Black Brown and Ugly: Hip-Hop’s New Voice
BBU — Bin Laden Blowing or Black Brown and Ugly, your choice depending on your preference. More than an acronym for the Chicago hip-hop group, BBU, it is the thought provoking moniker for four young men; DJ Esquire, Illekt, Epic, and Jasson Perez.
“During the 80s there was an influx of crack in our community and there were a lot of folk getting locked up. People asked ‘why are these shorties coming out to go right back selling dope again?’ Its because they don’t have any way out” says Epic. “When Bin Laden did what he did people asked ‘why are these terrorists coming over blowing sh*t up?’ It’s blowback from these bogus policies. Everyone wants their equal share. Sometimes people go to bloodshed to get it.”
These policies that Epic refers to are the infamous Reaganomics policies that ultimately led to the mass incarceration of millions of men and women. Similarly, some argue that the 1990s American military foreign policies laid the ground work and set the agenda for Osama Bin Laden.
For Esquire, Illekt, Epic, and Jasson BBU became a term that defined and explained the origins of the social inequities that plagued inner cities. With such a political influence in their music, it’s ironic that BBU’s initial recognition was amassed following their single “Chi Don’t Dance No More” an ode to juke music and culture of Chicago.