YG is slowly transforming himself into one of rap’s leading activist with his music. On Still Brazy, he made himself an advocate for “Blacks and Browns” and echoed sentiments heard in hoods around America with his anti-Trump election anthem “FDT.” Now, he’s taking on the cops with his latest track, “One Time Comin’.”
After teasing the release of new music on social media, the West Coast rhymer unleashed the uptempo number “in loving memory of the victims of police brutality.” Paced by siren-like synths, “One Time Comin'” chronicles the consequences of being a young black male in America, whether it be from driving while black when the blue lights come on from behind, hustling on the block before scattering when the boys show up or just existing. Whatever the case, YG’s advice is the same: run brothers should run in order to put distance between themselves and the police.
The advice may sound extreme, but we’ve all seen the news and heard the stats time and time again. Camera phone footage has started to create a clearer picture of just how deadly run-ins with police officers can be for people of color. What often gets left out of news reports gets added in with the picture YG paints as he spits “Told my daughter “Daddy love you” when I left the crib / Can’t take the money with you, so I iced out my wrist.”
The incidents have become such a strong concern, along with the public outrage, that the Justice Department will soon start tracking police brutality occurrences nationwide. Changes like that don’t happen without people speaking up on behalf of the victims. YG’s one of many voices in the crowd, but his is one heard from a wider platform. And he’s using the space to shine light on the people’s plight.
Listen to “One Time Comin'” below and pick it up on iTunes.