A review by G.A

IMG_20150522_094843_2If music is a weapon, then The Undergind’s latest single, “Declaration” is a call to arms.  For almost 20 years, our airwaves have been filled with music that is literally programmed for our self-destruction.  Filled with messages of hatred and disrespect, there’s no wonder why our babies are growing up with no concept of self-love or self-pride. Crippled by an educational system that leaves them dumb, deaf and blind…so many of our youth have been pacified by pipe dreams. Yet the glorification of these false idols have created more consumers, than entrepreneurs and fed the school to prison pipeline like sheep being led to slaughter. Like Mirage512 proclaims in the opening of the track:

my people still struggle

moving in the wrong direction

claiming that hustle

still we def jammin like Russell

we plant seeds in the dirt

gotta see em sprout…brussel

got us thinkin it’s all good on that tv

showin us that bullshit

that ain’t nobody’s reality

claiming the hood

but at the same time they gentrify

dyin to live

but we’re livin to die


With this manifesto, Mirage512 and Side Effect have come to reignite the flames of cultural revolution. And although there’s a disconnect between what mainstream media pumps into our subconscious mind and the pure heart and soul of hip hop music, these brothas are planting seeds of redemption.  Their lyrics are like words of truth, breathing life into the spirit of our people.  As disciples of the culture and leaders in their communities, these brothas have crafted an incomparable offering. Painstakingly bridging the past and present; in the spirit of Sankofa, they have shown us where we’ve come from and held a mirror to where we remain this very day.  With a hauntingly beautiful and hypnotic track produced by Trill Gates, Declaration hits deep in the solar plexus.  Pulling no punches, Side Effect challenges the youth:

truth is, education don’t guarantee you nothing but I can guarantee you wont have nothing without it

for the most part feel free to test that if you doubt it

my people too concerned with that life and if you bout it

the world is a lot bigger than yo hood if you want it homes

but great thangs they never came from comfort zones

step outside ya box

this the underground railroad ride with ya brothas to the top

Like these brothas, I was born a starchild of the 70s.   We were born into this culture.  We’ve seen our people rise and fall, only to awaken and fall again.  With raw and brutally honest visuals by DVZN Media, we are given a glimpse into the depths and many causes of our spiritual psychosis. Then we are given the keys to our own resurrection with a clip of Harry Belafonte recounting a conversation he had with Martin Luther King, Jr. prior to his assassination.

“…he said it’s no longer about race.  It’s now about the welfare and well-being of human life. We must talk about economics. We must talk about where people are poor.  We must galvanize our nation to begin to take care of the poor.  American should not have no poor people.”

The Undergrind has given us a true jewel with this video and the powerful images resonate with people who have been disenfranchised and abused, for too long, by this system.  If this is what we can expect from their upcoming project, I can’t wait to see what their future holds…



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