D.C. Rapper Tarica June Tackles Gentrification and Power on ‘But Anyway’

By Sameer Rao Mar 02, 2016

Washington, D.C., native Tarica June tackles her city’s skyrocketing gentrification on the cool track "But Anyway."

The MC—who has recieved endorsements from the likes of Public Enemy’s Chuck D and dead prez’s M-1—directed the video herself. In it, she visits different parts of D.C. that have seen an influx of White residents, from Georgia Avenue near Howard University to Malcolm X Park.

"But Anyway" is built on samples of songs by Eric B. and Rakim, P.M. Dawn and Suzanne Vega that will be familiar to ’90s hip-hop and acid-jazz fans. Check out her lyrics about the rapid change:

But anyway, this is third generation for me 
My parents and my grandparents all from DC 
So I feel like I notice things other folks can’t see 
And like I represent things other folks can’t be 
And I remember 
All Black on the green line 
And all the kids had jobs in the summertime 
Aay what you want about [ex-mayor Marion] Barry, but he cared for the poor 
And that ain’t who these new fools working for 
I tell ’em, "That ain’t who these new fools workin’ for" 
They tryna kick us all out and just build more stores 

But ultimately, the songs focuses on a message of empowerment and hope: 

Well I’m getting peace of mind that you can’t take from me 
So I feel I’m doing fine and as long as I love me 
I follow my own signs and the world can’t judge me 
And anyway, I’m just speaking from my heart 
Even though the industry is tryna keep us apart 
Even though my enemies be steadily throwing darts 
I’mma make it to the end, man I said it from the start 

Watc the video for "But Anyway" above, and check out her just-released "Stream of Consciousness" EP. 

*Note: Post has been updated with new video embed.