D.C. isn’t Chocolate City anymore. It’s turned into something else the past few years, an almost unrecognizable place not too welcoming to those with brown skin. That’s pretty fucked up when you think about it: Icons like Duke Ellington and Chuck Brown used to live here, and go-go, which was once a dominant genre, is being pushed further and further away.
Rapper Tarica June addresses gentrification on “But Anyway,” a standout from her 2014 mixtape, S.O.C. Mixtape Vol. 1. In her new video for the track, June walks through sections of the old D.C. We see street signs for 9th and Kennedy NW, and she rhymes at the Georgia Ave.-Petworth Metro station. Lyrically, she doesn’t mince words, getting right to the heart of the issue: “The city’s still fillin’ up with those who dance off-beat… they walk by, low eye, act like they can’t speak.” June remembers the Green Line Metro rides, the summertime jobs program. She chastises a current system not designed to teach the youth.
Even though her words have bite, “But Anyway” ultimately comes from a good place. It’s a gentle nudge to wake up and recognize what’s happening around you.
Check out the video below.