial...

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