On August 29th, Why Khaliq and Metasota teamed up to release their latest song “City of Thirst.” Produced by Trey3ightSpecial, the song’s focus is on the “city of people thirsty to do anything to make a living, reputation, money, etc.”
As both MCs can attest, the concept was largely developed after a conversation within the studio.
“It was just a conversation about the state of affairs that this country is dealing with and our role, or part of it, as young black men,” said Metasota. “What really inspired the song were just us being in the studio at the same time. He had the hook. I dug it, then started writing my verse on the spot. He did as well.”
As heard within Why Khaliq’s stirring chorus, where he states: “N***** be fiending/killing for a little bit of nothing,” these rewards can be corrupted with a confused sense of values.
“I think the confusion in values lie when you never had the right upbringing or when you are trying to find yourself,” said Khaliq. “You often lose sight of what’s right and move off of instincts. Some lack the values and morals and will do anything.”
In conjunction with these confusions, Meta echoed this sentiment with by looking at the outside forces that instilled these ideals.
“Inner city youth is targeted by corporations and businesses,” said Metasota. “There’s always been a need to be the flashiest, or have the shiniest, most expensive things within our culture. Some say it’s in our nature, being the descendants of actual royalty, who wore crowns and chains/ accessories of gold. Another theory is that it’s to prove our worth to others in society, (like) a badge of honor if you will. Knowing this, mainstream rap loads their songs with money, cars, jewelry, etc. to keep us in the same position. There’s no wealth in buying a $100,000 (car) instead of investing in stocks, real estate or, more importantly, your own community. The prison system and mainstream Hip Hop have a relationship based on money and oppression. There are plenty articles about it. We’re conditioned to buy Jordans and matching gear instead of building up our credit.”
Along with oppression, Meta also uses his verse to vent about the systematic oppression, especially in the light of the police officers recently abusing their authority in the Ferguson, MO protests.
“I want police to be held to the same standards as any other citizen,” said Metasota. “I’m sick of selective justice as well. What ever happened to ‘shoot to disarm?’ Young, unarmed (persons of color) are being killed without regard. How about James Holmes? He shot up a theater and was apprehended peaceably? Riot gear, military issued weapons, not even a choke-hold. I just want them to do their jobs, without prejudice. Wear cameras on their uniforms, address people respectfully, answer questions swiftly and efficiently when asked. I don’t want anything other than the same rights and privileges for everyone. ”
Among the many contributing factors that have helped inspire these lyrics, the presence of drugs has been a destructive presence within many communities of color. Within his verse, Why Khaliq touches on how he has witnessed the effects drugs are having on the St. Paul community.
“I see some cats I used to go to school with becoming heavy into drugs,” said Khaliq. “But for me, I’m more of the ‘anti-drug’ guy. I smoke marijuana and that’s all I need. But we see younger kids starting at a way earlier age than I did and now they’re smoking, drinking , popping pills, (having) sex, and (participating in) things adults would do. What’s tearing down the generation is the mainstream media feeding these beliefs to the youth that these drugs are ‘OK’ in a sense.”
With these similar viewpoints, it is no wonder that these two MCs share a mutual respect for one another. “The creative process is always dope around Meta,” said Why Khaliq. “(Being that he is older) I soak up so much knowledge.”
“The thing that I like about Why Khaliq is that he’s pretty unique,” said Metasota. “He has a style that could appeal to the masses, good hooks and such. But he still maintains some sort of subject matter. He has an old school essence of hip hop to him, but it’s modern and his own.”