Black Eyed Peas Raps About Real African American Issues in “Street Livin” Single (Lyrics Review)

black eyed peas street livin music video lyrics review

Black Eyed Peas has come up with a brand new single titled “Street Livin'” and it is exactly what is needed for the African American community in USA today. The wide array of social, economic and cultural problems faced by the ‘blacks’ are sung in a beautiful rhythm in this new song. The music reminds of the Tupac-era, which we believe is not a coincidence. The music video is unique and creative. The black and white music video shows pictures of African Americans being harassed in different ways and the people’s lips are animated in sync with the lyrics.

Releasing the song and video yesterday, Black Eyed Peas left the following caption;

Prison Industrial Complex. Immigration. Gun Violence. Police Brutality. These issues are critical for our families, friends, communities, and world. Stay Woke, Take Action Now.

More information and statistics about African American brutality are given in their official website.

Watch “Street Livin'” Music Video

Lyrics Review and Song Meaning of “Street Livin'”

We will decode some of the notable lyrics of this song.

The title of the song ‘street living’ is aptly chosen for the theme of the song, as a major part of the minority suffers heavy economical issues. Most are drawn to streets-as they don’t have a roof over their heads, as well as a means of finding an income.

Street livin’, caught in the trap
Guns or books, sell crack or rap
Be like kings or be like pawns

Most minorities are pushed downward the poverty spiral and are left without proper education. This leaves them to turn to selling drugs or joining a gang or rap music as means of livelihood. You will either be worshiped like a god or die like a dog in these street living style-there is no in-between for these African Americans.

The teachers in my neighborhood can hardly spell
And compare to them, prison guards get paid well

Black Eyed Peas spell out the reason for poor education among the minorities. These schools are run by very poorly educated staff who are not motivated to teach at all due to lack of pay. But the government is happy spend a higher cost in running prisons. There is something wrong in this system of governance.

And put a nightmare in every Martin Luther King

Black Eyed Peas cleverly touches a hot topic in this line. This is a reference to Martin Luther King’s famous speech “I Have a Dream” which speaks about a dream of black and white people living together in harmony. will.i.am says now that they are living together, it has only become a nightmare-the baddest version of a dream.

And racists no longer have to be racist
‘Cause niggas kill more niggas than the KKK did
Now, every time I hear a new def jam
Niggas killing niggas like they Ku Klux Klan

The singer says it isn’t racism alone. Even the blacks kill each other more than the whites do. Klu Klux Klan was a white supremacist group who are estimated to have killed over 3400 blacks during a span of 86 years. But, will.i.am says at the rate of the gang violence between African American groups and deaths they cause are tolling higher than Klu Klux Klan. The reason? Poor education.

No education in the hood got a nigga confused

African American slaves were heavily used in cotton picking industry, but it seems as if more imprisoned slaves are there today than back in the days.

There’s more niggas in the prisons than there ever was slaves cotton picking

Lyrics to “Street Livin'” by Black Eyed Peas