by Brother Jesse Muhammad
The hip-hop community in Arizona came together in a “Not in My Backyard” approach to protest the state’s new immigration law by remaking Public Enemy’s song, “By the Time I Get to Arizona.” (The video is posted below.)
Hip-hop artists Queen YoNasDa, DJ John Blaze, Tajji Sharp, Yung Face, Mr. Miranda, Ocean, Da’aron Anthony, Atllas, Chino D, Nyhtee, Pennywise, Rich Rico and Da Beast express multi-cultural perspectives on a law they collectively consider to be racial profiling.
According to Queen YoNasDa, the hip-hop artist who spearheaded the national movement “Hip Hop 4 Haiti,” the song was the best way for the hip-hop community to take a stand against the immigration law. Queen YoNasDa is Native-African American and opposes racial profiling.
Fifteen years ago, the original “By the Time I Get to Arizona” by Public Enemy protested the state of Arizona for failing to observe Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a federal holiday. The song was hugely popular and the entertainment industry embraced the boycott of Arizona.
“I remember the Super Bowl not being hosted in Arizona as a result of the boycott,” says Queen YoNasDa. She says, “This is an example of how hip-hop can positively impact change and we want to continue that legacy.”
Jesse Muhammad is a staff writer for the Final Call newspaper, known for his coverage of the Jena 6 and Hurricane Katrina survivors, and an award-winning blogger. Email him at email@example.com and visit Brother Jesse Blog at http://jessemuhammad.blogspot.com.