Distraught. If I could use one word to describe the nation over the last couple of days, distraught would be perfect. The murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 25 sparked a rejuvenation in the Black Lives Matter movement, as it should. All around the country, there are people protesting, rioting, and looting stores. This subject touches home to the African-American community everywhere, but in the Los Angeles area it always strikes a nerve with the people. For example, the Watts Riots in 1965 left the city in a terrible condition, that some may argue, the city never fully recovered from. The goal was to end police brutality. Almost 30 years later there was another implosion due to injustice, the city of LA rioted over the Rodney King verdict, and we know how the city turned out after that. While all of this is going on (and has been going on), the one platform we can all turn to in times like these, is music. To let people know what is really going on with police brutality, artists like N.W.A, Public Enemy, and Cypress Hill took their anger and experiences and put it on wax for the world to hear. In other words, this is not the time for a TikTok dance song. The people need substance, something with a message.
YG, the Los Angeles native, released “FTP” on Wednesday. YG has been very vocal about his political views. Back in 2016, he released the track “FDT” (F*ck Donald Trump) featuring Nipsey Hussle. The single was later remixed with verses from Caucasian rappers, Macklemore & G-Eazy as they showed solidarity with the black community. The police has been a topic featured in YG’s music since he came in the game. His latest protest track is produced by DJ Swish and Larry Jayy. The single was supposed to be released Friday, June 5, however the Bompton rapper didn’t want to wait for the record label. The artist talks about his fear when he gets pulled over by the cops, which a lot of everyday people can relate to. He also displays some clever lines that have to do with the police’s nickname, “Pigs”. The only thing this track is missing is a verse from the late great, Nipsey Hussle.
This is a protest anthem that I expect to hear at protests across the anthem. This was YG’s raw emotions laid out on a track which typically produces the best from him. While many people have spoken out, and have made very superb points on this topic, one quote that really stood out to me actually came from NBA player Jayson Tatum.
As of right now “FTP” is out now on YG’s YouTube, but expect it to be on all streaming platforms come this Friday.