VLot Case #119: "Each block is like a maze with black rats"


“Each block is like a maze with black rats”
Nas, NY State of Mind from Illmatic (1993)
a case study from www.vacantlot.org

A colourful social commentary. The urban cities in North America, specifically that of the United States is primarily made up of inadequate housing dwellings; which are primarily occupied with black individuals (immigrants or migrants). These areas are sometimes referred to as the ‘ghetto’ or ‘hood’ because crime, unemployment, and poverty are higher than other areas of the city.

One who grows up in such an enviornment is usually caught in a ‘cycle’ – which is the pre-determination of the socio-economic outcome. In this case, one whom grows up in a ‘hood’ is significantly more likely to experience a life of high unemployment, poverty, and crime — of course there are exceptions to this ‘perceived’ rule, and some break out of the cycle.

The ‘maze’ refers to the sequence of life to which one tries to escape a certain context; in this case, the context is the urban dwellings (ghetto, hood); which of course is consumed with the undesirable virtues as stated earlier.

The Great Escape
It is debatable to which what and how are the best methods to escape the ‘maze’ however the following could assist:
– Attainment of higher education (college or university degrees)
– A considerable amount of parental investment (single or two-parent; in the case of a single parent household, the single parent must work much harder)
– Social activities (i.e. sports, groups, hobbies)
– Luck

In summation, our conditions condition us to behave and expect certain types of behavior; thus, for one to change their condition, a new embrace of thought is required to go above and beyond what is expected of you. There is no easy answer, but the first step may be to attain knowledge of one’s self, and the environment around them.

Its hard to figure out a problem until you understand why you are faced with a problem; then you can derive a solution.

.: More lyrics and quotes at www.vacantlot.org

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>