Raz Simone’s latest video entry, “Oh Lord,” finds the rapper speaking truth to power in a natural setting that looks conspicuously like the one Macklemore and Ryan Lewis used in their “Otherside” video. Raz name checks Macklemore in the third verse, noting the pop star’s as-yet unreleased “White Privilege 2,” a song rumored to be part of Mack and RL’s upcoming sophomore LP. (Some questions, though: How can a track called “White Privilege 2” be anything but reductive in an ongoing conversation about the very topic? At what point does Macklemore speaking openly about his privilege become more about him and less about the actual issue? After all, in about 99% of discussions about race it’s more productive for white folks to just shut the fuck up and listen than it is for them to ramble on about what it means to them.)
In any case, Raz’s output this year has generated more words-per-post from your loyal blogger than any other Town hip-hop artist, which means he’s either really good at pushing buttons, or he’s on to something much larger and provocative than his peers. It’s probably a bit of both. “Oh Lord” finds Raz at his best, reserving valuable bars for conveying concerns both communal and personal (see also: “They’ll Speak”). In other instances he can be frustratingly confounding — though no less visceral and inciting — which, I’ve mentioned before, engenders multitudes. That’s hip-hop, though.