Talib has always been one of my favorites. Since the jump he’s just been a solid dude, no gimmicks, always has good shit to say when interviewed on the gamut of things, from other artists to politics and holds it down for people of color. I mean, his name means Student of Truth. This past month was no different, as he explains #BlackLivesMatter towards the end of his very dope set at the Stern Grove Festival alongside East Oakland native Zakiya Harris in SF:

“Twenty years ago on the Blackstar album, it was #BlackLivesMatter. Thats what we were saying on the album. So if you a fan of Blackstar, you a fan of #BlacklivesMatter. Thats just how it go.

You get the total package. You don’t get to separate the experience and the oppression and the politics and the structural racism and all that. You don’t get to separate that from what the fuck we do on stage. It is completely informative of what we do on stage. You know what I’m sayin? When somebody says “Black Lives Matter,” they’re not saying “ONLY black lives matter”— that would be stupid. What they’re saying is “Black lives matter ALSO. Black lives matter AS WELL. Black lives matter TOO.”

You would think we wouldn’t have to say that shit, but we have to apparently. We’ve been sayin it for twenty years; I’m not the first person to say it. Harry Belafonte was sayin it back in the day before we were sayin it. You know what I’m sayin? Nina Simone was sayin it back in the day before we were sayin it. We aint the first people to say it, we just have camera phones now. So we can show you know. We can show yall. We can be like LOOK. Apparently they think black lives don’t fuckin matter.

Apparently. And you know what? We got cameras and they STILL doin it. That’s how little they think of our lives. The system protects them. The system lets them murder us, it protects them. They’re like “So what they had a camera, can I have my job back please? My job is really good, can I have my job back please?” —Know what I’m sayin?

Now— I’m sayin that because a lot of people don’t understand what solidarity is. Solidarity is not showin up when someone has somethin on they mind and injecting YOUR issue into it. You don’t go to a funeral and be like, “Why are you so upset? Everybody dies.” You don’t do that. So don’t say to people who say “Black Lives Matter” that “All Lives Matter”— That’s just stupid. Don’t say that. Don’t say that. OF COURSE all lives matter, its obvious. COME ON. You know when all lives will really matter? When black lives matter. So please help us with that. Please.

And I wana say one more thing. The people who started Black Lives Matter started it as a direct response to police abuse”disproportionate police brutality on people of color” that’s what it’s about. Thats what its about. It’s about the police abusing they power disproportionately on people of color. If you wana talk about collective economics, thats fine too. If you wana talk about “What about black on black crime?” —what about white on white crime? Do somethin about it in your neighborhood. Know what I’m sayin? But don’t tell people – young black womyn who have done something that has changed the national discourse – that they shouldn’t be doin that because you are apathetic and sit on your ass and don’t do nothin.

I love yall, Bay Area, cause yall are ride or die.”

We love you too, Talib. We love you too.

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