Kemba Gets Harrased By Cops In "The New Black" Video
When YC The Cynic reintroduced himself as Kemba earlier this year he dropped a track to go along with it — “The New Black.” Produced by Frank Drake the song addressed the rapper’s frustrations with a myriad of problems black people in America encounter each day. Cultural appropriation, police brutality, socioeconomic inequality — the list goes on and on as Kemba asks “Who the new black now,” a cut from 2Pac‘s “Dear Momma” making up a part of the song’s hook.
Now the rapper has released the visuals to “The New Black.” The music video begins with Kemba in his living room, watching Geraldo Rivera discuss the events leading up to Trayvon Martin‘s death in 2012. “I am urging the parents of black and Latino youngsters particularly to not let their children go out wearing hoodies,” Rivera states. “I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death as George Zimmerman was.”
What follows is a critique of Rivera’s flawed logic, as the video shows that no matter what Kemba wears he gets stopped and harassed by undercover cops. “I can walk outside now and get shot down” declares the rapper as he walks down a street in a wool coat. Upon running into a friend he’s then pushed up against a wall by officers, the friend’s attempts at helping him only frustrating one of the cops present. The same thing happens again but instead Kemba is wearing a suit.
Finally, the last sequence shows Kemba walking down that same street wearing a hoodie, with the same events occurring as before. There’s a notable change though — a white couple passes by as he’s being apprehended by the cops, with the man telling his girlfriend, “He shouldn’t have been wearing that hoodie.”
It’s poignant, the scene capturing how people actually justify the mistreatment of minorities by authority figures, based on what they wear. You can’t help but wish they had seen the scenario when Kemba was wearing his wool coat or his suit. What would they say then? How would they have justified the actions of the cops?
“The New Black” presents a commentary that is all too real, showing how it’s not what you wear but the color of your skin that makes people perceive you as a threat.