J.I.D provides some much-needed inspiration with his latest single, “Skegee.”
Like the title suggests, this track is a reference to Tuskegee, Alabama. This historic city is a microcosm of the Black experience as it is home to iconic feats and infamous moments of systematic racism. The Tuskegee University which gave flight to the Tuskegee Airmen is located near the city. Yet, this was also the site of The Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male. J.I.D touches on this duality in his rhymes.
“He said that’s good ass parenting/reminded of the place where they did them nigga experiments/On them black people, sharecroppers down in Alabama” J.I.D raps. “It’s not far from Atlanta/It was 1930, they did them Black folks dirty because of a tan.”
Although he reminds people of this horrific experience, J.I.D pairs the lesson with a shower of affirmations for younger kids that look like him.
“Take a chance, have faith my lad/You got all the same tools that the greats have had,” he raps on the chorus. “Two eyes, two ears, one mouth two hands/So you can watch and listen more than you speak/Take advantage.”
He also explains in an Instagram post promoting the song that he’s just passing on lessons that were taught to him by his family.
“Remember my dad always preaching Black history to me, anytime anyplace anywhere we went he made me question everything, this song is a lesson I learned a long time ago and felt necessary to use my platform to spread the knowledge of the history of our people in this country, it is not a slight at anyone, it’s a moment of reflection,” he captioned the post.
The track is also accompanied by a music video that is set in Tuskegee. The black and white visual is co-directed by J.I.D himself and can be seen above.