WHO WILL SURVIVE IN AMERICA?

from Kanye West (Ft. Gil Scott-Heron) – Who Will Survive in America Lyrics on Rap Genius

Meaning

Double meaning here. The first meaning is directly linked to the context of the entire speech — the question communicates the moral depravity that exist(s/ed?) in American and the extreme challenges African Americans had to face in a hypocritical country that offered oppression and slavery instead of its promises of justice, truth and freedom. The unique problems Afr-Am have faced historically in America.

The second meaning more directly relates to Kanye and the whole album’s message. With such an obssession in American culture with fame, money, sexuality, drugs, Kanye doesnt feel like he will be able to overcome these challenges, ultimately suggesting he is unsure whether he will be able to find himself amidst this Hollywood cultural turmoil or if he will simply give up — hence the unanswered, rhetorical question aspect. Also, the question seems to imply an impending doom for everyone in America as this depraved culture and obsession with fame will eventually consume and destroy us all.

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