Griot B Releases “R.A.C.I.S.M”
“R.A.C.I.S.M” is the 4th studio album by the socially conscious Hip-Hop artist “Griot B.” Griot B. has perfectly synced the message of every song on this album with todays current events of African American oppression and the climate of the country. His first single “Set Up” breaks down the questionable structure of the American prison system while still making you want to dance. This flawless balance of lyrical realism with a perfectly blend of urban/pop is exactly why this album is Griot’s most successful to date. “Set Up” is Griot’s first charting single and is still going strong in its 5th week in the Top 40 on the Billboard indicator charts. “Set Up” is also the only indie record on this chart which is another impressive first for Griot B. and his black owned company SchoolYardRap.com
In no uncertain terms, Griot B brilliantly summarizes the divide between a rigged establishment and Black America inside of three minutes and change in the opening cut of his new album Racism, “The Race,” while also giving us a solid introduction to what will easily become one of the most gripping hip-hop LPs you hear all year long. Swaggering beats quickly collapse under the pressure of a stealthy, groove-powered track in “The Roof” that both lyrically and sonically pushes aesthetics into a provocative place of modernity and relevance, but it isn’t until we come face-to-face with the strikingly buoyant “Redline” that we start to understand how stone-cold Griot B is operating in this piece.
His demeanor is nothing less than unforgettable not because of his confidence but because of his raw means of expression, and at no point in songs like “Blockbuster” or the searing “Gentrification” does he ever translate as halfhearted in his statements. In essence, Racism describes everything that its title would have us believe it could but through a multidimensional, non-prerequisite lens you were never taught about in school. The battered bodies of Black lives are not fodder for glorified depictions of senseless violence and white-influenced stereotypes about hip-hop culture in 2021 here; they’re hoisted before us unrepentantly, their very wounds serving as a demand for answers and justice in contemporary times.
“Super Karen” sticks deliberate complacency in its crosshairs and lets Griot B let loose in a way that left me grooving to the cadence of his verses like few other tracks on the album ever could. Structurally speaking, “Set Up” follows a similar path whilst paying homage to retro influences otherwise left out of the equation for the majority of material found in this track list, and it definitely creates the right atmosphere for “Justiceposition” to slide into place immediately following its conclusion. Theatrics of a progressive quality have firmly taken hold of the artistic direction in Racism by this point, but the chest-pounding “Picnic” reminds us that Griot B is still very capable of being both conceptual and hard-hitting at the same time. “Freedom Papers” slows the tempo down and blindsides us with the surreal feeling of being in a crowded protest march only minutes away from descending into pure discord and carnage. The chills factor from the music is off the hook in this LP, but somehow it never manages to eclipse that of the lyrics as they stand on their own.
The four-piece set of “Mask On,” Long Beach-style “200 Seconds,” stunningly honest “Carlton,” and even-paced “Black Jesus” could have made for an automatic EP of the year in any legit hip-hop publication in 2021, but as they’re used to unite the first act of Racism with the album’s unbelievably powerful conclusion in “White Privilege/Terrorist,” their collective message is perhaps even more affecting. Griot B takes us into the sunset with a supersized three-part track that ends in spoken word neither flashy nor subtle, and following five icy seconds of pure silence, his new album has crossed the finish line leaving behind a story no one listening is likely to forget. An encapsulation of our past and our present that acts appropriately as a warning of what our future just might become if we’re not careful, Racism is by far one of the most important hip-hop releases of the year, indie or mainstream alike.