Jeru The Damaja Returns With A Message That’s Right On The Money (Video)
Twenty-five years to the month after unveiling his acclaimed debut album, The Sun Rises In The East, Jeru The Damaja has returned with a critically potent message for the masses in a new track titled “Harriet Tubman.”
Never timid to recount social, political, and worldly malpractice throughout his career, the respected and always sharp-witted East New York, Brooklyn native touches on a bevy of troubling modern-day developments within the powerfully compacted 2:10 record. The track opens with a portion of Dr. Martin Luther King’s renowned 1963 “I Have A Dream” speech, setting a tone of significance from the jump. Paired with striking visuals throughout, ‘Ru sheds light on issues such as presidential and foreign corruption, senseless police brutality, the dangers of technological advancement, pharmaceutical manipulation, social media addiction, prison injustice, domestic terrorism, and the price of fame, among other paramount concerns.
At the conclusion of the video, the words “You can’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’re coming from” appear. This is followed by “Let’s Take Back Hip-Hop.” The Damaja’s mission has always been firmly rooted in alertness and examination, and for a quarter of a century, the esteemed wordsmith has been able to seamlessly marry his message with his lyrical prowess and raw affection for Hip-Hop. As he conveys around the 0:34 mark of the track, “Although the game has changed, my aim is still murdering ignorance.” With ‘Harriet Tubman” as verification, while the world and music itself naturally shift into unfamiliar territory, Jeru The Damaja remains a beacon of honesty and truth.
Notably, this month saw the news that despite plans in place for nearly four years, nineteenth-century abolitionist Harriet Tubman would not be replacing Andrew Jackson on the United States’ $20 bill. The Associated Press reports that per Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, a $20 redesign is postponed until at least 2028. The move would have made Tubman, who died in 1913, the first African American on the nation’s currency.
Jeru is currently offering up a chance for two lucky fans to join him in Barcelona and Amsterdam for an all-expenses-paid European Hip-Hop-based trip. Heads can check the details out at his website, which also has music and merchandise available.
Press photograph by Adrien Blanc provided by Jeru The Damaja.
#BonusBeat: In the last year, Jeru The Damaja teamed with AZ and Buckshot for Planit Hank’s “Life In Crooklyn”: