Songs We Love: Don Trip, 'White House'

Don Trip's "White House" is from his new self-released project, Godspeed. (Courtesy of the artist)
Don Trip's "White House" is from his new self-released project, Godspeed. (Courtesy of the artist)

A thumping bass kick, triplet hi-hats, dramatic piano chords and synthesized string arrangements are standard fare for your typical trap rap song. But once again, Memphis' Don Trip proves he's far from a typical trap rapper.

"Let's go do a drive-by on the White House," Trip spits, adding, "Let's pull a home invasion on the White House." But don't take the incendiary chorus of Trip's "White House" literally. Do, however, look past the initial shock of hearing someone exhort people to storm the president's residence and pay attention to what Trip is really saying: "Is it me or ... are we trapped? / I just watched 'em shoot a n---- eight times in the back / We endangered 'cause we black."

Inspired by the police shooting of unarmed Walter Scott in South Carolina, "White House" is both a scathing indictment of a neglectful political system and an expression of the frustration and rage that accompany disenfranchisement.

Given the current situation in Baltimore in the wake of Freddie Gray's death, Trip's song is a reminder that police brutality, poverty and other issues brought to the surface by recent events in the city are evergreen topics — and a recipe for unrest. "What did you expect from the people you neglect? / I say they won't take us serious till we standin' at they steps / in all black, singin'..."

Don Trip's new self-released project, Godspeed, comes out June 23.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright NPR. View this article on npr.org.