That’s Karega Bailey at a Mike Brown rally in D.C.
When I saw Karega this past Memorial Day at a cookout, he was his normal self. Energetic. Articulate. Ambitious. Engaging. He’s been that way ever since meeting him the fall of our freshman year at Hampton University in 2004. So when the D.C. school teacher/Sacramento native pulled me and my homeboy, Vaughan, to the side and asked us if we wanted to hear new material he’d been working on, the answer was a no brainer.
Karega’s music always comes with a purpose, with haymakers as messages like he’s Mike Tyson in 1987. Featuring wordsmiths Khemist and King Keon, “Peace King” was not one of the records played that evening, yet it is a song harboring more significance thanks to the trends currently reverberating across America. The tune is also an on-going therapy session for an artist whose dealt with death more often than he’d ever care to admit the past several months. Bailey is still finding ways to cope after the murder of his brother, Kareem Johnson, continuing to actively speak out against violence in his own community and as relentlessly engage in rallies and protests following the deaths of Eric Garner and Mike Brown.
“I see this life through the lens of a prophet’s eye
I’m a king, not a nigga, and won’t compromise
I spit the truth and if it hurt I won’t apologize
You fear my greatness, strip me naked and address me in your lies
That’s why I never trust your history books
Distort the facts to hold us back I call ’em history crooks
But just imagine if we took action and wrote our own books
We master teaching study everything from Earth to ether
Sisters don’t abort your fetus and brothers don’t make ’em think they should
Our good die young and that’s word to planned parenthood
And crooked cops that patrol and ride through the hood…”
Peace king. If Malcolm had a Spotify account, this would be on there.