“I see you looking out your window / Can’t wait to call the police on me.” Supremely talented, Grammy-winning blues, rock, and R&B singer and guitarist Gary Clark, Jr. has lots to say on “This Land,” the title track from his 2019 album. The things he addresses definitely aren’t sugarcoated or the least bit comfortable. No, he uses his musical platform to get real about how rampant racism really is in America, and how it’s been amplified during the Trump presidency. Atonement never sounded so bold, meaningful, or soulful as it does on this masterful gem, sigh.
Prior to the aforementioned ‘unnecessary police call’ lyric, Clark, Jr. makes it clear he’s ‘mad as hell’ essentially. “Paranoid and pissed off / Now that I got the money,” he sings at the top of the first verse, continuing, “Fifty acres and a model A / Right in the middle of Trump country.” Yep, there begins the issues. The chorus is the most powerful section of the song, as Clark, Jr. uses the n-word, speaking from the perspective of a narrow-minded racist who urging him to “Go back where you come from.” Ultimately, returning to a first-person perspective, he snarls back, “Fuck you, I’m American’s son / This is where I come from / This land is mine…” WOW!
On the second verse, he remains fired-up, asserting his own equality as well as his esteemed status. “You can meet my friend the governor / Only if you wanna try me,” he sings, continuing, “Or you can meet my other friend, the judge / Just in case you think I’m lyin’.” The big takeaway is that Gary Clark, Jr. is NOT going to accept racism in the least – he has as much right to be in America as any- and everybody else. The atonement is real on “This Land,” as so is that killer guitar solo he delivers!
You can learn more about Gary Clark, Jr. here:
About The Curator - Brent Faulkner
Slightly eccentric with interests that seem to know no ends, restless ‘Renaissance Man’ is the best way to characterize Brent Faulkner, a native of Kentucky. A certified music educator, multi-instrumentalist, and composer known for his incredibly sharp ear, he lives and breathes music of a variety of styles. In addition to passion for educating, performing, and writing music, he’s equally passionate blogging and writing about it, managing his own site, The Musical Hype (https://themusicalhype.com). When he’s not intensely analyzing music, you can find him reading or watching a movie, reality television or some sporting event.