Rapper Chuck D, the MC who as a part of the rap group Public Enemy excoriated Arizona over the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day controversy with the song "By the Time I Get To Arizona," is blasting Sand Land again, this time in the new joint "Tear Down That Wall."
The track is available for download on the Web site for Chuck D's label SlamJamz. True to Chuck D's form, the lyrics are sarcastic, incendiary and practically what nativists would call "open border," with the refrain "tear down that wall" referring to the wall being built in piecemeal along the U.S.-Mexico border, while using words once uttered by President Ronald Reagan about the Berlin Wall.
In an interview with Billboard magazine, Chuck D referred to Governor Jan Brewer as "a Hitler," stating that,
"'Tear Down That Wall' is something that has its own life....I talked about the wall not only just dividing the U.S. and Mexico but the states of California, New Mexico and Texas. But Arizona, it's like, come on. Now they're going to enforce a law that talks about basically racial profiling."
On his Web site, Chuck D said Brewer's signing of the law was "racist, deceitful, and reflects some of the most mean-spirited politics against immigrants that the country has ever seen."
The new song comes nearly two decades after Public Enemy's first swipe at Arizona over its refusal to allow a paid state holiday for Martin Luther King, Jr. That stance, too, inspired a boycott, which cost Tempe the Super Bowl and the state an estimated $500 million, before Arizona eventually buckled, and approved the holiday through a ballot measure.
You can check the lyrics for yourself at SlamJamz.com, but here's a sample below. It's also worth mentioning that Chuck D has posted a YouTube video by an assortment of Arizona artists who sample "By the Time I Get To Arizona" in their track.
Is all this history repeating itself? Absolutely. But at least in the case of Chuck D, in the best possible way. Now all we need is for him and Zack de la Rocha to do a free concert in AZ, despite the boycott, in front of the state Capitol, and crank this joint up.
I BEG YA PARDON WHO'S SAVIN YA YOU CALLIN THEM LABORERS WALK ON BY AND NEVER SAY HI OR CONSIDER THEM NEIGHBORS
SOME GOT THE NERVE TO LIVE IN TEXAS ARIZONA, CALI AND NOT KNOW EVEN MISSIN THE CLUE IN,.. NEW MEXICO
DISS THE BROWN BROTHERS AND SISTERS ON WHAT THEY WHAT THEY DONE DID THIS SIDE OF THE EARTH
THEY BUILT PYRAMIDS
MY PASSION COMES AND WHAT I KNOW AND WHO I AM I REFUSE TO LOSE OR TO BE
CONFUSED BY THIS NEW SCAM SCARRED BY SARCASM UNCLE SAMS RACIST ORGASM WAS JUST A SPASM SCARED OF ENTHUSIASM
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Phoenix New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Phoenix's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
OF THE BLACK AND BROWN PLANET THE JEALOUS SAY DAMN IT
STUPID ASS WALL CANT STOP US ALL
WITH DUE RESPECT HEED THE CALL
TEAR DOWN THIS WALL