A little while back we featured the mercurial outfit Madison Washington. At the time they had released their rather tidy album Code Switching.
In this juncture we briefly catch up with the vibes of thatmanmonkz (producer) and Malik Crumpler (rapper/writer) on their new single Baytrified. You might recognise Malik’s name. He is one of our astute verbalist on #itchysilk. We acknowledge blatant bias, but we are immune to your thoughts.
This cut sees Malik once again using his platform to do more than just hype a crowd. In the pr spiel it rightly states this is an ode to Malik’s home town. But it is an ode that is tinged with sadness. Yes, raps display affection regarding the past and the Bay area he used to know. But, gentrification or some might call it urban replacement (among many scourges of modernity) have eradicated what Malik remembers of the Bay. Significantly this eradication has taken away the very history which built the Bay. Consequently, Malik spits with his brand of poetic venom-
It’s like somebody went back in time and reversed all the slave ships//It’s like my grand-parents never even made the trip.
Juxtaposed with the brilliant video it’s clear that the Bay of yesteryear was founded on community and togetherness. Malik (and others who have seen the spectre of gentrification) are resigned to the memories of said area. And while these areas do live on in peoples’ ‘souls’ Malik seems to suggest that the loss of community has many far reaching social consequences.
Indeed, in America (but also other parts of the world) the loss of community and togetherness is an endemic problematic catalyst for the social discord and dysfunction rife at present. Further than that there is an ominous worrying question with loaded ramifications: Who is affected (negatively) by gentrification/urban replacement?
History and the current movements suggest that it is the poor, the immigrants, the minorities, the hippies and the homeless (this is not exhaustive list) who are most affected. They are eventually replaced. The sub text being-“who gives a fuck?!”
As with all of Madison Washington projects, just putting out music is not the sole objective. Baytrified is part of the new Madison Washington album, Facts and Malik’s new book, Beneath The Underground: Collected Raps 2001-2018 to be released in late June.