TABLE OF CONTENTS

PRINT December 2019

music

Jace Clayton

Jace Clayton is an artist and writer based in New York also known for his work as DJ /rupture.

Still from Kodak Black’s 2018 video Zeze, directed by Travis Scott.

1

KODAK BLACK, “ZEZE,” FEAT. TRAVIS SCOTT AND OFFSET (Atlantic)

This was a terrible year to be a person of color in America. In this sense, it was like all other years. Rap sonics bypass language to evoke this exhaustion in a form that allows for joy. Here, the sweet-sad beat crafted around a hesitant steel-drum melody underpins the rappers’ ambivalence regarding success under such conditions: “All my niggas locked up, for real, I’m tryna help ’em / When I got a mil’, got me the chills, don’t know what happened / Pop pills, do what you feel, I’m on that zombie.” After writing these sentences, I learned that Black had been indicted for rape and remains incarcerated. In our current atmosphere of airborne toxicity, pop pleasure and civic responsibility can no longer abide such disjointedness.

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