American rapper Bearden’s song “White Privilege” is saturated with sharp social themes and satire aimed at the so-called white oppressors. The official video for the song posted on YouTube gained almost 2,500,000 views and a huge number of comments. Let’s try to figure out what this song is about and why it caused such a public outcry.
History of the song
The musician under the creative pseudonym Burden positions himself as a fighter for the rights of black American citizens. The lyrics of his song mention various incidents and harassment, which served as inspiration for him to create a new hit. On YouTube, the artist has about 500,000 subscribers who share his outlook on life. In many ways, the Black Lives Matter movement and the goals they stand for inspired the musician to write this single. Under the video, ordinary African Americans express their sincere gratitude to him for the fact that the musician did not remain indifferent to their pain and drew attention to such a problem.
The meaning of the song «White Privilege» by Burden
We have already touched on this topic above. The meaning of the song focuses on the need to pay attention to the oppression of African Americans in America, as well as the blatant attitude of law enforcement towards them. From the first lines of the song, the author screams that everyone knows about the problem, but it is ignored by both society and the media:
I’m ’bout to stir up the pot
I’ma talk about what they don’t want me to say
This division of race is a spit in the face
Of America, look at how far we done came
Oh, what a shame
How does the media fill us with hate?
How do you feel like it’s racist for someone
To say that they’re keepin’ America great?
The text of the song is full of slang and jargon, which give it more expressiveness and are typical for this musical genre. The rough, chopping delivery of the recitative presented by the musician puts emphasis on the most important thoughts and keeps the listener up to the last minute. The rapper calls to pay attention to the fact that he has never been limited, because his skin tone does not affect this in any way. That he was never oppressed or blamed for no reason other than his skin tone:
Done already told you I don’t wanna die
Who said it was better? They told you a lie
You think that my color gon’ help me survive?
I don’t despise my hair and my eyes
My heritage made me as handsome as I
Don’t make me no better, no worse, than no other person
Just sayin’ I’m happily white (That cool?)
Plus we the same, lemme explain
Work the same jobs and we get the same pay
Want to pass school? Had to get the same grades
If you make the same choices you get the same places
The musician in each line throws out the pain accumulated in his soul because of the injustice that he sees around him. In the chorus, he exclaims that there is no white privilege and that all people are originally equal before God:
Lemme speak (White privilege, white privilege)
I work hard for what you see
I was taught ain’t nothin’ free
If someone got it, it ain’t me
(White privilege, white privilege)
Let’s talk about this white privilege
Let’s talk about this white privilege
Don’t exist, with God as my witness
Although the song was released several years ago, the lyrics do not lose their relevance today. The problem of the lack of equality between blacks and whites is still acute in America. Not uncommon is the biased attitude of police representatives towards black citizens, because they deliberately see them as troublemakers, thieves and criminals – at first making an unreasonable detention and only then understanding the essence. All this atmosphere of violence and impunity outraged and shocked the rapper, which gave birth to his track “White Privilege” to the world.
Clip for the composition
The music video for the song was released back in 2020 and is reminiscent of Eminem’s early work, due to its brilliance, artistry, and over the top satire. The rapper, using a colorful video sequence, makes fun of all the clichés that are associated with African-American citizens, calls to get rid of prejudice and finally begin to consider them equal to oneself. From the monitor screen, Burden shouts to us that they deserve a good job, education and, most importantly, human relationship. This is fueled by powerful visuals and cries in the chorus that no white privilege exists and never existed. Writing tracks on acute social topics has become a new stage in the development of this musical direction.