The attention towards police brutality, racial profiling, and other criminal acts against African Americans has risen in recent times, following the murder of George Floyd, an innocent African American US citizen who was wrongfully harmed by a Caucasian police officer. While at a Minneapolis grocery store, an employee called the cops on Floyd due to suspicions towards Floyd’s $20 bill. The video of Floyd’s subsequent arrest shows him on the ground with his hands cuffed while a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, presses him to the pavement with his knee on Floyd’s neck. Floyd then proceeds to tell the officer that he can’t breathe, before urging Chauvin to release him. Sadly, Chauvin ignores his request, and as a result, Floyd became unresponsive.
You’d think that since we’re in 2020, racism would diminish, that finally, we can all follow the movement that Martin Luther King Jr. once set, which is for whites and blacks to come together as one. But, unfortunately, there is still a lot of things that need to change! Instead of looking at someone’s skin color, let’s look at other attributes that can bring us closer. Lets keep in mind that we’re still human at the end of the day despite our gender, race, or sex.
Though there are many opinions on the issue, it seems that people aren’t listening. Yet there’s no need to lose hope because musicians are using their voices to uplift and educate society. More so about what’s going on in the world. In 2018 Joyner Lucas brought a raw conversation on race in his song, “I’m Not Racist.” But in 2020, there’s a new artist who has taken a stand against the wrongdoing of cops named OnlyJahmez.
New Jersey-based artist, OnlyJahmez started making music while in high school. After buying a green screen, he made a mixtape cover and told his associates that he’d be dropping an album. He then started to use a music-making software called Logic on his computer. Although there were skeptical people, he pushed through. And in turn, OnlyJahmez made about $100 from mixtape pre-orders. The positive feedback, coupled with a fascination towards music, birthed his rap persona OnlyJahmez. He amassed great success after releasing hit singles like “Too 3” and “Tarzan.”
OnlyJahmez’s powerful song, “George Floyd Tribute (Lil Piggy)” comes to listeners worldwide in music video form. First, viewers will see snippets of African Americans cornered by ill-hearted police officers. Then, they’ll see Jahmez and his friend speaking on this sad but true matter at the park. These two scenes alternate in just three minutes.
“George Floyd Tribute (Lil Piggy)” plays off the popular toe-tickling nursery rhyme “This Little Piggy.” After research, I realized that the quirky rhyme potentially carries a sinister meaning. But oddly, there’s no other evidence of this theory except one article I came across from Huffpost‘s Natalie Stechyson. She added in her 2018 article, “HuffPost Canada was unable to verify whether the dark death and slaughter interpretation is legitimate or just a soul-crushing internet trending topic.” Tweets about “This Little Piggy” went viral after Samantha, from Brooklyn N.Y., wrote on Twitter, “I’m 22 years old & I just realized that ‘This little piggy went to the market’ doesn’t mean he went food shopping.”
With that being said, when OnlyJahmez mentions “little piggies,” he’s referring to the cops who abuse their power. Through a melodic, bouncy cadence, he raises awareness about racial profiling, particularly towards African-American men. He maps out different scenarios where police brutality can happen, including previous (and saddening) ones with Trayvon Martin and George Floyd. Following after, he burst out through a full-bodied auto-croon, “This little piggy and that little piggy. Man, all these little piggies need to go, yeah.” By the chorus, OnlyJahmez questions why police feel the need to kill others based on their skin color. He follows this by saying, “We ain’t perfect, but we people,” and lists the commands police use to put the hurt on blacks worldwide.
In the second verse, OnlyJahmez recalls a time when he was racially profiled before bringing attention to the backstory of Emett Till and Trayvon Martin’s death. After, OnlyJahmez concludes that we have to be the ones to stop this sad truth. To do so, he suggests we save every penny and take a stand. Following this, OnlyJahmez demands to know why the police officer who harmed George Floyd felt the need to do it. In actuality, George Floyd did not hurt anyone.
“George Floyd (Little Piggy)” carries a spacey and ambient soundscape full of oscillating piano loops, a kick-snare, open hi-hats, and a booming bassline. Vocally, OnlyJahmez crossovers between a bouncy, melodic auto-croon, and no-nonsense rap delivery.
Listen to “George Floyd (Little Piggy)” by OnlyJahmez below. If you would like to donate to Floyd’s funeral and burial costs, his family has set up a GoFundMe page.