Fuck a bank,
I need a 20 year water tank
In 1999 Yasiin Bey (known then as the mighty Mos Def) released his solo debut Black on Both Sides, an album still regarded as “one of the greatest hip-hop albums ever released.” The warning-laden track “New World Water” struck a chord with those of us already untrusting of this corporate-led system, and many years later, struggles around water are becoming more and more high-profile. The citizens of Flint, Michigan have had toxic water coming out their pipes for over two years. The Dakota Access Pipeline company is still trying to run oil pipes under the Missouri River (despite the Army Corps refusing to grant them permits to do so), risking pollution of the main water supply for thousands of American Indians. Not to mention the thresholds we’ve recently crossed for global warming…
Cause while these knuckleheads is out here sweating they goods
The sun is sitting in the treetops burning the woods
And as the flames from the blaze get higher and higher
They say, “Don’t drink the water——We need it for the fire!”
Since releasing Black on Both Sides, Yasiin Bey has continued to speak truth about the ills of the system, and has at times been punished by that system directly. But even with retirement on the horizon, his voice is as loud as ever. With three planned album releases and a birthday celebration in SF Bay Area this Sunday, it’s time for us to soak up some truth while we still can.