“New National Anthem”
“New National Anthem” is easily Tip’s most powerful and poignant socially conscious record. Tip wrote this candid critique of America after the killing of Trayvon Martin.
The record starts with Tip saying, “I know radio prolly ain’t gonna play this”. Apparently, Pharrell, the executive producer of this album, Paperwork, advised Tip to make New National Anthem the lead single. However, Tip decided to value radio play over social impact, so he chose “About The Money” and “No Mediocre” as the lead singles, which buried this potent song in a fairly neglected album.
After Tip’s intro, the record transitions into Skylar Grey’s chilling hook. The hook commentates on the irony of America being “the land of the free” despite white men possessing the (apparent) freedom to murder black men without legal repercussions. Skyler then questions which side of the American dichotomy defines America.
Tip then takes the record by storm by commentating on the racially charged criminal justice system, and the fallacious and hypocritical American values we’re taught in school.
Overall, this goose bump provoking record exemplifies why Tip is one of the most under appreciated lyricists in the game, and why he is a voice the hip-hop community should amplify, trust, and follow.
“Let me ask you something. If the kids are the future, tell me why you can get more for being a C.O than you can for being a teacher? Tell me why it means more to the government to pay the people who got to watch over the prisoners more than the people who got to keep the children from becoming prisoners? That make sense?”