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Black Panther Album: "Seasons" by Mozzy, Sjava, and Reason

Given the recent success of the hit, blockbuster movie Black Panther, coupled with the prominent civil discourse and mainstream media coverage around issues of race in America, this week we are dedicating our posts to Black Panther: The Album by Kendrick Lamar and various artists. Each day this week we’ll be rolling out posts on various songs off the album. Stay tuned and, as always, let us know your thoughts!

No stranger to producing top  hip-hop albums, the indomitable Kendrick Lamar has once again honed his creative ingenuity and ability to blend musical styles with the perspectives of the black panther movement.  (Inspired by Marvel’s new blockbuster hit, Black Panther, Kendrick’s album is its musical counterpart, capturing the undertones of the Black Panther movement.)”

Kendrick Lamar makes a solid showing with his hip hop album created to incite action in its listeners while illustration problems within predominantly black communities all across the globe. Lamar Incorporates many influences from thematic elements form the textual references from the film to African rhythms and musicians.

"Seasons" by Mozzy, Sjava, and Reason

Key Lyrics

Reason shares his take on the corrupt system of incarceration that disproportionately affects communities of color in America he says:

"No way out, s**t we locked in the system
Catch a case and they not gon' forgive ya
White skin, you be out before Christmas"

Where’s the Meaning?

Reason’s lyrics shine light on the systemic injustices that riddle the USA’s incarceration system. It is a well known fact that the world has “5% of the world’s population and 21% of the world’s prisoners”. Perhaps less well known is that African Americans are incarcerated at 5 times the rate of whites.

Putting aside the mainstream argument of ‘personal autonomy’ i.e. poor choices, and just focusing on bias within the justice system itself, out of a group of murders who committed, and were sentenced for, the same type of capital offense, those that were African American were disproportionately given the death penalty, while those who were white were given life in prison.

This suggests that the decisions to sentence someone to death are arbitrary, based on factors such as race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status. These factors are calculated differently as judge’s have varying frameworks that they use to make their decision(s), and when leaving it to the discrepancy of a human, well, we’ll let you draw your own conclusion from here. Towards this end, and shockingly, there are no stringent agreed upon standards to base these decisions on (once a person is found guilty of a capital offense).

Cause Warriors

The  NAACP released a fact sheet that illustrates how bad the problem of racially motivated incarceration is in America. Additionally, organizations like the Prison Policy Initiative are working hard to be non-partisan and produce cutting edge research to expose the broader harm of mass incarceration. The PPI also sparks advocacy campaigns in order to help create a more just society.