The Hip Hop culture was created for the Black community to express themselves. It has always showed their hardships and challenges in their daily lives, especially living in America. Now, more than ever, the music speaks volumes.
To contribute to the culture, Meek Mill dropped “Otherside of America,” which fits perfectly during this time of protesting and fighting for equal rights.
“Otherside of America” begins with a snippet from Donald Trump’s presidential speech in 2016. In the opening, we hear Trump speaking negatively to the Black community, telling them to vote for him because they don’t have anything to lose.
“What do you have to lose?/ You’re living in poverty/ Your schools are no good/ You have no jobs/ 58% of your youth is unemployed/ What the hell do you have to lose?”
It then leads to the Philadelphia native reflecting on his childhood story of coming from a community where there was no direction, which led to drug dealing, killings, and incarceration. He also touches base on how his mother constantly worked to provide for them, yet he would go to bed still hungry. The song expressed a promise Meek made to himself, that he wouldn’t live like that forever, so he did what he had to just to get out.
“Reportin’ live from the other side,” he raps. “Same corner where my brothers died/ Livin’ life, we ain’t got a care/ Told my mama I ain’t dyin’ here.”
The song comes to an end with an interview Meek Mill did with CNN’s Michael Smerconish. In the interview, the rapper shared that he always wanted to be a voice for young men in America. He also shared the background of where he came from and it closes out with a question to the reporter.
“The first step, I would say, I grew up an American in a ruthless neighborhood where we were not protected by police,” he expressed. “We grew up in ruthless environments, we grew up around murder, you see murder. You see seven people die a week, I think you would probably carry a gun yourself. Would you?”
The reporter responded with, “Uh, yeah, I probably would.”