Jordan Montgomery Flips a Classic Bad Boy Record to Call out Gentrification in East Liberty and Nationwide
Using the beat for “Bad Boy For Life”, rapper Jordan Montgomery creates the anthemic “Black Folk For Life” to tackle this controversial issue. The video, shot by Jordan Armstrong, focuses on the community engagement and unity as Montgomery flows over the classic Diddy instrumental.
Gentrification has become a hot issue throughout many cities in America. Predominantly poor and minority based areas have quickly turned into up and coming neighborhoods with trendy coffee shops, boutiques and thousand dollar apartments. While urban renewal sounds good on paper, millions of black and brown people have been displaced as a part of this misleading process.
“The idea came to me when the song came on while I was driving,” says the twenty-three year old rapper. “I was driving through East Liberty (a neighborhood in Pittsburgh at the center of the conversation around gentrification). I was reflecting on how different the neighborhood is from when I was growing up. It was a cultural epicenter with black owned businesses lined up and down its streets. Now the neighborhood would seem foreign to anyone who left the city in the last few years.”
While new shops and restaurants may give neighborhoods new life, they often erase their past and the people who have inhabited them for generations. Jordan’s video reminds these communities that the best way to see positive change is to band together.
“Black Folk” may have been inspired by the events occurring in Pittsburgh, but it can be felt by black communities around the country.
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