It’s good to be reminded from time to time just how ridiculous the 80’s were. Not in the ‘valley girl accent’ kind of way but more the ‘CIA supplying cocaine to inner city gangs’ kind of way. Transparency is a word that has all but lost meaning when news, government and lobbyist spin has its own orbiting moon of dissonance.
That’s why Killer Mike’s Reagan is my song of the year.
When you look at America right now it is difficult to see the positive aspect of slow economic recovery when shootings, extreme political partisanship, and the absolutely stupid NRA are all that pop up on the mainstream news. There is a terminal disconect between rationalism and reality, anyone with enough money to pay can have their opinion memorialized as fact to the uneducated, apathetic and morally oblivious who in turn slurp it up and regurgitate until fiction becomes fact.
Reagan is such an important song because it represents a valuable shift away from the lazy and, frankly, money-obsessed music in vogue. Much in the way Wu-Tang, Paris, and Outkast did in the 90’s, Mike has turned political music accessible and awesome.
With such a seemingly outdated topic some would be surprised that this song has had so much impact. When you take a look at North American culture however, you come to see the timing couldn’t be better. There is real and massive social change going on and while most of Mike’s fan-base was in diapers during the Reagan era, the parallels presented in our culture today are closely related enough to make this song as relevant to our past as it is today.
History is often touted as a least favourite subject in school but this piece is impossible to ignore when presented in the laconic yet powerful way. In the pervasive nature of Catcher in the Rye or Invisible Man, this is the type of music that should be taught in school to teach critical thought. Mike handles his words with care, deftly placing ideas and pleas of self-education and analytic thought into the listener’s ears under the guise of a punchy-ass rap song.
Mike is helping create a level of transparency that our culture needs to hear about. We need to know that it’s okay to ask questions and realize that our friends and enemies are wondering the same thing. Mike’s message is helping us remember that we cannot lose perspective on ourselves.