Sunday, 31 May 2015

Brother. . .

NZ Music month - Brother by Smashproof ft. Gin Wigmore

This track is a song request from +Rochelle Savage 

I've written about Smashproof in a previous blog post (see Paint Fade).  This track features Gin Wigmore, who sings the hook of the song.  She has a distinctive voice and adds a different flavour with her timbre in this song.  I've written about Gin Wigmore in a previous blog post as well (see Saturday smile).

Why is it that when some guy makes it outta a hood life
They're like, No we can't let ya
And allow five-oh to rape girls and compensate them like David Bikem
Is so wrong and expect us working people to fund your wages for you to uphold the law
Which is what exactly?
Probably won't get an answer to that one. . . 

What I love about this song is that it discusses the social issues about the media representation of South Auckland and more importantly the social injustice that happens when those tasked with protecting us and upholding the law - don't, and most likely think that they are above the law and can manipulate the system to work to their advantage.  
Self-preservation is a way of harking back to our primal instincts for survival.  I thought it was important to highlight some key lyrics from this song that show us quite clearly.  Do we have a collective responsibility to improve our local communities?  I think we do.  But we can't do that without first understanding how these communities see themselves and having them use their own voices to articulate what is going on.


Seen a dude in the dairy get stabbed for change. . . 
Take away a kid's life cause he tagged. . . 
Why you letting your little brother slang rocks outside. . . 
Why you lettin' your daddy abuse your children when they go to school. . . 

Each of these lines from the different verses in the song highlighted some major news headlines that happened around the time of the release of the video.  I'm not saying that we need to deny that these things happen, but the fact that the only representation of Māori and Pasifika peoples have been all of the incidents that perpetuate the racial microaggressions that haven't lead us down the pathways yet of the Watts Riots or situations like Ferguson.  We haven't got to that stage yet - but we're on the same path.

But you turned your back, and you went away
It's making me crazy, I feel so alone
Why did you turn your back, why did you go away?
Cause you were my brother and you should of stayed. . . 

It seems to me that this part of the song, with all of its underlying sentiment, man it just makes me ache.  The argument of young children not having the positive older siblings or positive older friends to be able to look out for them - it's the situations of the circumstances that we never get the full picture of in these media headlines.  We only get the surface features, nobody bothers to talk about the continual system failure that our children are subjected to.  There have been copious arguments about people producing children that they can't clothe or feed, can't afford to raise.  People start slinging comments about contraception and not having children.  I put it down as simple as - warmth.
When you think about the need for humans to have comfort. warmth and love - this leads to love making and the production of children.  Granted there are a whole host of other reasons for why there are higher birthrates in some ethnic populations compared to others - but man, I can see that is one of them.  How do I know?  Because I've taught children who were products of that need for human love, comfort and warmth.

I got some questions in my mind that definitely need some answers right now
'Cause I gotta know
Got all the pieces to the puzzle, but can't seem to make it fit
But I'm lost, tell me where to go. . .