March 17, 2007

Jay-Z's Minority Report from New Orleans

"President Bush doesn't care about black people." With that line, Kanye West stunned an unsuspecting Michael Myers and surprised a nation that is not used to such blunt criticism. But then, music and art is supposed to epitomize the absolute freedom of expression, the uncorrupted translation of soul-bearing emotions and feelings to words and sounds. For so many still living in the hell which is storm-ravaged New Orleans, their expressions of helplessness and disappointment still fall on deaf ears.

For hip-hop guru Jay-Z, this reality was all too clear and painful as he struggled with his own efforts to help make a difference and our own government's failures to provide adequate preparation, relief, and assistance in light of the tragedy.

Think MTV features Jay-Z's "Minority Report," a track from his comeback album "Kingdom Come," responding personally and frankly to the crisis of Katrina, then and now. Check it out, and while you're there please take a look at the information and resources MTV provides to help educate people about and improve the dire conditions in New Orleans that remain today.

And now, courtesy of the referenced site, here are the lyrics to "Minority Report" by Jay-Z:

My people was poor
Before the hurricane came
Before the downpour poured
It's like when Mary J. sang
Everyday it rains
So everyday the pain
Went ignored and I'm sure
Ignorance was to blame
But life is a chain
Cause and affected
Ni**as off the chain
Because they affected
It's a dirty game
So whatever is effective
From weed to selling 'cane
Gotta put that in effect, sh*t
Wouldn't you loot
If you didn't have the loot
And your baby needed food
And you were stuck on the roof
And the helicopters swoop down
Just get a scoop
Through his telescopic lens
But he didn't scoop you
And the next 5 days
No help ensued
They called you a refugee
Cause you seek refuge
And the Commander in Chief
Just flew by
Didn't stop
Though he had a couple of seats
Just rude, Jet Blue he is not
Jet blew by the spot
But if he ran outta jet fuel
And just dropped, huh
That would've been something to watch
Helicopters doin' fly-bys
To take a couple of shots
Couple of portraits then ignored 'em
He'd be just another Bush
Surrounded by a couple of orchids
Poor kids just cause they was poor kids
Left 'em on their porches
Same ol' story in New Orleans
Silly rappers cause we got a couple of Porsches
And MTV stop by to film our fortresses
We forget the unfortunate
Sure I ponied up a mill
But I didn't give my time
So in reality I didn't give a dime
Or a damn
I just put my monies in hands
Of the same people
That left my people stranded
Nothing but a bandit
Left them folks abandoned
Damn, that money that we gave
Was just a Band-Aid
Can't say that we was better off
Then we was before
In synopsis
This is my minority report

So many times I'm covering my eyes
Peeking through my fingers trying to hide my
Seems like we don't even care
So we send a lil money
Tell 'em it's alright
To be able to sleep at night
You would pay that price
While somebody's just lost
Their whole damn life
Seems like we don't even care
When it wasn't on the nightly news no more
Suddenly it didn't matter to you no more
They went in and almost nothing changed
Seems like we don't even care
What the hell were they there for
Seems like we don't even care

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