Worcester Rapper's Music Video Tackling Race Goes Viral - NECN
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Worcester Rapper's Music Video Tackling Race Goes Viral

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    Worcester Rapper Tackles Race in Viral Video

    Joyner Lucas' newest song, "I'm Not Racist," has created a buzz around the rapper from Worcester, Massachusetts.

    (Published Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017)

    A Massachusetts rapper is creating a buzz online with his new song tackling the subject of racism.

    In just two weeks after Joyner Lucas of Worcester released "I'm Not Racist," it amassed more than 14 million views on YouTube.

    The video starts with a white man in a Make America Great Again cap sitting across the table from a black man in dreadlocks. The man lip syncs the lyrics, "With all due respect, I don't have pity for you black [expletive], that's the way I feel."

    Halfway through the song is a twist: the black man responds, lip syncing, "Screaming 'All Lives Matter' is a protest to my protest."

    The 29-year-old rapper, who is biracial, says he can easily see both sides, and he wanted his words to be raw, confrontational and uncomfortable.

    "A lack of understanding between both parties and different cultures and the way we were raised, our upbringing is ultimately what makes us who we are," he said.

    Dr. Rachel Rubin, a pop culture professor at UMass Boston, says it's difficult to start a conversation about race, but music is a way get people talking.

    "Culture is a conversation. It just is," she said. "People will watch it and think about it. They'll make arguments and people will like some things and not like some things."

    In the nearly-seven-minute song, the two men tackle the n-word, politics and privilege. They end with a hug, which is where Dr. Rubin finds her one dissatisfaction with the song.

    "I don't feel like if you're watching something about racism, you really should leave feeling with [an] 'OK, everything's all good now.'"

    Joyner says the Hollywood ending may be unrealistic, but he's hopeful.

    "That's just the way I see the world, and that's me trying to change the world one day at a time," he said.

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