Blackalicious’ Gift Of Gab Tackles Gentrification With Artisanal Rhymes (Video)

Gentrification is a nationwide epidemic, affecting and effecting cities and neighborhoods across the country. Hip-Hop has been addressing the issue more and more, as of late, touched on by both JAY-Z in “The Story of O.J.” and Run The Jewels in their video for “Don’t Get Captured” this week alone. Bay Area duo Blackalicious’ own Gift of Gab, however, confronts the phenomenon head-on with “The Gentrification Song.”

“It was a place I used to call home / I try to chase the energy, but now it’s all gone / and only memories remain / I try to feel the feeling, but the city ain’t the same,” Gab raps on the hook.

Reflecting on a neighborhood he once called home, but can barely recognize anymore; the poignant song is as much an emotional statement as it is a political one. Although Gab jokes that “the city lost its soul, and gained a lot of hipsters,” the Mark Austin Heim-directed video delves deeper into the effects of gentrification, highlighting the homelessness caused when families are uprooted after being priced out of their homes.

Gentrification Is Giving the Boogie Down New Meaning & Not Everybody’s Feeling the Message

Gab’s new EP, Rejoice! Rappers Are Rapping Again!! (on which the song is featured), is available exclusively through Patreon.

Spotted at HipHopDX.