The Black Lives Matter movement has rightfully been at the forefront of society’s focus, as the police have continued to take Black lives at a disproportionate rate. Off the radar for many though, is an equally important and horrific disparity. Black women are eight times more likely to die during childbirth. Much like on the street, their voices are far too often ignored and not treated with proper urgency and care. This was the case for Sha-Asia Washington, a Brooklyn woman taken too soon while giving birth. For many, this sparked renewed outcry. For KOTA the Friend, who resides just a mile away from BK’s Wodhull Hospital, in Clinton Hill, this literally hit home.
If you want to know how genuine someone’s intentions are regarding the plight of our people, check back on their actions when the media hype for Black Lives dies down. For KOTA, a switch up was never in question. Look no further than his lyrics on the Juneteenth installment of Lyrics to GO entitled ‘Kalief’. Sandwiched between bars about black financial empowerment and police brutality, he cautions us to “Only fuck with doulas cus fuck you these babies matter.” On 2019’s ‘For Colored Boys’ he issues a similar warning, stating “Do not have your kids in a hospital they don’t give a fuck, ‘specially bout black folk.” As evidenced by the untimely death of Ms Washington, these lines are hauntingly relevant.