‘Pig Feet’ is Terrace Martin and Denzel Curry’s powerful new single that features Kamasi Washington, Daylyt and G Perico. It is a fantastic, immediate reaction to the police brutality that caused / features in the Black Lives Matter protests. The song was first released on YouTube, with a poignant accompanying music video – a collection of clips from recent protests across America, showing the horrors of the violence police are using right now. At the end of the video, there is a list of names of victims of police violence that move silently across the screen, like credits at the end of a movie.
Terrace Martin, who is probably best known for his production and writing on Kendrick Lamar’s masterpiece To Pimp A Butterfly, has been one of the most important artists in bringing back the popularity of jazz-rap in the past decade. Kamasi Washington, who is the saxophonist on ‘Pig Feet’, also contributed to To Pimp A Butterfly and the revival of jazz-rap. These two experienced musicians (along with additional production from frequent Eminem collaborator Trevor Lawrence Jr.), create an amazing jazzy beat that rappers Denzel Curry and Daylyt utilise to speak out against police brutality. The instrumental encapsulates the feelings that protestors are visibly feeling. The hard-hitting drums express the anger, rage and frustration that comes from a lack of meaningful change to prevent police brutality. The saxophone adds a needed alternative mournful feeling. This is amplified with a melancholic vocal sample in the background of the skit between the verses. Denzel Curry is no stranger to talking about police violence, shown by his collaboration with Billie Eilish and JID – ‘SIRENS | Z1RENZ’:
Curry dedicated the song to Trayvon Martin, a school friend, and his brother Treon Johnson – both victims of police brutality. Curry’s confidence comes from his familiarity with rapping about institutional racism. In his verse, Curry changes flow twice, which makes his lyrics evolve perfectly with the beat. For example, when the verse mentions police helicopters, the beat mirrors the sound of a helicopter, which pans from left ear to right, as if a helicopter is flying overhead. Embed from Getty Images Daylyt, in comparison to Denzel Curry, is a less well-known rapper but has been rapping for over 10 years. He began his career battle-rapping. Bringing battle-rap wordplay and aggression, Daylyt executes his verse very effectively. However, his section is perhaps less well focused on the theme of police brutality, than Curry’s. Instead of having a chorus, ‘Pig Feet’ uses the same technique as Killer Mike’s politically charged song ‘Reagan’ – of a short emotive skit. At the start of ‘Pig Feet’,’ Britney Thomas’ voice sounds heartbroken as she screams
“They shot him, oh my God/ He didn’t even have a gun!”.
Between the verses, there is another emotional skit in which Thomas is told to calm down by G Perico, who then becomes incredibly angry at the police. These powerful outpours of emotion only further highlight the terrible police brutality that people of colour suffer, every single day. Terrence Martin and Denzel Curry’s ‘Pig Feet’ perfectly encapsulates these injustices, and we can only hope that the medium of music continues to educate, inspire and mobilise listeners, to put an end to police brutality, and the racist justice system.
Listen to ‘Pig Feet’ below:
Please take a look, and share this collaborative resource (created by our head writer Gem Stokes), that is an amazing document of petitions you can sign and things to educate yourself on, in terms of #blacklivesmatter.