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For anyone who’s visited Washington, D.C. regularly in the past ten years, it’s quite obvious how the nation’s capital has changed.

Once nicknamed “Chocolate City” for its rich Black history and population, its White segment has grown by 5 percent in just four years while its Black residents struggle to stay in a gentrifying metropolis plagued by expensive housing and consumerism.

To speak for the voiceless, hip hop aficionado and rapper Tarica June debuted her first video for “BUT ANYWAY” this week. The song samples P.M. Dawn’s “Set Adrift on Memory Bliss” and is packed full of lyrics about the changing demographics and the soaring cost of living.

She says in her lyrics: 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.

“Everybody knows that D.C. was the site of a crack epidemic,” she notes in a statement coinciding with the release. “I definitely witnessed that growing up, so I won’t discount that. But there was also was a very potent sense of community here.”

In addition to growing up in the District of Columbia, June also graduated from Howard University’s Law School majoring in intellectual property. She released her mixtape Moonlight Revolution in 2010 and her upcoming EP Stream of Consciousness features this first single, directed by her. Posing in landmark locations throughout the city, June gives her honest thoughts, authenticity.

The talent has performed at major venues like SXSW, the “Occupy the Justice Department” rally for Mumia Abu-Jamal, and the United Nationas Human Rights Council. Her spoken word like flow references artists such as Sonia Sanchez, Nas, Meshell Ndgeocello, and OutKast.

She’s got chops and with co-signs from Chuck D and M-1 of Dead Prez, we’re bound to see more of Ms. June.

Check out the video for “BUT ANYWAY” above and learn more about Tarica June here.


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D.C. Rapper Tarica June Talks Gentrification In Directorial Debut  was originally published on