On Friday (June 5), Meek Mill dropped a new song titled “Otherside of America.”
The track, which tackles racism and racial injustice in America, opens with a sample from a 2016 political rally held by Donald Trump where he attempts to win Black votes by telling them: “What do you have to lose? You’re living in poverty. Your schools are no good. You have no jobs, 58% of your youth is unemployed. What the hell do you have to lose?”
Meek jumps into the first verse illustrating what life is like on the “other side.” “I’m totin’ Smith &’s and HKs and I just was a grade A kid/ Ain’t have no guidance, we grew up with hitters and did everything they said.”
On the chorus, Meek raps about how his tough childhood wasn’t like the perfect (white) American life. “I was mad, I was tryna fight N****, we hungry/ Mama at work, daddy, he dead, n**** we lonely/ Stomach growlin’ like a AMG, goin’ to bed, we hungry/ Uzi on me, all my friends are dead, n****, we lonely/ Reportin’ live from the other side of America.”
The track ends with a clip taken from Meek’s 2018 CNN interview with Michael Smercornish which mirrors the lyrics of the song and the racial injustice Black people face:
“I always dreamed to be on CNN to be able to express myself and speak for the voiceless young men of America,” the rapper says. “The first step I would say: ‘I grew up in America in a ruthless neighborhood where we are not protected by police, we grew up in ruthless environments, we grew up around murder, you see murder, you see seven people die a week, I think you would probably carry a gun yourself. Would you?’”
Meek is an advocate and activist for social justice reform and co-founded the REFORM Alliance with JAY-Z last year, an organization dedicated to prison reform. “I’m here to speak for the ones who don’t have a voice. I didn’t ask to be the face of reform, but I want to bridge gaps and make the world a better place, especially for my culture,” he said at the time.
Photo: Getty Images