Casey Wood

“FOR MY PEOPLE” is a hip-hop and rap song written by a couple of people, including Joey Bada$$ who is the artist delivering the piece of music. Other than Joeybada$$, the writers include Daniel SeeffChin InjetiAdam PallinSam Barsh, and  DJ Khalil. Discovering who the songwriters are is required when listening to music that carries a message. The songwriters for this song are a mix of BIPOC and white men. I found this interesting because since the song was delivered by Joey Bada$$, a young Black man, I was expecting these lyrics to come from only him and other Black men who want to send a message to the people of the BIPOC community, and not white men. Considering this information, it is nice to know that white men had helped write this song to spread the message that Joey Bada$$ delivered.

The main theme of the song is racism and the song works as an anthem for the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) community in America. Joey Bada$$ refers to his music and ability to create music as a weapon against his oppressors when he says,

Music is a form of expressionI’ma use mine just to teach you a lessonRule one: this microphone’s a weaponI’m shootin’ out the actions manifested and my passion

The artist makes a clear statement here that “FOR MY PEOPLE” has a strong message that he wants to share with the world using the power of music. This statement demonstrates that Joey Bada$$ is emphasizing the fact that the Black community has a history of using music and song to communicate, which dates back to slavery in America. Music is very significant and holds a very special place within the Black community and since music as a form of expression and communication can root back to slavery, Joey Bada$$ being able to openly state that his music is a weapon against his oppressors creates this strong feeling of power and invincibility.

This song was released in April 2017, only a couple months after Donald Trump was elected as the President of the United States. Knowing Donald Trump’s racist history, it could be inferred that Joey Bada$$ and the songwriters created this song for the Black community to show their support and create a bond as these acts of racism were occurring in America.

The song also makes a reference to The Housing Act of 1937 when he says,

Man the section 8 depressin’
Hard to be progressin’ through recession and oppression

Section 8 of The Housing Act had turned into a racist term overtime due to its history. The act paid for housing construction that was necessary during the Depression. However, most of the project were built for white people and while there was housing built for the Black community, it was segregated from the white community and not as nice as theirs. When Joey Bada$$ speaks on this act, he refers to the recession and the evident oppression.

Overall, when listening to the song fully and researching the history of the theme, it makes me more intrigued to learn more about the song and Joey Bada$$’s message.