Better Than I’ve Ever Been: The Revolutionary Street Anthem
Being a black man in America, there can be a lot to be mad about. However, Mysonne Linen looks at things different. He addresses a lot of discrepancy and injustice in the systems of America that were built on top of many black bodies. Black bodies that were attached, lynched, and incriminated. America has pretty much lynched him, hence the powerful moment at 0:23 when the American Flag hangs him from a tree.
Imma die fighting
Or Imma die in the system
Referring to himself as a “gangsta and a gentleman”, Mysonne acknowledges that he has a job which is to fight (the gangsta in him) yet also knowing how to handle the battle without complete rage (being a gentlemen). Freedom in this world came with a price, with Martin Luther King Jr. as one of our many martyrs in the black community. Martin’s black body that was taken away from him gave us the freedoms and privileges we have today. He also showed us how to fight the system without violence.
Assaulting the blacks
The other shit’s irrelevant
Everything else that people seemed to be worried about, other than gaining justice within their own community, is pretty much irrelevant, or so as Mysonne expresses. I find this line to be quite dramatic, but I completely understand. There are many injustices within many communities and there are even environmental issues that need to be paid attention to. Yet, everyone is fighting for something specific. It’s easy for people to be sucked into a world filled with fame, money, and greed to the point nothing outside of those three things matter. That is what the line is talking about. We need to stop worrying about what one does not possess materialistic and instead fight for something that will then last for generations: our rights and our freedoms.
We dying for the blacks
And they buying all the stocks
This line is a perfect example of “other shit [being] irrelevant”. So many young balk been are not dying for for their rights as a black person, but for their gang, for their street, for their name that they gave them self that is only know in a small ghetto neighborhood. This line remind me of a verse from The Story of O.J by Jay -Z:
I told him
“Please don’t die over the neighborhood
That your Mama rentin’ ”
In the fight for justice, that must be the highest priority of all. It’s surprising to me, but many black men hold pride in dying for the streets. This line also reminds me of the scene from “Freedom Writers” where Mrs. Erin Gruwell (the teacher) told her students that no one will ever want to remember someone that was a gangster. She clearly told them that they are “gonna rot in the ground, and people are going to go on living, and they’re going to forget all about you. And when you ROT, do you think it’s gonna matter whether you were an original gangsta? You’re dead, and nobody, NOBODY, is gonna want to remember you”. It’s very harsh, but very true.
They should be happy we’re only taking a knee…
All the violence, fear and terror that has been lashed out on the black body, many people of America should content with us taking a knee. White Supremacist or American glossed with ignorance of the African American struggle are so quick and ready to riot over Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the pledge of allegiance. If people actually took the time to realize why he did this, then this would not be as controversial as many seem to make it. Mr. Kaepernick had a conversation with a U.S. Army veteran Nate Boyer that was at first in outrage at his actions when Kaepernick did not stand for the National Anthem. Nate is the Boyer one who convinced Kaepernick to kneel instead of not standing at all, because he too understood, that there is injustice against black people and he too. So why is it that people are still made over one not standing for a flag that represents country that grants them only injustice. As Mysonne puts it, they should be happy.
The direction in the video is very clear. Yes, he is a black man and a lot is stacked against him. Yet, he is still here, and he is going to live his life. Through his artistry and lyricism, Mysonne is in the fight as we speak, and it looks like he won’t be giving up soon.
Lyrics by: Mysonne Linen
Directed by: Mark Garcia
Click here to watch Better Than I’ve Ever Been