You are watching: Drug dealing just to get by
Before us jump into the lyrics, some historic context.
Between 1910 and also 1970 eight Million american emigrated from the mostly rural south to the largely urbanized “North” — especially brand-new York and also Chicago. This migrants were the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren the the humans whose unpaid and unacknowledged labor constructed America’s wealth.
After emancipation there to be a period of great hope. They called it reconstruction. Freed slaves and also their kids started cooperative businesses, schools, hosted political offices, and also began to reap the freedom and also democracy and also equality that America promised all.
Then come the counterrevolution. Aided through cowardly white “moderates” in the North, white southerners took ago control. Lock instituted segregation. Castle prevented anyone considered “black” from holding office or voting. They organized right into terrorists groups and inflicted great violence ~ above so many black bodies. They struck the participating businesses. Castle instituted a system of permanent financial subordination referred to as “sharecropping.”
This was why the migrants headed north.
There were much more opportunities in the North: fewer pogroms, much better pay, an ext people, much better nightlife. However there to be still racism. The migrants gained the worst jobs, the worst pay, and the worst security.
And there was segregation, still: real estate segregation, many importantly. In Chicago, whereby we will begin our story, the White Elite forced the black Emigrants into a thirty block piece of floor on the South and also Near West next of the Story: the black belt.
After the second World war the ruling Parties that the united States introduced a huge scale social experiment and spent massive quantities of money building highways and also housing developments outside the the cities and also gave cheap jae won to previously working class humans to relocate out into these “suburbs.”
Jewish, Irish, Italian, Czech, German, Scottish american left the city and also moved right into the suburbs and also became something dubbed “White.”
The migrants from the south and their descendants did not get to relocate to the suburbs and enjoy the new American dream. They were stuck inside the metropolitan core. Stuck inside of disc buildings and cheaply build “public housing” in areas with less and also less resources each year.
There were restricted options for survival in this neighborhood. One choice is to seek out the low-paying, unrewarding, grinding jobs readily available by the system. One choice was to study hard, and also escape via higher education. Speak to this the “Uplift” strategy.
Kanye West’s first album, The college Dropout, starts off through a brief monolog by a guy who us will speak to as The Teacher.
Kanye, can I speak to you because that a minute?Me and the other faculty membersWas wonderin’ could you execute a small some, somethin’ beautifulSomethin’ the the youngsters is gonna love when they hear it
That is gonna do them begin jumpin’ up and downAnd sharin’ candy and also stuffThink you could probably execute somethin’For the youngsters for graduation come sing?
The name of this monolog is Introduction. The next song is called We don’t Care. It starts through some relaxed fun party music, music that sounds like a summer party, then Kanye agrees to song a tune for the kids. That says:
Oh yeah, I got the perfect track for the kids to sing
And climate the voice rises into song.
And every my human being that’s…Drug dealin’ simply to gain byStack ya’ money ’til it get sky high
There is an additional option because that survival: this option is to offer substances the the American state deemed to it is in “illegal.” so the an initial message that Kanye West conveys, as Kanye West is: people who space drug dealing in order to survive, continue to drug deal. Kanye West’s lyric career because of this begins v an invitation to public disobedience. Provided the racist and also totalitarian origins of the so-called “drug war” the invitation appears appropriate: why not encourage drug dealers come prosper? Prospering has not only structure wealth but staying clear of violence. Why no encourage wealth and also peace?
We no s’posed to do it past 25Joke’s ~ above you, we still aliveThrow your hands increase in the sky and also say:“We don’t treatment what civilization say”
Who is this “we?” Why no this “we” claimed to do it come the period of twenty five?
If this is your first time hearin’ thisYou are about to suffer somethin’ so cold, manWe never had nothin’ handed, take it nothin’ for grantedTook nothin’ from no man, man, i’m my own manBut as a shorty i looked approximately the dopemanOnly adult man I knew the wasn’t broke, man
(1) West sets expectations high. This suffer you are around to have actually will it is in so various than the experiences you have had prior to that you will feel cold. It will certainly be choose falling in love or conference a new friend for the an initial time.
(2) West explains his course background: he took no hand outs, but had come constantly budget and also be financially conscious because of the minimal opportunities available. Together a youth the admired drug dealers, because they are the only human being he knew that weren’t “financially destroyed”
Flickin’ Starter coats, man
Clothes suggest social status, and also the drug dealers had actually the finest clothes, therefore the highest possible social status.
Man, you don’t know, manWe don’t treatment what human being sayThis is for my niggas external all winterCause this summer they ain’t finna say: “next summer ns finna”Sittin’ in the hood like community collegesThis dope money below is Lil’ Trey’s scholarshipCause ain’t no tuition for having no ambitionAnd ain’t no loans because that sittin’ her ass in ~ homeSo we forced to offer crack, rap, and get a jobYou gotta carry out somethin’ man, your ass is grown
This city analyzes the financial structure that the oppressed areas in the joined States, v a particular focus on the way that social advancement and risky/scorned habits (drug dealing) are linked to one another: the dope money is the scholarship for Lil’Trey. The choices for a maturing male in this environment: carry out nothing, or take on multiple tasks at as soon as “Crack, rap, and also get a job”
The second verse is for my dogs workin’ 9 come 5 the still hustle
This verse concerns the experience of functioning in fairy labor and also in the black industries at the exact same time. That happens since the wages available by funding are also low come satisfy any kind of needs beyond simple survival.
Cause a nigga can’t shine turn off $6.55
And everybody sellin’ makeup, Jacob’s
And bootlegged tapes simply to gain they cake up
We put shit top top layaway, then come back
We claim other people children on our earnings tax
We take the money, cop work, then press packs to get paid
Humans obtain the crucial resources to have a cultural life by taking on tiny sales jobs of both “legal” (makeup) goods and also a “illegal” products (bootlegged tapes, “drugs”) castle purchase goods on payment plans and also come ago to the save to continue to pay because that the items the good. They case nondependent together dependents come get much more resources from the state. They take it the money they gain from these sources, bundle them into a single an excellent purchase, and also then, favor entrepreneurs do, resell them in smaller portions — essentially forming this firm that connect producers to consumer on a long supply line.
And we don’t treatment what human being sayMomma to speak she wanna relocate SouthScratchin’ lottery tickets, eye on a new house
The mechanism offers remote possibility to attain opportunity outside of this ecoystem: “the lottery.” The system uses the monies bad people spend on this distant chance come “fund” the schools.
‘Round the same time, Doe ran increase in dude houseCouldn’t acquire a job, so due to the fact that he couldn’t gain workHe figured he’d take it workThe drug video game bulimic, it’s tough to get weight
There no a lot of openings in the drug market, and also so over there is a consistent pressure to minimize the spare part of everyone roughly you. It’s an ext or less, kind of, a commodity good, for this reason there’s constant competition between firms and also attempts of firms to steal each other’s capital. (He couldn’t get work, he’d take it work)
A nigga’s money is homo, it’s hard to gain straightBut we gon’ keep bakin’ til the work we acquire cakeAnd “we don’t treatment what world say”
The financial case of the oppressed populace is structurally similar to the life of oppressed sexual minorities (consider the this was from 2007, when the possibility of social equality for oppressed social groups in the patriarchal United says was tho distant.)
You understand the kids gon’ action a foolWhen you stop the programs for after-schoolAnd they DCFS, several of ’em dyslexic
Because the system cut all supplemental programs and allowed the education systems come decay, foolish actions circulates. Some end up being so socially dysfunctional that they come to be wards of an uncaring and distant state.
They favorite 50-Cent tune “12 Questions”We scream: “rocks, blow, weed, park”, see, currently we smart
These group of world follow the message conveyed to them in music: they orient their task around the black market.
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We ain’t retards, the way teachers thoughtHold up, hold fast, us make much more cash
But in spite of being “informed” the they were stupid and also doomed to die, the medicine Dealer makes an ext cash, go better, proceeds to enhance their situation.
Now tell mine momma ns belong in that slow-moving classSad sufficient we on welfareThey tryna put me top top the college bus v the space for the wheelchairI’m tryna obtain the vehicle with the chromie wheel hereThey tryna reduced our lamp out like we nothing live hereLook what to be handed us, fathers exit usWhen we gain them hammers, go on, call the ambulanceSometimes i feel no one in this world understands us
How execute you feel about a device that terrorized numerous families of one oppressed ethnic group via racist application of police state regulate over substance use?