We are living in that twenty-first century… Suicidal bombings, Dark Knight’s Joker, Kid Cudi and Kanye West black rose pop music display the new relationships to death. It was death that kept the powerless from doing whatever they pleased; think about “crime,” we approached it slowly, in fear of either real death—execution—or social death, getting locked up. Who would expect a soul desperate for freedom to not welcome death after generations of being bound by death to the worst case scenarios? Coming out the c-section of the anti-black world, the ghettoes, are the scariest group of black youth because the fear of death is dead.


Power is freedom and freedom is everything. That’s the universal truth that I find to be the reason why most of my black friends really rock with the video, Stress, by Justice (shown above). My friends root for the terror that these boys bring to France, because it’s the desired situation in America. We abduct their bodies, and get the time to say “Call the police! Show me your handcuffs! Point the gun at me! Death won’t stop me.” Power is freedom. For the most deprived of us black kids, this is the first time that we don’t hear no. Automatically, as it’s the only reality of our aspirations, the power over the death is addicting. Freedom is everything. When the video ends though, I can’t help but think about my brothers and sisters, outside of my middle class congregation of friends. In reality, most of our youth struggling beneath the poverty line have already come to not fear death. Still, striving for freedom within a black body extends the genocide that started with the middle passage. My generation tears the death contract in its entirety, as to not even be bound by death to each other. In Chicago, there’s nothing stopping the GD’s from blasting bystanders. In Philly, there’s nothing stopping gangsters from poppin’ off on Temple’s campus.

Church will not work. Worshiping God doesn’t make sense when the youth are God now. Field trips to the penitentiary are hopeless. Time is a small price to pay for the thrill of not thinking twice. Us willing to die individuals love accomplices: “Is there heaven for G’s and soldiers? I can’t go to hell cuz I’ll take over” (Lil Wayne, Pray to the Lord); “Until then I roooll/ More than I ever roll/Not pills but the Mary though/Still I feel my/Eyes heavy when the day goooes/ Nothing helping with my head dooose/” (Kid Cudi, Sky Might Fall); “The System’s broken, the school’s closin, the prison’s open/ We aint got nothing to lose, muh fuckah we rollin’…The clocks tickin’, I Just count the hours/ Stop trippin’, I’m trippin off the power” (Kanye West, Power). Beyond the music, we have movies, videos, a coming culture that unifies the phenomenon. The challenge that lies before us is where to channel it…