In honor of this year’s monumental election, Ali Cashius Jr, recruited the help from West-Coast rapper Ras Kass to shine a light on issues that go far beyond political parties; one that shows the need for reformation in our country’s government as hundreds of thousands of people are ignored due to their race, financial situations, and communities. In their latest track, “Love Me,” the two artists join forces to illustrate just how difficult it is for those in impoverished neighborhoods to feel loved. This goes far beyond politics and demonstrates how due to years of systematic racism, people growing up in poorer areas struggled more with love and acceptance from their families, relationships, government officials, places of education, and more.
Ali Cashius Jr, is a Phoenix and Detroit based artist who’s worked independently for the past ten years. Growing up Puerto Rican and Yemeni, he knew that he would have a fresh and unique perspective to bring to the music industry, using his blend of cultures to make an everlasting impact on the scene. However, that didn’t make life easy, especially as he strived to further his craft as a battle rapper. Artists constantly attacked his mixed identity. And yet, even those artists could not make him question who he was. After exploring the music communities in cities ranging from Atlanta to Washington DC, he made a home for himself in Phoenix. He found new growth and development in each place, landing opening spots for artists such as Dave East, Method Man & Redman, Curren$y, Snow Tha Product, Immortal Technique, Denzel Curry, Boogie, and G Perico, and at the Gold Rush Music Festival alongside Kevin Gates, Vince Staples, Steve Aoki, Marshmello, and Shaquille O’Neal. Rather than rapping about a superficial lifestyle, Ali chooses to rap about everyday problems, giving a voice to the average man who may not have the ability to speak up.
The song starts with a catchy but truth-filled hook, calling out those who show fake love that’s often clouded by envy and anger. He mixes in Spanish to pay homage to his Puerto Rican background, which works beautifully for when he later alludes to Islam, recognizing his Yemeni side as well. Ali successfully creates a heavy-hitting rap tune while contrasting it with references to society, bringing up household names such as Jimmy Fallon to show the difference between growing up in difficult neighborhoods versus cookie-cutter lifestyles. He also discusses ways in which minorities are discriminated against, referencing hiring processes (and the idea that black and brown people are thugs when heavily tattooed whereas white people are just artistic and rebellious) and police brutality, describing a realistic scene of police stopping or arresting a man, then shooting him down simply because of the color of his skin. He also mentions the tragic shooting of Philando Castile, who was shot in 2016 in front of his little daughter. Ali uses his time on the track to comment on how minorities strive to do good, improving situations for their families after being discriminated against and dealt cards that prevent them from succeeding. And yet, with as much as he tries, he gets attacked even further, showing society’s treatment and disdain for Black and Brown people.
Ras Kass takes a West Coast approach to the beat, switching up the musicality to show a shift in perspective. He discusses encountering fake people, in both life and the industry, as artists try to rap about a life they’ve never lived. He then goes on to talk about his experience with women and social media, showing how people portray themselves differently online in efforts to fit in. His overall verse shows that no matter how you present yourself, they still won’t love you. It reminds me of the idea that society loves Black culture, such as rap music and Black Twitter as he mentions, but people still seem to fail at treating Black people with respect and equality.
I love this track for promoting individual thinking and authenticity. This song shows that feeding into false narratives and society’s views on idealism gets people, especially artists, no where. It shows that speaking up about what’s right and what matters is important, and that is how we see change. While I personally believe in exercising one’s right to vote, I also understand why people are fed up with the system. We need to see justice being done by the people, and we need to get rid of the electoral college. We also need to see more elected officials that are proper representations of the people, rather than those that belong to the elitist 1%. I also love the idea that if we want to see change, we need to be a part of it; we cannot just sit around and complain about what is happening. We need to help better our communities and share resources that we may have that others cannot access.
Ali Cashius Jr, has worked hard to speak up about the injustices occurring throughout the country. He’s been one of the many voices of the revolution, which is extremely important as we’ve seen a division that has set our country back years. To continue supporting him and his cause, you can find him at the following links:
- The Success of Every Woman is Inspiration to Another
- Fuck Your Bad Day
- Album Review – Unconscious Prophet’s ‘Universal Pace’
- New Album – Sincerely Collins’s ‘Alien’
- Am I My Brother’s Keeper?
Sponsored by Ali Cashius Jr.