EXCLUSIVE: Kemba (YC The Cynic) Talks “The New Black Theory”, Respectability Politics & The Killing Of Alton Sterling


(AllHipHop News) Reports of police brutality and racial injustice have become far too commonplace in the America. Just this week, a Baton Rouge cop killed Alton Sterling as the 37-year-old father of five was pinned to the ground.

The case has drawn widespread criticism of the officers’ conduct, and Louisiana Governor John Bel Edward has called on the U.S. Justice Department to open a civil rights investigation into the shooting.

Just days before Sterling’s tragic death by a police officer, New York rapper Kemba released the video for “The New Black Theory.”

The nearly 4 minute clip addresses the influence of the news media, the idea of respectability politics, and the numerous examples of African-Americans losing their lives at the hands of cops.

“The video is about how the news affects how people see us and how we see ourselves, in juxtaposition with how we’re actually being treated,” Kemba (formerly known as YC the Cynic) tells AllHipHop.com. “We get messages everyday from the news criticizing how we dress, speak and behave, but being more respectable often means being more European, and even that doesn’t stop us from being killed by police.”

The Frank Drake-produced track off the forthcoming Negus album incorporates a sample from the 2Pac classic “Dear Mama.” The song’s visuals features Geraldo Rivera’s controversial comments about how the hoodie worn by Trayvon Martin was partly to blame for him being killed by George Zimmerman in 2012.

Since Martin’s death, the names of numerous other African-Americans citizens have unfortunately become hashtags on social media after they each lost their lives because of encounters with law enforcement.

As a result, the Black Lives Matter movement has fought to achieve justice for Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Walter Scott, Sandra Bland, Freddie Gray, Philando Castile, and other victims of police violence.

Alton Sterling has now been added to that list of individuals. Kemba’s “The New Black Theory” was created prior to the Sterling shooting, but the message of the record still resonates with the latest tragic story.

“The video relates to Alton Sterling at the very core, because he was wrongly and fatally brutalized by the police,” says the 25-year-old Bronx emcee.

Kemba’s Negus is scheduled for release via all digital platforms on July 22.

Watch the video for “The New Black Theory” below.