Swoope on ‘Wake Up Music’ in light of new killings by police
In March 2015, Alex Faith, Dre Murray and Swoope boldly responded to a series of killings by police with a song titled “Wake Up Music”, which became relevant again last month after the shootings of Alton Sterling and Philandro Castile.
At Legacy Conference 2016, Swoope shared the heart behind his verse in an interview with Rapzilla.
I woke up shocked in America /
Eric G head locked in America /
Televised got shot on a cellular /
But not one cop locked in a cellie bruh /
It’s really hard for me to put my trust in police ugh /
When they live by the gun /
But they die by the beach house chilling with their feet up /
Pensions and margaritas /
What kind of lies are they selling us? /
That we are post-racial? /
Because we post racial memes of King /
But never talk about the fact that he was shot by America /
Before the movie y’all didn’t even know where Selma was /
Should I act like Huey or Little Rock Nine? /
When I know instead of open arms to welcome us /
They’d rather open arms, toolie or the Glock 9 /
Right in my face
“It’s hard for me to trust police at large. I’m not saying that there aren’t any good cops,” Swoope told Rapzilla. “I know some very good cops. A couple of them go to my church. But it’s hard for me to trust the infrastructure of government-sanctioned police officers when there are no repercussions for their negative actions… So I don’t feel any different now than when that verse came out months ago because this stuff has been going on.”
The Akron, Ohio native said the recurrence of problems that he addressed in “Wake Up Music” has encouraged him to address them more.
“My responsibility in this is to help start conversations,” he said. “I know a lot of my audience is white. What I don’t know is if they’re having these conversations or not. So I know you listen to my music. I know you respect me as an artist, and I appreciate that; I love that. And I love you, and I want to have this conversation because I don’t hate you because you’re white. I love you enough to talk about this and not just write you off because of your race.”
Swoope has tackled social issues throughout his career on songs like “Blind Eyes (The Good American)” and “Mindset”, and he said his next project will do so more than ever.
“I’ve been talking about social injustices here and there … I think my upcoming music is going to be very intentional,” Swoope said. “It’s not going to be a song here and there. It’s going to be a string of music that’s like, ‘Yo, I want to talk about this.’ I’ll still make concert anthems. We can do ‘Same Team’ and all of that. But if we are, in fact, on the same team, then you should want to talk about this as much as I want to.”