Video of the Year: Joyner Lucas “I’m Not Racist”
By Makayla Smith, Clarion Staff
Near the end of 2017, viral buzz set on the trending new video from rapper Joyner Lucas that surprised everyone when it hit 9 million views in just six days of it being released.
Gary Lucas, a.k.a Joyner Lucas, is a rapper born in Worcester, MA in 1988. At a very young age, he began practicing his love for hip-hop. As a teenager, he went by the name Future Joyner but changed it in 2012. In 2015, he dropped his first solo album Along Came Joyner with a hit single and video Ross Capicchioni. Joyner signed to Atlantic Records in 2016, putting out his mixtape 508-507-2209 in 2017.
The I’m not Racist video displays a thumbnail of a white man wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat, depicting the image of a Trump supporter. The song raises shock and concern when the white man lip syncs the first lyric saying “With all due respect I don’t have pity for you black niggas, that’s the way I feel Screamin’ ‘Black Lives Matter’ All the black guys rather be deadbeats than pay your bills.” This lyric gravitates your attention, and had came off very aggressively and harsh.
Meanwhile in the video, the two actors, one African American and another white male are sitting at the table bluntly discussing one person’s perspective on the other’s racial background. Further into the song, their body language start to change from calm to aggressive while in 4:36 seconds into the video, the table between them both is flipped. They both lip sync to Joyner Lucas to give a visual representation of the conversational lyrics. Joyner Lucas uses agonizing language representing racial stereotypes that are current in society. In the song, Lucas says that “I see a black man aimin’ his gun but I’d rather see a black man claimin’ his son and I don’t mean just for one day and you done.” This part of the lyric is talking about the black stereotypes that African-American men are faced with not always being a father to their children. It’s many of single black mothers who do have to play both roles in their children’s lives.
With hostility and rage, the two actors agree to disagree with many of the issues of how racial discrimination affects many African Americans physically, mentally, and economically. From the beginning, African Americans have had no equal opportunity due to prejudices, police brutality, and the superior white race. This has resulted in division in our country with little solution.
Joyner Lucas had put up another song called “Gucci Gang “ remix , rapping over the beat of Lil Pump’s song; 6 days later after the “I’m Not Racist” was put out.This immediately hit 13 million views within weeks of it being released.
Overall, this video conveys that racism will persist if the mentality of conversation and perspective is not put into action. We must look at our country differently and how we see people who don’t look like us. The video depicts a better understanding of how the issues of racism and division is an uncomfortable topic that Joyner Lucas lyricizes in his music.