This past week was rough for all of us. While many are still reeling from the senseless murder of rapper and visionary Nipsey Hussle, fellow LA-native Tay Walker continues his social commentary and expresses his grief and frustration through his music. Following the release of the video for his single "The World," he puts his spin on the legendary Marvin Gaye classic “What’s Going On?” and asks the question we’ve been asking ever since its debut back in 1971.
The gifted singer-songwriter-producer keeps the horn-laden intro of the original but pairs it with trap-style composition and cadences. His tone is weary as he sings, “Here we go again / When’s it gonna end? / We got brothers in the grave / Brothers in the pen / Mother's in the church praying for her son / While the baby’s in the streets playin’ with a gun.” Rather than allow gloom to completely consume the track, he offers a bit of light with the second verse and declares, “Keepin’ hope alive, tryna survive / The devil is a lie, ‘til the day I die.”
He says the song is about “the current status of our community” and “wanting something more than what’s given to us.” Artists have the luxury of channeling seemingly indescribable energy and emotions into their art, and their interpretation often serves as a sort of sonic therapy for listeners who struggle in unpacking it all. We are appreciative of Tay for using his latest offerings to say what needs to be said, and for inspiring us to do our part to create a better tomorrow.
Give “What’s Going On?” by Tay Walker a spin below, and keep an eye out for his second album OWSTN, which is slated to drop on May 25th.