Friday, November 5, 2010

The Grant Station Project

2010-11-05 "Grant BART Station? Yeah, as in Oscar. What Would Mesherle Say?"
by Queena Kim and Jake Schoneker []:
Two Oakland rappers are launching a campaign to rename Fruitvale BART Station. They released a tribute album to raise money for the effort. The music is part of an emerging musical genre: "R.I.P Oscar" songs.
Rap has been much maligned in its recent history by Gangsta rappers singing about bitches, ho’s and payback that many people forget the genre started with much different roots.
So it’s nice to see that a quick survey of "Oscar Grant R.I.P" songs harken back to the rap of the 80s – it’s political, about empowerment but no talk about payback or smokin’ cops.
One of the songs that made the YouTube rounds early-on was by Supreme Sketch, whose takeaway from the Oscar Grant shooting is to turn away from the thug life []:
"I drink wine not champagne,
Toast to the life,
It gets better with age."
That’s not to say the songs are all wine and roses. There’s an undercurrent of anger at the police and their perceived harassment of black men. But like the rap of yore, there’s an effort to give it historical context and align it with the greater movement of civil rights, as seen in this video by Nique.
“I swear in Arizona they got the game y’all,
Demanding papers based on our skin tone
Got rid of ethnic studies a lack of education
They don’t understand our cultures and situation."
Stepping into that tradition is an East Oakland rapper named Young Gully. About a month ago, Gully released the Grant Station Project, a full-length tribute album that aims to rename the Fruitvale BART station in Grant's honor []. The album is the result of a meeting of the minds between Gully and Pendarvis Harshaw.
“I thought it was important to have something standing to remind the officers of our community that they have a responsibility they have to uphold,” Harshaw said.
Gully had already begun work on an Oscar Grant tribute album when Harshaw came up with the idea for Grant Station.
He brought the idea to Mayor Dellums last summer. Dellums response? He'll suggest it to BART.

2010-08-16 "The Grant Station Project"
During an interview with Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums in early July 2010, we discussed the video taped murder of unarmed Oscar Grant at the hands of transit officer Johannes Mehserle, the ensuing protests and uprisings by the people in Oakland, Ca., and the impending trial verdict. I then asked him what he thought of the possibility of renaming Fruitvale Station in the name of Oscar Grant?
The Mayor was taken by this question, he told a brief story of his mother’s appreciation of seeing a building named after her son, and connected the story to Grant’s mother, and how renaming Fruitvale Station to Grant Station might bring relief to the family. He then asked if he could have permission to take this idea to the necessary individuals in effort to bring this idea into fruition. Gladly, I said yes.
But the question didn’t stop at Mayor Dellums.
I sat down with music producer Jamon Dru and lyricist Young Gully, we discussed the concept. The two gentlemen told me that they had been constructing an idea of their own: an album inspired by Oscar Grant.
We shook hands and agreed, in the name of the Oscar Grant, we would create an album that would shine a police helicopter sized light on police brutality, the state of the young citizens of Oakland, California, and the death of Oscar Grant.
I sat down with organizers of the Oscar Grant support movement, journalists that have been constantly covering the situation, and I even had the opportunity to speak with members of Oscar Grant’s family. We discussed everything: I asked about what was said on the platform on the night of Grant’s murder, I asked about what was said in the court room during Mehserle’s trial, and I asked Oscar Grant’s Uncle Bobby what he would say if he could speak to Oscar now…
This resulted in “The Grant Station Project”, an audio documentation of lyrics, music, and interviews all full of emotion; an ethical response from the people to a blatantly unethical action that took place in our community.
Here is the first single off the Grant Station Project by Gully featuring Yound D, “Grant Station“. It is also available for download if you click HERE [].
But the album isn’t enough. The people want justice served to the fullest extent. The people want Mehserle to receive the maximum sentencing for his crime. The people want this instance to stand as a constant reminder to the officers of our community ,that they have a sworn duty to uphold the well-being of the people.
The question has now turned into a statement: the people want Grant Station.

Mayor Dellums On Renaming Fruitvale BART Station
from [], uploaded 2010-08-16

RGLND - Star "Oscar Grant Tribute" (B.O.B. Nothin' On You cover),
uploaded 2010-08-09 []: RGLND (@RGLND) adds his own lyrics to B.O.B.'s - Nothin On You instrumental. directed by myself, Charlie (@keepitCHARLiE), shot in Oakland & Berkeley. contact director at []. contact RGLND [] [] [] [] []

Young Gully ft. Young D - Grant Station (Tribute to Oscar Grant),
uploaded 2010-08-09
R.I.P. Oscar Grant

Young Gully - "By Any Means",
uploaded 2010-09-30
Young Gully showing why real rap still exists. This banger is off Gully's newly released street album dedicated to the late Oscar Grant titled, "The Grant Station Project." REST IN PEACE OSCAR GRANT, East Oakland stand up!!

No comments:

Post a Comment