Shadow Precinct

Shadow Precinct

I Gave You Power, I Made You Buck Wild



  It's been a minute, my last post was on the day commorating BIG's death and discussing why his song Warning was influential to the creation of Shadow Precinct.  I figured that I will dedicate this post, and others to follow, with explanations of the songs on the site's playlist and why they are important to the story of Shadow Precinct.  The second on the list is Nas with I Gave You Power off his second, and arguably his best, album, Illmatic It Was Written.  In this song, Nas rhymes as a personified gun.  He tells the story from the gun's point of view and that helps to illuminate the problems that come along with firearms, whether that's irresponsible use or the invention themselves.  This to me, is one of the best uses of personification in a hip hop song, with a nod to Pharoahe Monch who also did it in an exceedingly awesome manner for his joint, When The Gun Draws.


  I set the world of Shadow Precinct in an alternate reality where the use of guns is heavily restricted.  There are many events and such that made me land on this particular idea and setting, and I will discuss those in detail in future posts.  In this version of America, though the number of guns in the streets is declining due to the creation of zealots, the specially trained task force that are developed to confront this problem.  Firearms are not a foreign concept to the populace.  That is to say, guns exist in this reality, but in a different capacity.  I didn't want to create a world where the hip hop that was coming out at the time would be severely altered.  If guns didn't exist at all, how could a song like this exist?  That's not just with the music, either.  I wanted all manners of pop culture entertainment, whether that be movies, tv, video games, etc, to remain essentially untouched from this shift in realities.


  So, back to the song.  Unlike Warning, which is an abstract way at foreshadowing future events that the main character Everett will face throughout the course of Shadow Precinct's story, I Gave You Power speaks to the world itself.  There is a purposeful irony to the inclusion of this song in Shadow Precinct.  Consider the hook:


How you like me now?

I go blaow

It's the shit that moves crowds

Making every ghetto foul

I might have took you first child

Scarred your life, crippled your style

I gave you power

I made you buck wild.


  The gun is stating that it is truly the entity of power, not the criminal that wields it.  Essentially acknowledging that it is an instrument of death.  But what happens when a person becomes the instrument of death, as zealots have?  Just because guns are gone, does that mean the criminal element of society also is gone?  Or will they just find new instruments to give them power?  




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