Tampa Bay trio discusses why ‘Knee Off My Neck’ song and video had to be be so brutal and raw  

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. A Hispanic guy, a Black guy and a white guy walk into a room and decide to collectively write and record a socially aware and brutally honest hip-hop song in reaction to the ongoing police brutality against Black Americans. Then they create an equally barbaric music video to accompany it. No? That’s not exactly how the project came to be conceived, but it’s exactly what three forthright local artists did—and the end results are pretty staggering. Following the shock and horror the nation felt after bearing witness to the slow, agonizing death May 25 death of Black Minnesotan George Floyd, local rapper Rashad Harrell (better known simply as Shadcore) felt like he had to put his anger and his frustration to music. A longtime collaborator, producer and friend, Troy Cedeño, is currently putting the finishing touches on a new Shadcore album, Frisson, and pair felt that the time was right for them to wring out every ounce of compassion, anguish and exasperation and pour it into a new song: “Knee Off My Neck.” Making a conscious effort to not sugarcoat or tiptoe around the message, the emcee and the studio virtuoso concocted as politically-charged a recording as anything hip-hop pioneers Public Enemy or N.W.A. ever did. The song leaves little to the imagination; it was borne out of the exhaustion of having to live in a country where the value of a Black lives is less than a white one or one that wears a blue shirt.            - Creative Loafing, Tampa (Gabe Echazabal)

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