Activism can come from many sources. While many of us see people come together in the streets to protest, American rapper Lil Baby expresses his desire for change in the form of his lyrics. All over the country people have begun to come together this year wearing their masks and demanding justice for those who were wronged by the police over the years. Strong and sometimes violent protests were ignited when George Floyd was killed by an officer after his neck was pinned to the ground, depriving him of air. He later died at the hospital. A video of him saying, “I can’t breathe” to the officer before his death went viral almost instantly and the rest is history as a surge of activist protests continue to this day. After Floyd’s death, Lil Baby released a protest song called “The Bigger Picture”, depicting his views on the social status and racial injustice he is surrounded by in his everyday life. The song includes Lil Baby rapping, ‘I find it crazy the police’ll shoot you and know that you dead, but still tell you to freeze’, insinuating Floyd, his death, and the manner in which many (not all) police officers have bias against people of color.
Within his lyrics, Lil Baby shows his support for the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests by calling out the needed justice against police brutality and the systemic racism found in the United States. He starts the song with protesters chanting the phrase, “I can’t breathe” as that is seen as a great symbol for the movement and its’ protests. The chorus for the song exemplifies what the protesters are fighting for with him saying:
‘It’s bigger than Black and white/It’s a problem with the whole way of life/It can’t change overnight’
Lil Baby is demanding how it is no longer the color of one’s skin, but the way in which people respect each other as humans. And while it has been a constant struggle since America was born, it is up to him, and all of us, to have a drive for change and racial equality.
He then raps with patience, determination, and optimism by stating in his chorus,
But we gotta start somewhere/Might as well gon’head start here/We done had a hell of a year/I’ma make it count while I’m here/God is the only man I fear’.
Lil Baby doesn’t hold back in his lyrics and makes sure his listeners know where he stands in regard to the brutality and racism he has experienced and seen throughout his life. He knows that we are a long way from being anywhere near this vision, but in order to get better we need to acknowledge the problem and work together to fix it. We shouldn’t be afraid of each other, as Lil Baby states in the last line of the chorus, we should only be afraid of a higher power in order to push ourselves to achieve greatness in the world. Only can someone change their attitudes and beliefs from within, and if everyone pushes themselves to be better, we will live in a more just world. As Lil Baby says, ‘Seems like we losing our country/But we gotta stand up for something, so this what it comes to’. Lil Baby sees us all at a crossroad but we can, as a country, achieve racial justice, and by doing so we will save us all.
For more of his powerful lyrics check this link out: https://genius.com/20083276