Past Hot 97 Who’s Next winner J. Knawxledge from Brooklyn, New York released an E.P. called The Blacks The New Dead.
The 2021 project was put out earlier in February, about one year after the 2020 modern-day civil rights movement and the global pandemic. The Blacks Is The New Dead arrived at the perfect time and offers hope for people feeling chained down by the world.
The EP starts with “What’s On The News.” Before J starts spitting Knawxledge, you hear a man say, “we don’t want to loot, that’s not what we out here for. But we do want justice, and we don’t get that, we’re gonna be out here.”
Then J comes in and starts the song by saying, “the media is controlling the world’s perception,” then he touches on his belief about the COVID-19 virus. According to J, the virus is the “media’s invention.”
Throughout the track, J talks about racism and protesting in America. A notable line is when J said, “Another black man caught a bullet like an interception.”
According to a news source, there were 1,021 fatal police shootings in 2020. However, due to possible underreporting, it’s possible those numbers could, unfortunately, be higher.
J made a powerful statement on the track when he said, “they walk free because justice is blind.”
The next single is “B.T.N.D. 15“, an acronym for the title of the E.P. Overall, on the track, J is frustrated at the police killing us, and nothing is being done about it.
J got personal and spoke about an unwanted personal encounter he had with the police. J said,
“I remember when police they told me I couldn’t move. with the glock to my back, my grandma yelling, ‘DON’T SHOOT!’ Will I be under the statistic of my hands up they shoot? Will I die from the famous chokehold like the news?”
Although J touched on a time dealing with cops that could have turned him angry, bitter, and hateful, all J wants is to see his people free. He raps, “All I wanna do is take the chains off; all I wanna do is see my people free.”
He also understands that as a Black man in America, you face way more challenges than white people. As a Black person in America, you also face being a target.
“Middle finger to authorities!”
The next song, “Black Star Kweli,” pays homage to the legend Talib Kweli’s classic “Get By,” produced by Kanye West. Just like the original song, J talks about the struggles of being a minority. J crowns himself “the voice” for the voiceless of this generation. He also reminds people of his purpose when he raps, “knowledge is king, I’m here to set you free.”
“Stay Blessed” ft. N.Y. is the next song, and J reminds Black people of their self-worth when he raps lines like:
“The goal is to get us to forget our self-worth, then wipe us off the face of the Earth.“
“Black is a blessing. It’s a reflection of Heaven.“
“Stay blessed. Life isn’t a contest.”
What’s your favorite bar from the song?
“Black is Alive” is the outro. J leaves listeners with one last final reminder of how powerful Black people are.