Saturday, July 13, 2013

Guest Column + Free Track by Tee Double - Inner City Blues

Terrany "Tee Double" Johnson - Photo by Amanda Garcia
Inner City Blues
By: Tee-Double

Growing up in Austin,Texas some may think with the many bars and festivals and hip clothing stores and such that the racial tone is virtually non-existent.

They would be wrong. It is an ongoing struggle, not just in the entertainment section of Austin, but in everyday life. There have been many shootings of kids of color and little justice. Often hard court battles follow if the families want compensation for their unreplaceable loss.

I can remember walking back to school from lunch when I was at Reagan High School as a freshman and a truck driving by me and my friends with some guy yelling "Get back to school nigger!" 

This was not my first time hearing the word but the first time it was directed in such a negative and violent way.

I went home that night and wrote I believe one of my first songs which title I can't recall but it got my pen moving and helped me recognize I had a voice and many thoughts my friends had as well but couldn't utter for whatever reason.

As I've grown I've been blessed to achieve my dreams in music by releasing many albums and being on many advisory and governor boards, but each time I sit in those board rooms I think "what can I do to advance the reach of artists of color in Austin?"

So I founded the Urban Artist Alliance which is designed to educate artists on how to own their "masters" recordings and publishing so in the future they might have revenue streams coming from their dreams they recorded in hopes of a deal or just to express.

With the Trayvon Martin case the issue of race has risen its head higher than before after a nice nap of people being concerned with other issues.If you're not black our of color you could never understand the suspicion placed on you when you enter a retail store or a music venue and people thinking you will steal, kill or fight.

Some love to blame the culture of Hip Hop as a launching pad for this but in actuality when the culture was controlled by its creators it was the CNN of our neighborhoods, telling us the truth of the politics affecting us and the police brutality we finally saw after Rodney King but NWA had rapped for years and many folks of color already saw.

What is race? A competition to the finish? A jockeying for position? What is the end result? To dominate another people or gender? 

I speak for those who have no voice 
to say these inner city blues 
won't hold me down 
or make me sing 
a song of woes 
in a field of depression 
but allow me to celebrate 
the strength of a people 
who for years have been told 
to stay in your place, 
 cry in silence 
and keep it moving.

So I say sorry world WE no longer are silent but as joyous as we could be as justice is within reach for all people as cycles return. The next race could be yours and this pain might finally be understood.

I could go on but I have more songs of struggle and and the overcoming of to write. 

Shine on.

Free Track:

"Sorry World" is from his 2013 release Rosie's Boy. Buy the album here

Editor's Note: Tee Double was the on the cover of the August 2010 issue of INsite Magazine. Read that story here: link

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