T.I. has made many statements with his music and now he’s also making them with poetry.
On Saturday, Oct. 3, Tip's “United We Stand” is slated to air during the Triumph Awards. The spoken word poem encourages listeners to be more engaged outside of social media platforms.
"United we stand/ Because we created a hashtag for Sandra Bland," he says in his performance released through Rolling Stone. "Jumped off the front of the ship and dove into the Internet waves/ Swimming with DMs, likes, comments/ Not noticing how much it makes us slaves/ Chained by man-made device small enough to fit into the palm of our hand/ I guess that's made it easy to swipe to the left and scroll to the next/ And forget about Sandra Bland.”
The poem continues, making references to #BlackLivesMatter and the concern many have with obtaining a greater number of followers on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and the like. And while he doesn't say that tweeting about issues is wrong, he does say that "solely" posting about them on social media is not enough.
"If you think solely making them a trending topic is going to solve them," he rhymes in the poem, "then you are a part of the problem."
This isn't new ground for Tip, who's discussed social and political topics in his music for years. "Coming Home" serves as a recent example of this. He's also shared his thoughts about such matters on social media.
You can read Tip's powerful poem below.
"United we stand/ Because we created a hashtag for Sandra Bland
Jumped off the front of the ship and dove into the Internet waves
Swimming with DMs, likes, comments/ Not noticing how much it makes us slaves
Chained by man-made device small enough to fit into the palm of our hand
I guess that's made it easy to swipe to the left and scroll to the next
And forget about Sandra Bland
United we stand
Because we wore hoodies and t-shirts that read 'Black Lives Matter’
But, 'Quick homie take this flick
Gotta make sure all my followers see this fresh 'fit'
Are we really about the movement or more concerned with our follower count growing fatter?
Secondary to revolutionary does not exist
Our society’s issues are deeper than social media posts, there’s a long list
And if you think solely making them a trending topic will solve them
Well, then, you’re a part of the problem
We are Trayvon Martin
We are Jordan Davis
We are Eric Garner
We are Tamir Rice
We are Walter Scott
We are Eric Harris
We are Freddie Gray
And We are Sandra Bland
United we stand."
The poem's scheduled to air as part of the Triumph Awards Sat. Oct. 3 on TV One.