Rating: 4.5 stars
Strong drum and contrabass sounds, rhythmic beats in the background introduce the shadowed atmosphere of Obie Trice’s Wake Up song from the Second Rounds On Me album.
Too much blood has been spilled in Detroit and Obie’s song is a strong wake up call for violence to definitely stop in hip hop.
The hood is the place that gives birth to the greatest friendships, but it is also the place where bloody dramas spoil people’s lives on a daily basis. You are likely to meet the reaper at each corner. Drug deals, gang rivalries, a bad eye contact, nearly everything can get you killed.
Obie used to live in the streets as a teenagers; his words refer to real life experience. This is not a TV report, no sensation story from the tabloids: those are straight facts about the Detroit hood. Black folks are stuck in a destructive environment and there is no escape.
No matter how bad you want to get out of this dirty hellhole, no matter how famous you can get, the streets of Detroit can get you killed in no time. Death is part of the daily landscape and hip hop reports it in the music with a poignant sense of reality. On New Year’s Eve, last year, in 2005, Obie Trice was hit by a bullet in his head and fortunately survived to the shooting. His friend Proof was less lucky on April the 11th: he stopped breathing after being fatally shot by Mario Etheridge.
It is heartbreaking to lose people you have been hanging out with for years,people who mean much more to you than just another artist you are collaborating with: when Proof died, Obie lost a friend, somebody he used to be cool with and to chill with, a member of his street family.
Violence occurs, horrible dramas happen, but true soldiers gotta keep on struggling hard. Trumpet sounds reinforce the idea of heroism that is expressed in the song. A true soldier is not supposed to give up, no matter what happens.
Obie also expresses his gratitude to be still alive. Despite the dark elements drawn in Wake Up, Obie’s song is also an expression of gratitude and hope for still being alive. Moreover, it is a strong and powerful wake up call for people to realize that violence in hip hop needs to stop for the sake of the music.
Won’t you put your rivalries, problems, differences and conflicts aside and listen? Give the music the chance to become much more of a powerful tool of self expression through the beauty and poetry of its rhymes and place the value of human life above anything else.
Copyright Â©2006 by Isabelle Esling
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