With reoccurring news of unarmed African Americans being gunned down by cops in the societal backdrop, Seattle rapper Khalil Khingz presents the video for his new single “Good Gangster” from his forthcoming record Ouroboros. The clip, directed by Eric Miller, depicts gritty black-and-white footage of Khingz rapping directly into the camera delivering a conscious lyrical sermon.
After a family tragedy led Khingz to a seven-year hiatus, he’s decided to make a comeback with an Afro-centric track that will resonate with young “gangstas” across the country. His cerebral verses condemn police brutality, address slavery idioms in popular slang, and urge the youth to take responsibility for their neighborhoods. He opens the first verse with a middle finger in the air while rapping, “First off to the police/ Your life means next to nothing to the hand clutching your leash”.
While the track’s title reads like an oxymoron, pairing the terms “good” and “gangster,” the original gangs in African American communities were not “bad.” In south central L.A. for example, community groups in the 60s such as the Black Panthers and Brown Berets acted as armies in the community to protect people from the police force. In “Good Gangster,” Khingz acknowledges the need for African Americans’ protection from police and his mistrust for the judicial system. “Your side is wrong as my Faygo is peach,” he raps. “Do you really want a gun as the only justice and peace?” He continues by turning towards the people. He reminds them that actions like selling drugs in the community make them no better than the people in power who oppress them. He raps, “Though I love them I’ma say/ To my brothas’ in the game/ If you get caught slangin’ you ain’t a victim like our leaders who can frame”.
Ouroboros will be released November 11th.