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Chicago rapper Add-2 examines Black life in America on ‘Jim Crow the Musical’

What song would you say touched you the most?

There are two: “Hashtag” and “Wings.” “Hashtag” was in response to all of the senseless murders of innocent Black men and women by the police. It seemed like a never-ending nightmare. When I recorded the second verse I remember trying to hold it together, but the emotion of the moment took over. I wanted to rerecord it, but I kept it because it was honest. 

“Wings” was dedicated to three people who I love dearly and lost during my hiatus. My mentee who was killed, my cousin was killed and my grandmother, who I used to live with and help to take care of, passed. Whenever I hear her voice at the end of that song, it always hits me in the heart. 

Why did you name this project Jim Crow The Musical?

I wanted to draw parallels between what was going on today and what was going on during the 1800s and 1900s.  During the Jim Crow era, the horrible treatment of Black people was obvious whereas now it is more subtle. I want to make people more aware of our struggle and how we are still very much connected to the experiences of our ancestors. 

What message are you hoping to convey?

My hope is to inspire the next generation to see how beautiful it is to be Black. 

What is next for you?

My plan is to continue to build up my community in Chicago through my actions. I opened a free studio-mentoring program for the youth. Instead of touring I want to continue to be present in that space. It’s my passion. God willing I can help provide more opportunities for youth and help them achieve their dreams. I also want to turn the album into an actual musical one day. Finally, I want to get closer to God.

Listen to Jim Crow the Musical below.

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