Leftist Voice - March 31, 2021

Many self-described progressives, and even socialists such as AOC, are currently telling us to trust the Biden Administration. But in Between Da Protests, KRS-One directly attacks the two major capitalist parties in the United States. The album includes denunciations of police racism, boasts on his own rap skill, Black pride, and comments on raising consciousness. No surprise: KRS’ well-known “Sound of Da Police,” written after the Rodney King uprising in 1992, famously called the cops “overseers.”

Between Da Protests rises above the norms of pop culture and even KRS’ previous work with incisive, combative arguments. They come through unique, bumping songs. Rage is joined to a sober political analysis. Listen to this album.

The third track urges, “Don’t Fall For It … The whole system’s a set-up.” This song strikes at the core of the U.S. political system: “The Reps and the Dems are the same. This one’s shootin’ us up, that one’s lockin’ us up … No justice, but in four years they hypin’ us again.”

The album is effective because KRS investigates modes of hypocrisy in the official responses to the George Floyd uprising and places problems before listeners. The album points to a court system that has let off police for murdering Black people for decades. Police departments and prosecutors cover up these murders. No one can criticize “violence” unless they demand real action against these police crimes — including the logical next step of disarming and abolishing the police.

KRS offers a sophisticated examination of the contested ideological process. He attacks what he sees as bad-faith pretense by the major news and music corporations who embrace Black Lives Matter in words, but only in order to coopt, defuse, and defeat the movement.

He sharpens this analysis by asking about the class position of the people who control intellectual production and political organizations. A pivotal track depicts how capitalist politicians win hegemony over people of color through arrogant ideological maneuvers:

Watch them. Watch them.

They all tell lie.

Run up in their office with that boom bye bye.

Social injustice, they the reason why.

Hit these corporate thieves with that boom bye bye.

Now you want to come and act like you my guy.

These lines imply that social conflicts cannot be solved with words but must be solved by independent organizing of the oppressed. ...
Read full review at Left Voice