Arizona Hip-Hop Artists "Back To Arizona" (2010)The regressive Senate Bill 1070, or, SB 1070, as it is widely referred to, is the new law in Arizona that makes the failure to carry immigration documents a crime, and it has spurred similar proposals in other states. On the other side of things, the bill has not only triggered nationwide outrage and protests, but it has also sparked a solidarity among many hip-hop artists, and kick-started a renaissance of sorts of the type of politicized militant hip-hop that was prevalent back in the early nineties when Public Enemy (PE) released their commentary on Arizona at that time in the song "By The Time I Get To Arizona."
At the forefront of the anti SB 1070 protest rap movement are the thirteen different Arizona hip-hop artists who recently found cause to join forces and record the powerful song (and video above) "Back To Arizona" that lyrically decries the bill (rightfully seen as legalized racial profiling) that was signed last month by their state's Gov. Jan Brewer. The mostly unknown but talented Arizona artists that contributed to this posse cut include Queen YoNasDa, DJ John Blaze, Tajji Sharp, Yung Face, Mr. Miranda, Ocean, Da'aron Anthony, Atllas, Chino D, Nyhtee, Pennywise, Rich Rico, and Da Beast.
According to Queen YoNasDa, who oversaw the project, the political rap collaboration was an opportunity for, "Arizona's finest hip-hop artists to remake Public Enemy's 'By the Time I Get To Arizona' to show the world that Arizona's hip-hop community will not stand for this injustice and will unite our talent to demonstrate our activist roles and responsibility." Another just recorded anti SB 1070 hip-hop song & video (below) is Rhymesayers/Soultools artist Toki Wright's "By The Time I Get To Arizona 2010," in which the Minneapolis artist asks, "I wonder what Chuck D would do?" The track is an inspired homage to the aforementioned PE 1991 protest masterpiece and articulately addresses the injustices of SB 1070.
Meanwhile, the original "By The Time I Get To Arizona" by Public Enemy, which was released 19 years ago (as a single along with "Shut Em Down," and can be found on their album Apocalypse 91… The Enemy Strikes Black) in opposition to Arizona's refusal to recognize the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, has been getting a lot of airplay on radio and video play on YouTube in the past month. Most recently DJ Spooky has just created a remix of "By The Time I Get To Arizona" that mixes the PE acapella version with a Philly Sound track. The original PE video appears immediately below Toki Wright's updated version of "By The Time I Get To Arizona."
Toki Wright "By The Time I Get To Arizona 2010"
Public Enemy "By The Time I Get To Arizona" (1991)