Most of you who keep up with current hip-hop will have peeped the new Statik Selektah and Termanology album, 1982. So far this is my favourite track of the album. Termanology has got a great voice and good flows, but I’m not generally into his lyrical content; however, it’s great to see him exploring socially relevant ideas in this collaboration with Reks, who has more of a reputation as a ‘conscious’ MC.

Reks kicks things off with a classic ‘keep your head up’-themed verse:

The government don’t love us, they told us we were two-thirds
Human being, you MCing, keeping them scared
Keeping ‘em worried, that’s why they bury Panthers
Bobby Seale prolly fist still up in the air
Who murdered Malcolm, who murdered Pac, who murdered Big?
Is there a heaven out there from this hell we live?
Right in this hell we live, I tell my son to dream big
See he don’t understand what struggle is
Or how the government planned to keep us in ghettos
Drug dealers our heros, I come to tears
Thinking the black leadership shrinking
Cos of innate feeling that we inferior, fearing our peers
Niggaz is, always was free
Even when we fall like Sir Humpty
We pick up the pieces
From following leaders to leading demons from the dark
Ghetto is our Garden of Eden
Long as you breathin’ gotta keep your head believin’, boss

Reks’s verse is basically optimistic, saying we *will* make progress. Term’s verse is arguably more nihilistic, explaining the messed up situation without showing a path out of it. However, it’s great to have this overview of the Puerto Rican experience in the US, which, given the role played by Puerto Ricans in the development of hip-hop, is not heard often enough.

My people came to this country in 1950
Now my family are mean Puerto Ricans
So that alone shows you that we know a different struggle
Americans got heritage we didn’t fuck wit
Like that racism, and the prejudice
We was only here to get them dead presidents
We weren’t here for the slavery or the bravery
Of the women who fought so they could get their right to vote
We was them dirty Spanish kids on the trifest boats
We was in them cold-ass houses, no lights and soap
Now you’ve been schooled in why we do shootings
Move drugs and treat our women abusive
Cos that’s all we ever knew from day one
Ain’t got a dollar but uffin’ to make one
We had our own rules and this is not all we know
But we learnt to pack the [gun?] when we learnt to rock the coke
There pappy go, gettin so populoso
With his 4-4, more chains than Loso
Caucasians, Asians and Latinos all buy from us
So we be on the d-lo, killing every race including our own people
Until somebody snitch on us and we in chino
We Latino, feeling of the proudest race
Before we powdered our face, Jesucristo
Was the man that our momma used to talk about
Papa somehow made it to church, though we fallin’ out
We never had a great leader in America tellin’ us keep ya head up
Shit got me fed up
So now these young bucks going for the cheddar
Put masks on they faces, straps on they waistses,
Sip hennessee out the bag, no chasers
Keep ratchets in they bag or they basements,
Man this shit’s outrageous

Statik’s production is, as ever, bumping and soulful; a perfect complement to Reks’s and Termanology’s vocals.

Get the album on iTunes
Termanology on Twitter
Reks on Twitter
Statik Selektah on Twitter