Raising Awareness: A critique on Chosan’s “Hoodie On”

In Chosan’s song “Hoodie On” ( a tribute to Trayvon Martin)he discusses social issues such as racial profiling, police brutality etc, which affects many black people,as well as Africans, today. It also shows the the globalization of social awareness and how people from all around the world can relate to someone in a particular predicament without actually living there. For example, people living in Europe can know about social injustices in South America thought the internet (via social media), art , music etc. Also in the song, Chosan mentions how people are judged based on what they wear and how they look. From a certain angle, one can say that he is directly addressing the flaws associated with respectability politics (the notion that a person will be respected if they speak , dress and act properly). He is basically trying to say that a person wearing a hoodie & sweats should be treated the same as a person in a suit.

Chosan also shows his exceptional storytelling skills in his song. He tells the story about how Trayvon Martin was stalked & shot to death. He even includes George Zimmerman’s police call in his video. He paints a clear picture of the whole incident. He addresses the flaws in the American justice system; on how it is biased and racist. In conjunction, he also states how stand your ground is basically murder, implying that the law is flawed and unjust. Chosan mentions how the media depicts young black men as “monsters” & “thugs” although we are as human as anyone else. Also, Chosan mentions how black children are treated like adults, stripping them of their innocence.

About the Artist:

Chosan is an American rapper born in Sierra Leone. He currently lives in New York city. Chosan has worked with Kanye West, specifically on his song, “Diamonds from Sierra Leone”. Chosan did the narration at the beginning of the video. Chosan has released two independent albums: “The deeper side of Misery” (2006) and “Diamond in the Dirt” (2008).

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