Maino Bangs On U.S. Police State On New Track ‘I Can’t Breathe’

Maino Bangs On U.S. Police State On New Track ‘I Can’t Breathe’

Hip-hop artist Maino bangs on the U.S. police state and murders of Black people on a new track called “I Can’t Breathe.” (Image: MMG) Maino performs at the Hot 97 Summer Jam concert, June 3, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.Y. (Photo by Donald Traill/Invision/AP)

In times of trouble, musicians often use their art to express not only their feelings but the sentiments of the masses. The murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police has resulted in protest songs.

The latest is by New York hip-hop artist Maino, who has released a new track entitled “I Can’t Breathe” — the words Floyd struggled to utter as former cop Derek Chauvin held a knee to his neck. They are also the words used by Eric Garner and Manuel Ellis, who died by asphyxiation during their arrests.

“For his latest music release, Maino decided to speak out against the racism and police brutality that has once again hit a boiling point since the recent passings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor,” Revolt reported.

The lyrics are:

“Think I’m tired of being silent, tired of people not tired of seeing us dying. Tired of praying, think it’s time to pick up iron, what else is left, they ain’t tired of being violent? Look at how they killing us, they show us how they feelin’ us, lynching us in broad day, look, that ain’t real enough? Take it in our own hands, ’cause it’s so hard to be a Black man, well Black man, we don’t have a Black chance.”

Maino released his first hit, “Hi Hater,” in 2009. The follow-up, “All the Above,” featured T-Pain and went certified platinum

Protest songs have been around probably since the beginning of organized societies to shine a light on injustices and to call for social change. 

But the music of protest is changing due to technology, NPR reported. “Community building and mutual aid take place through mobile devices and headphones as protesters keep moving and some attempt to maintain social distance. Users on TikTok have resurrected Childish Gambino’s 2018 hit ‘This is America’ as a meme-driven anthem. Dancers from Puerto Rico to New York and beyond are claiming spaces the size of a million phone screens.”

Even protest songs by non-music artists have gone viral, such as 12-year-old Keedron Bryant’s emotional solo, “I Just Want To Live.”

An array of other recent songs are centered around Floyd’s death, police brutality, and racial injustice. 

One is “Sweeter” by Leon Bridges featuring Terrace Martin. In a statement accompanying the song’s release, Bridges wrote: “Growing up in Texas I have personally experienced racism, my friends have experienced racism. From adolescence, we are taught how to conduct ourselves when we encounter police to avoid the consequences of being racially profiled. I have been numb for too long, calloused when it came to the issues of police brutality. The death of George Floyd was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. It was the first time I wept for a man I never met. I am George Floyd, my brothers are George Floyd, and my sisters are George Floyd. I cannot and will not be silent any longer.”

Bridges released his well-received debut CD in 2015, “Coming Home” and its 2018 follow-up, “Good Thing.” Both reached the Top 10 of the Billboard charts. Martin is a renowned producer who’s worked with Kendrick Lamar, Stevie Wonder, Raphael Saadiq, and others, Austin 360 reported. 

Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 72: Jamarlin Martin Part 2. J Edgar Hoover, the first director of the FBI, may not be around but his energy is present in new Black politics.FBI agents and informants were used to weaken Marcus Garvey, the Nation of Islam and the Black Panthers — in ma ny cases for money and career advancement. How could this energy metastasize into the “New Blacks” politics in 2020? Jamarlin goes solo to discuss who is doing the trading and what is being traded to weaken the aggregate Black political position.

Hip-making singer Trey Songz has just released “2020 Riots: How Many Times.” “With the words in this song I just wanted to speak to everyone’s hearts and acknowledge the pain and anguish everyone is going through right now,” the three-time Grammy-nominated R&B singer said in a statement accompanying the song’s release.

Tom Prasada-Rao debuted ″$20 Bill (for George Floyd)” on May 28 about Floyd’s death after Floyd was arrested for allegedly passing a $20 counterfeit bill at a Minneapolis store.