Music that comes from a place of social action is often some of the best. Amid a couple of years of perceived police brutality and persecution of African Americans, Ithaca rapper/producer Sammus releases “Three Fifths” for use in the forthcoming independent film Rodney. Sammus made the track to remind us “that black people are whole even though they are often treated like three-fifths of a human by law enforcement.” The “three fifths” element is in reference to the 18th century legislation that equated the lives of slaves to three fifths of a free man when determining representatives in Congress.
Her message is represented in the lyrics of the chorus, where she raps “I wonder how much y’all judge is the worth of my soul? I seem to round up three fifths to a whole.” Sammus’ already-impassioned flow resembles that of fellow rapper-activist Kendrick Lamar when she approaches screams on lines like “They tell us to keep it civil, we’ve been to so many vigils.”The song’s power also gets a boost from the cinematic production of Sammus’ NuBlack Music Group labelmate, D Nilsz. Check out the track below.