Primary Source Report-RM

Flint Michigan water crisis song by DMT The Rapper

DMT The Rapper, “Michigan water crisis song by DMT The rapper” YouTube Video, 1:19, 1:56, February 2, 2016.

This song from 2016 shows that the angry and frustrated Flint residents demand change against a greedy government. DMT the rapper was born in Detroit in 1990. His father passed away before DMT turned 8. He started rapping in his local church as a way to get off the streets. In the wake of the flint water crisis DMT calls for: “Rick Synder just handles your bis. Don’t you know what this water will do to our kids.”  Also claiming:  “You dont think none of our safety important, you just been worried about saving some quarters.”(1:56) Its clear that DMT is accusing his state government of not doing their job. He exclaims:“We want a change.”

This song reflects on the poor government response while showing imagery of the harsh condition flint residents are living in, and makes it clear that something needs to change. This artist does not really specify in what way we should change or how to change. For this reason I would say this song is just about spreading the message of the injustice happening in Flint but failed to promote any real-word or physical change for people to get involved with.

Bootleg of The Dayton Family – City of Lead featuring Mikki Wade

The rap group known as “The Dayton Family” have been based in Flint since the 1990’s. The flint water crisis was happening in front of their eyes which inspired them to write this song called City of Lead. This song shows how their people and culture in Flint is being ignored and misunderstood. Claiming “not one pipe has been replaced and not one hole has been dug, Because they tryna sweep the water crisis under the rug.” He is not wrong to say this because as we saw before Flint’s government was hesitant to react.  But he also says that “Phony celebrities keep coming claiming that they support us, But we need money in flint and not just some cases of water”(2:21)Cite Now I do see the point that donations of water bottles are not a long term sustainable solution. Flint needs new infrastructure, pumpling, and filters but this is far too expensive for outside funding. I do not agree that donations of water should be turned down, all help should be appreciated in an emergency situation.

Overall this song lacked any direction or option for progress. The music video does show people protesting and handing out water bottles but there is no claim that encourages that. If the artist was really unsatisfied with just water bottles they could have started a charity to help fund pipe construction in Flint Michigan.

Trouble In The Water – Common 2014

  • “Sound waves, Chi-town graves, dug deep

Water dirty like the police that flood streets”

This video implies a sense of mobilization and congregation of African Americans in flint and around the globe. The video has a lot of scenes of warehouses packing water bottles, loading water bottles in vans to be delivered, and a dramatic speech given at a lecture hall mostly with a American American cast. 

Keywords:  Art, Community, Popular Culture, Class, Global