Harlem Renaissance by Immortal Technique

A song about urban planning? Yeah, sort of, courtesy of Lima-born, NYC-raised independent rapper/activist Immortal Technique. [Sorry about the lack of visuals!]

Harlem once was red line district raided,
Designated ghetto like the yellow star of David,
And you wonder why people don’t own their homes,
Cuz the racist bank couldn’t fucking mortgage a loan.

Until after the invasion of gentrification,
Eminent domain intimidation,
That’s not negotiation, and it’s frustrating to look at,
Every day, like watching a porno, on 56k.
Biohazard labs instead of store rooms,
Whats next motherfucker, projects as store rooms.
You ain’t fool no body in this community, dude
With your little fake Manhattanville community group.
Ivy league, real estate firms are corrupt,
They lay siege to your castle like the wars in Europe.
They treat street vendors like criminal riff raff,
while politicians get the corporate kickback.

Harlem Renaissance, a revolution betrayed,
Modern day slaves, thinkin that the ghetto is saved,
So they start deporting people off the property,
Ethnically cleansing the hood, economically.
They wanna kill the real Harlem Renaissance,
Tryna put the virgin Marry through her early menopause,
The savior is a metaphor, for how we set it off,
Guerrilla war against the beasts only predators.

When I speak about Harlem,
I speak to the world,
The little Afghan boy, and the Bosnian girl,
The African of Sudan, the people of Kurdistan,
The third world American, indigenous man.
Palestinians, Washington Heights Dominicans,
Displaced New Orleans citizens,
Beach front Brazilian, favelas that you living in,
The hood is prime real estate, they want back in again,
I didn’t write this to talk shit, i say it because,
Some of ya’ll forgot what the Harlem Renaissance was,
We had revolution music, and artisans,
But the movement was still fucked up like Parkinsons.
Cuz while we were givin birth to the culture we love,
Prejudice kept the old people outa the club,
Only colored celebrities in the party,
And left us a legacy of false superiority,
WEB Dubois versus Marcus Garvey,
And we ended up, selling out to everybody,
The Dutch Schultzes, and John Gottis,
Banksters, modern day gangsters,
Immobile army,
They wanna move us all out the NYC.
Like the did to the Jews,
With the al har decree.
So support your own business institute of knowledge,
Cuz the real Harlem Renaissance is economic.

Harlem Renaissance, a revolution betrayed,
Modern day slaves, thinkin that the ghetto is saved,
So they start deporting people off the property,
Ethnically cleansing the hood, economically.
They wanna kill the real Harlem Renaissance,
Tryna put the virgin Marry through her early menopause,
The savior is a metaphor, for how we set it off,
Guerrilla war against the beasts only predators.

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4 thoughts on “Harlem Renaissance by Immortal Technique

  1. Is it Dutch soldiers or Dutch Schultz’s ?
    While I learned about some of the people who came out of the Harlem renaissance, I never knew there was an actual movement til I read a book by Zora Neale Hurston. Some pretty crazy shit went on & it was definitely a hotbed of creativity.

  2. Also: Red Line District Rated?

    The best lines:
    Ethnically cleansing the hood, economically.
    So support your own business institute of knowledge,
    Cuz the real Harlem Renaissance is economic.

  3. Interesting lyrics, less interesting beats, but I’m glad someone is continuing to use hip hop as a tool of education and empowerment.

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