Many people were celebrating on January 20th. But I, for one, was still pretty mad. Yes, we got rid of Trump… but that was the least we could do. People gawking and cheering that “we saved democracy” as if the inauguration was an award show—all because we replaced one white guy with another—got me angry. And I wasn’t the only one. The day before Joe Biden was inaugurated, Marlon Craft dropped a single, ‘State of the Union,’ expressing all of his qualms with what’s been going on in America.
If a house divided can’t stand, we been sitting but sitting officials lettin’ you starve and die
They’d say for a party, I say it’s dogma to America’s artful lie
Sniffin’ the party line, intoxicated from white
That fake superiority created by authority to convince the poorest he still one caste up
‘Cause at least you not black, and if at least you not that
Then if you see and got mad
That the elite eat on backs of your labor, you’d point at your neighbor – instead of up
As a white man in America, he doesn’t fail to hold his fellow people accountable. He nods to how the system was created by and for people who look like him and calls out those who hide behind performative activism only to reap the benefits happily. Not only is this a harmful mindset, but it doesn’t create change. It only exacerbates a vicious cycle of inequality and injustice. In the song, he says, “System is fucked, we benefit passively/ White liberals and such, make a social identity from giving a fuck/ But that privilege they may acknowledge, they ain’t giving it up.”
Marlon Craft gave insight into the creation of the song in an interview with Vice. He actually wrote the song a month ago and submitted it to DSPs the morning of the insurrection in the Capitol on January 6th. He felt it was important to drop it before the inauguration, to remind people the work still isn’t finished.
It’s the responsibility of white people in general in America, which is a lot of what I talked about in the song, but especially those that are participating in Black culture and looking to make a living from Black culture, like I do because I’m in the hip-hop space, it’s time that we find our way to contribute, and try to give back and not just take from cultures.
Marlon Craft, vice
Listen to the powerful track and watch the video below.