Dizzy Wright & Big K.R.I.T.’s Video Captures Why So Many Are Outraged
One of the core subjects for Hip-Hop has long been police violence against unarmed Black Americans. From O.C. to KRS-One, to Kendrick Lamar’s silhouette slowly falling to the dirt of the Los Angeles hinterland after a white officer took aim.
Now Las Vegas, Nevada MC Dizzy Wright joins the fray with “Outrageous” the latest single from The Golden Age 2 Project – his most recent solo project.
Featured on the track is Meridian, Mississippi’s Big K.R.I.T. who offers wise counsel in his verse, in comparison to the more personal, or confessional approach of the 26-year-old Wright.
The video for “Outrageous” shows a man, in fear for his life, running through sunny suburban streets, with a white police officer in pursuit, his gun drawn. The banal location only makes the shooting more confronting. It’s as if the message is this could happen anyplace, anytime.
Wright has been explicit about his debt to the greats from the ‘90s – not surprising maybe when you remember that he counts two members of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony as family (Layzie Bone and Flesh-N-Bone are his uncles). The sleeve for Wright’s The Golden Age 2 Project, moreover, has a child-DJ lovingly being looked over by two people who look like they’ve stepped off a ’70s movie set. But the influence of past masters can also be heard in Wright’s music and lyrical approach.
“Outrageous”, for example, refers to Tupac directly: “Black child got black waves / Got to teach them to be brave / Ball up your fist and raise / Let them know we can’t be phased / Now everybody on a cop head / ‘Cause this unarmed kid got shot dead / Look, Pac said, ‘ni**as need change.'”
Despite the video’s tough subject matter, the beat produced by Freeze is surprisingly tender, starting off with a pretty refrain that is reminiscent of a choir. Arguably this is another link with the late Californian rapper who became known for his sharp social commentary bedded on sweet melodies.
Wright’s verses move easily between biography and political comment: “Daddy went to jail when I was 10-days / Twenty years gone as an inmate / Mama struggling to get the rent paid / Now I’m in the streets tryna have a big day / I realized now what it feel like / I know some real ni**as doing real life / White boy kidnapped for six months / I heard his lawyer hit him with a sick life / Doing more time for the same crime / I can’t even leave past state lines.”
Big K.R.I.T’s verse, meanwhile, takes a different approach, offering advice to those feeling trapped and expressed in a caustic tone: “Life ain’t Scarface the movie, face it / They waiting on you to be stupid, basic / You’re just another number in a cell, cadence / Propaganda the promotion of the notion / The only way you get out the hood is with the stove and / You’re living fast and dying young is where you’re going / Don’t fall victim to the trap door that ain’t showing / It’s bigger than the block that you stand for …” To add the powerful line: “Ain’t nothing cool when the streets filled with candles.”
Dizzy Wright was the People’s Choice in XXL’s 2013 Freshman Class. Based on “Outrageous” with its modern spin on longstanding concerns, he is deeply within Higher Ed now.
#BonusBeat: Big K.R.I.T.’s Where It All Began video: