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Pharoahe Monch, Styles P Call Fight For Equality 'Same S***, Different Toilet'

The fight for equality isn't anything new; Black Americans have sought proper treatment for centuries. That's the heart of "Same S***, Different Toilet," and it doesn't take long to arrive there. "When will the struggle end," Pharoahe Monch sings at the onset. "Square one, we're back again."

With protests unfolding almost daily throughout the country, one hopes this isn't just rinse and repeat — lament the dead, demand justice, another cop kills another unarmed Black person, and so on. "Same S***" finds Monch pleading for sanity in the midst of it all. He raps from the vantage point of a man who's seen too much despair and craves some sort of change. Yet he's not waiting for karma to kick in: "I'm gon' get me a gun," he asserts.

Like any Monch verse, the narrative is incredibly visual: You can see him on his front porch, looking at the scorched wood of a torched cross. You feel the creak of wooden floors as he hides his wife and children in different spots of the house. The click of a Smith & Wesson revolver as he fills it with lead: "I'm 'bout to bring six Klansmen to their knees."

Styles P is just as vitriolic, though his story is more current. He draws parallels between slavery and the prison system, and berates the federal government. "They gave us AIDS, gave us crack, now they plottin' again," he raps. "That boy ran, so they shot him, then they shot him again." In a country that claims there's justice for all, Monch and Styles P prove that isn't the case. We're trekking the same roads as our ancestors.

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Marcus J. Moore