(Sevens, a recurring feature on Aquarium Drunkard, pays tribute to the art of the individual song.)
Politics and hip-hop go like peanut butter and jelly and on one of this year’s best hip-hop albums, Never Better, P.O.S. takes a song that was written before the demise of the Bush administration and creates a song that becomes sadly just as relevant now as then. The debate continues about whether or not to prosecute officials over the use of torture during the Iraq war, and P.O.S. nails the metaphor needed.
“Savion Glover” is a song that comes quickly with lyrics that tread all over one another in a race toward the end. And while the lines borrow words from one another, it’s the song’s fevered pace toward its conclusion, and the arrival there, that makes it so engaging. P.O.S. has long had his feet planted in diverse musical communities, so when he namechecks a Fugazi song, it’s not such a surprise. But what is surprising is that it’s a cut from a later (and not always highly regarded) Fugazi album, End Hits.
“POS steadily wreck it for anybody who raps / or naps on facts / fill the in line six to End Hits / the Oval Office and the lobby / probably listen to Fugazi singin’ / ‘This one’s ours, let’s take another / This one’s ours, let’s take another / This one’s ours, let’s take another.’ / Then they dance away clean like Savion Glover.”
Relating the Bush administration’s power grab to the major label music industry’s destruction of scenes, indie shops and art is a pretty sharp allusion. But truly inspired is his comparison to Savion Glover – the gifted dancer’s moves equate nicely with the former administration’s dodge of justice. Even those who campaigned on bringing them in seem helpless, or jaded, or hapless, or all of the above. When pursuing those truly dedicated to their own ends, there is no easy way to proceed. words/ j. neas