Chicagoan emcee Add-2 is a representation of a new generation of rapper. As many outlets for music have become cesspools and hip hop continues to be as negative and misogynistic as ever, there are a few people who continue to carry the torch of thought provoking music that focuses on lyricism, while delivering a sustainable message. Add-2 is surely an example of the latter, and his newest video entitled Cotton Fields, directed by Cam Be, is an eye opening look at the blunt reality of the hip hop business, and how their “employees” are viewed.
This video and song is holds a great precedence today as we celebrate the birth and life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, who envisioned a world that focuses on unity. As we have made great strides since the days of the Civil Rights movement, there are many things that have not. Other things have changed, but those changes still resemble the mentality of why there was need for a Civil Rights movement in the first place. Please view Add-2’s video Cotton Fields, and he explains his interpretation of the record business, the mentality of the modern day rapper, and more, while the vivid imagery paints a picture of American history that will never be forgotten.
To catch all of the subtleties in Add-2’s message, better understand the weight of the subject matter, I have transcribed the lyrics so you, the reader, can read along. I dictated to the best of my ability, so apologize for any wrong transcription in advance, and if you find an error, or if you would like to share your comments, please write it in the comments.
Cotton Fields by Add-2
My granny used to prick her fingers back when she was picking cotton,
now Im picking cotton shirts, just for me to rock em.
Like they threw scissors but I’m still throwin paper out,
I take it to another lever, elevator route.
Ridin out, windows low and my music high
Cruise till i crash like Vanilla Sky
Gil Scott-Heron died, revolution won’t be televised
I tell more vision ’cause my television tellin lies.
Sugar coated like the bottom of the kool-aid made
by my cousin, fools buy jewels to prove they paid.
Doin’ dirt for clean kicks, whip the whips like the master,
watch the plates past like a pastor.
Pass the Peas like we used to do
and workin’ in the field where niggas use the tools,
and the game is such a shame, its so insane to love the pain
and love fame of gettin lynched but niggas hang,
ain’t nothin changed since the says of the cotton field
But on your chain you’re still a slave, tho you got a deal,
and gotta deal with the people tryin to plot and kill..
Ain’t nothin changed since the says of the cotton field
It’s just the black mans curse, that we carry since the black mans birth,
3/5 is still a black mans worth
they say the black man is gold is a white man is dirt,
but all the green he makes, a product of the black man’s work.
Ain’t a damn thing changed, it’s still a slave trade,
NFL, NBA, just ain’t the same name.
All these record label execs manufacture a song,
ask Jimmy Iovine how many slaves he owns
because music’s the new cotton, niggas is out pickin it,
the minute you ain’t got a hit, see how many give a shit.
You’re work is just equivalent to their financial benefit
forgetting ??? and Tuskegee syphilis
still Emmitt Till toss the body in the river
cops shot Oscar Grant, ‘cus to them you’re just a nigger
Ain’t a game, such a shame, so insane, know the pain,
sang the songs of those of us who son of slaves
ain’t nothin changed since the says of the cotton field.
But on your chain you’re still a slave, tho you got a deal..
You can download the song from Add-2’s BandCamp Page
We should also take time to recognize the samples in which this song was originated from, which is by Leon Ware entitled What’s Your World