As a hip-hop artist from Accra, Ghana, KiddBlack expresses the sentiment of struggling to merely get by and stay alive through his single, “Loaded Weapons”. KiddBlack most likely recorded this song to reach an audience of other individuals that fail to make enough money to meet their basic needs. He writes in the song’s chorus that he, “can’t shake the feeling I done been here before, this the part where loaded weapons come through the door”. KiddBlack is attempting to show that for those who live in conditions of poverty, violence is both reoccurring and inescapable. People such as himself know the constant battle of paying bills and having to be violent in order to protect yourself. Individuals at the bottom of any capitalist hierarchy can typically barely afford housing and the housing which they do have is usually locating in areas surrounded by gangs or individuals equally as desperate to attain a better standard of living. Kiddblack grabs his audience in by including an abrupt gunshot after the chorus, showing the high-stakes nature of living to survive.
KiddBlack not only engages his audience with powerful emotional sentiment behind his lyrics but also through his rhyme scheme. He includes a combination of end rhymes and internal rhymes as shown in the following example:
This isn’t a rap motherf*cker I know real ****** who be in the bando
I just wanna rap motherf*cker drive spaceship like I’m lando
Ready for the tango gotta be a bitch ass like mango
Whereas “bando”, “lando” and “mango” function as end rhymes in this stanza, “tango” acts as an internal rhyme. This unique combination of rhymes grants KiddBlack’s song an impeccable flow and steady beat. He manages to invoke powerful messages about inequality while producing a catchy rap song that I felt sounded very smooth.
Upon investigation of the music video for “Loaded Weapons”, I felt as though KiddBlack and his producers evoked powerful imagery to convey the struggle of the average Ghanaian worker. After fighting over bills at home, the artist has to work a minimum-wage job which he hates and is shaken up by several men in black hoodies on his way home. He has to defend himself and fights back until the perpetrators ultimately put a gun to his head. Kiddblack decides to take this gun and point it at himself, ending his life before waking up and realizing it was all a dream. At the same time, however, he saw a glimpse of reality as he “done been” in situations of danger “before” and will be again. KiddBlack attempts to end his life in the music video because death is seen as the only way to escape a life of poverty. For Black men, and specifically African men, upward mobility is often an impossible goal to attain as a result of how racial capitalism treats them. Thus, many are stuck in never-ending struggle to fight for their lives everyday. I saw that a comment on the music video read that KiddBlack was like a “combo of 21 Savage and J-Cole” and although his style of rhyme is unique, I agree. When one listens to 21 Savage, they hear the more classic-versions of hip-hop, using ‘mumble-rap’ as the dominant flow. Conversely, J-Cole focuses more on combining the forces of old hip-hop with the new, adding melodies, occasionally singing, and lyrics that expose the experience of being a Black man in a racist society. KiddBlack has achieved an intermediate, utilizing dryer stanzas and more nuanced melodies to his songs while shedding light on social justice issues.