Houston rapper Doeman’s visual for “American Me” reminds us not to forget that we’re all going through it.
I previously praised Doeman in my list of Top 10 Indie Artists to Watch and he has not made me regret my decision. His latest album, “O.B.E. (Outer Body Experience)” touches on quite a few subjects: racial issues, economic status, and the mindset that comes with growing out of not-so-ideal circumstances to become a success. I would call him a “conscious rapper,” but not in such a way that he’s corny or makes statements just to be relevant. Doeman actually wants you to think about what he’s saying.
Among my favorite tracks is “American Me,” in which Doeman speaks on what goes on in the Hispanic/Latin American culture on a daily basis. What really intrigued me about the track is that he isn’t having a pity party – he’s encouraging members of his ethnicity to get up, get out, and get something – just like he’s doing.
This past week, Doeman released a visual to go along with the track that features images of what I imagine are familiar scenes from his life: cookouts with friends, walking down the street, the local park, apartment complexes, scenes one would see on a daily commute to work or home. It reminds of “My Block” by Scarface, literally showing what happens in the neighborhood, or in the case of Doeman, the barrio.
Doeman calls himself the “barrio god” several times in the hook of the song, and talks about “Mexicans mobbing,” two phrases that emphasize the overdue comeuppance of brown people in the United States.
When I asked him why this song, specifically was so important from him to make a visual about, he quoted Mexican-America labor leader and civil rights activist Cesar Chavez, saying, “You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore,” and clarified the statement by saying, “We’ve been invisible far too long.”
With all of the social reform and civil unrest in our country lately, it is imperative that we remember to give a voice to all people of color. Doeman’s “American Me” certainly helps get the job done.