Hence I have no mercy or compassion in me for a society that will crush people, and then penalize them for not being able to stand up under the weight.Malcolm X
On June 19th, New Jersey artists 6ixty7even and Ngu Asongwed released their multimedia project, “HEAT,” a commentary on gun violence and its infliction on the Black community by both the state and community itself. In an email to HangTime, Ngu shared this thesis with us:
“America has a gun problem, not so much guns themselves but the culture around it. Guns have gone from tools for protection, war & hunting to symbols of Patriotism Masculinity. Movies, TV, music, literature, guns are everywhere. There are approximately 393 million guns in America, combine that with comparatively lax gun laws, little if any mental health screenings and no requirements for education… you create a dangerous situation. Americans are 25 times more likely to be shot than any of our peer nations. We account for just 4% of the world’s population but 35% of global firearm suicides and 9% of global firearm homicides. In the Black community gun culture has become a magnified example of America’s relationship with guns. Black people are 10 times more likely to die from gun violence. Between firearm fatalities perpetrated by members of our own communities and the state sponsored assassinations carried out by racist police, Black People in America are at constant odds with America’s obsession with firearms. That’s what heat is about, the perpetual ‘Showdown at High Noon’ that our communities exist in and the causes around it.”
“HEAT” was edited by Ngu while 6ixty7even belted out his rhymes and recorded the audio compilation. The duo even tapped-in with other talented Jersey artists for this project, such as CashTheDeadman, MoRuf, Eastern Foreigner, Kill Scott-Heron, 89 The Brainchild, TAH, FillzCoffinz and Joe Mike Markz. To help translate the Jersey artists’ narrative, the compilation was presented as a single track utilizing clips from 1975 film COONSKIN, a live action/animated satire crime film about an African American rabbit, fox, and bear who rise to the top of the organized crime racket in Harlem.
Overall, “HEAT” is a well structured multimedia project with a powerful message that illustrates what goes on in the Black community but in an artistic way. You can download the full project on Bandcamp, and for every purchase made, all of the proceeds are donated to the Black Youth Project 100.