These are the only words used on the Facebook bio of Worcester, MA hip-hop artist, Joyner Lucas. It would certainly seem accurate. That said, if you dive into his message just a bit, you’ll find so much more. Intelligence. Articulation. Understanding. Empathy. Vision. Those gifts—undoubtedly acquired the hard way—have just earned Lucas the next/first truly great, truly brave piece of hip-hop.
I’m referring to his latest video for the song, I’m Not Racist, which, in just under a week, has skyrocketed to over 32 million views on Facebook, and 8 million views on YouTube…and counting. If you haven’t taken the time to check it out—please stop reading—and give a listen below. One piece of advice: watch the entire piece. (If you haven’t seen the hug, you’re not there yet.)
“You was born alone and you gonna die alone. That’s the harsh reality of life. Everything in between is just temporary. I believe we may see those we had a special bond with in the afterlife. Family, friends, children, wives, husbands, etc.. Until then, all I can request is that you live, laugh, love and be good to each-other. Life is way too short for anything less than pure happiness. The key to being happy is knowing you have the power to choose what to accept and what to let go.
In a rare display of artistic bravery, Lucas spits from the perspective of both Black and White, shedding light on the oft-harsh and dual-nature of the truth; thereby exposing the legit pain—as well as the stereotyped biases—of both sides with a clear and passionate fury. In doing so, Lucas has articulated what few or none before him have had the courage to express:
He’s trying to show the world that everyone’s pain is real to them—no matter who they are. He’s trying to show the world that everyone’s point of view is real to them—no matter who they are. He’s trying to show the world that, in any conflict, if anything is ever going to improve, someone is going to have to step-up—for no logical reason—in order to try to understand the other, try to listen to the other, try to move forward with the other.
Musically minimalist, the track is primarily spoken-word style, offering little more than a few random kick & snare combos, and touch of synth; letting the power of the message come through without distraction. I wouldn’t change a thing, and in my not-so-humble opinion, we need more of this, much more, especially the hugs.
I got nothin’. Lucas is in a lane all his own with this one…
BELOW: Watch/Listen to Joyner Lucas song, I’m Not Racist, and connect with his website and social media platforms, and find his booking & contact information. Please support Joyner Lucas by visiting him online, and playing, downloading, and/or purchasing his music. And, as always, thank you for supporting real music!
Watch/Listen to Joyner Lucas’ song, I’m Not Racist:
* Contains Explicit Lyrics *
Follow, stream, download & connect with Joyner Lucas online:
Booking & contact information for Joyner Lucas:
Management: shamoneyxl (at) joynerlucas.com / djoshi (at) joynerlucas.com
Press & Bookings: bookings (at) joynerlucas.com