Lillard Addresses Racism, Police Violence And Athlete Protest In New Song, 'Blacklist'

by Casey Holdahl
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(The following post contains graphic language)

As an NBA All-Star, Damian Lillard has already participated in protests demanding change in Portland and around the country after the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and others due to police violence and racially-motivated attacks. He's also using his platform to discuss the issues roiling the country through one of his other passions: music. 

In an emotional track posted to his Souncloud account Tuesday morning entitled "Blacklist," Lillard addresses racism and police brutality in no uncertain terms, coming out by making it very clear how he feels about racist before going into his thoughts and feelings about the current state of race in the United States. Lillard discusses looting and property damage as a result of historical inequity, policing your own and how that doesn't seem to work with regard to law enforcement, previous instances in which athletes used their stature to influence change and his thoughts on Donald Trump. It's a lot of pain and anger condensed into three minutes. 

The understated piano that accompanies the track comes courtesy of Kev Choice. Below are the full lyrics...

As a brother with a good heart, I say “Fuck you” if you racist
Or whites staying quiet, you disabling the changes
And fuck being famous, tired of watching us complaining
Cops kill a brother, get released after arraignment

We in a pandemic, thought getting out I’d be more joyed
Then I watched a cop knee to the neck kill George Floyd
They hid behind the badge, we get to posting, it never lasts
Like, was we ever mad? Speed up the process and do the dash

Showing up at every establishment breaking glass
Taking all they high-end products and making cash
We in our bag, they getting mad, gotta attack the dolla
Break they ass off proper, hit dogs holla

As a rich black man living in this country, it’s hard being comfy
When the hate your people get is coming from the ones amongst me
Used to call us "monkeys" and "slaves" and we overcame
Still our work is just beginning, protests look like parades

And if a teammate of mine do underage, Imma snitch
Me and you ain’t a fit, I ain’t gonna sit or convince myself I’m being loyal
Or mad at you, so why these good cops won’t speak on the bad apples?

How the president get on TV and be mad casual?
Like “If you looting we shooting” like it’s a game
Dude’s a clown and a trust fund baby, he numb the pain
Never had it hard, came into office unpatched the scars
Let the racist folks tell us we really ain't make it far

I feel the tension rising, 1950 how we divided
I ain't even tripping on how the season decided
Racism pandemic is years ahead of the virus
Really mean it but they going to try to play us as tyrants

Look, Ali wasn't the greatest just cause his hands work
Frontline for his people, this was a man's work
Before he let the black people down he let the fans hurt
So if the stars is aligned, that mean it can work

Don't need approval, I've always been doing God's work
Even before I was in the Bentley like Farnsworth
Make me sick to my stomach to see these moms hurt
Tommy Smith fist in the air, that's what our bond worth

Support black businesses, got to fight evil
We love ourselves, we don't hate white people
We just striving for equality, acknowledge me!
Don't just kill me for chilling when in my property

Got some shit on my mind and I'm feeling helpless
Cause we need help from people who ain't dealt with
The kind of shit we experience, how we felt when
The country turned on Kaepernick after he knelted

All the shit we endured and we still playing fair
That black skin really thicker than some Jamaican hair
Our culture beautiful, battle-tested and tough
We've had enough, so either come with some change or it's gone be rough
Period

As a brother with a good heart, I say “Fuck you” if you racist
Or you white playing quiet, you disabling the changes
Fuck being famous, tired of watching us complaining
Cops kill a brother, get released after arraignment

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