Considering the political climate in the USA at present it isn’t hard to see why the Black Eyed Peas have returned to their Hip Hop roots and come back with a song that questions how the American capitalist system are continuing to oppress African Americans.
Street Livin’ is lyrically dense breaking down hundreds of years of oppression and economic disenfranchisement.
Listen, they derailed the soul train / And put a nightmare into every Martin Luther king /And private complexes are owned by the same / Slave masters that owned the slave trade game / And racists no longer have to be racist /Cause ***** kill more ***** than the KKK did
But the visuals are just as striking as its lyricism. The music video a combination of new footage and archival images, in every shot an inanimate black man fighting for their humanity is animated. Figures like Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr as well as regular protesters come to life.
My only question is why no African American women? Black women particularly have been instrumental in fighting for the freedom of black men so why not represent them? Perhaps that is to come?
With Street Livin’ The Black Eyed Peas are urging the public to sign a pledge to fight the levels of incarceration of African Americans in the US which they assert has had a 500% increase in the last 40 years.