"Somebody, anybody, what's the worth of a black life? Or even a brown one?" Fashawn asks on the opening verse of his new song, "Mother AmeriKKKa," released in the wake of the killings by police of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, as well as the Black Lives Matter movement that has grown as a response to similar incidents in recent years. Though, as Fash lays out, the inequality at play dates back much further than that.
Throughout the track, he mourns the conditions and outcomes that remain too prevalent: "No justice for Alton Sterling or Betty Jones / Miguel Espinal, Nathaniel Pickett, Philando / That's the taste of Bland decision / Ambulance, families, panic-stricken / Lie in a casket, or you could land in prison / That ultimatum still stands in the land we live in."
Yet he's also grappling with the complicated relationship he has with a country that on one hand has so often and so profoundly mistreated people that look like him, but on the other still has much to offer:
"Still, I hug her, like she the only mother I got / Even though she threw shade on the sunniest spots / Turned every one of her sons into somethin' they not / I been insane since I came out her stomach / I don't know how else to say I'm in love with Mother AmeriKKKa"
The California native joins Jay Z, Mistah F.A.B., Miguel, and a number of others who've delivered direct musical responses to the recent wave of camera-recorded killings. There will almost certainly be more in the days, weeks, and months to come.