I wish I could be like Kevin Gates and not get tired, but the reality is that I do. I get tired after a long day at work, and I feel as if I don’t have any energy left for myself. In reality, I know Kevin Gates gets tired too. We are all human, and we all get tired, unless we are privileged enough to never have to work. But seeing that most of us are hard working black folk, we don’t have that privilege.
This mantra that so many people are singing and hashtagging, and that Kevin Gates made so popular reminds me of the attitude that black people are some magical beings that can be worked and worked and worked without fail. “I got six jobs. I don’t get tired.” As I think about those lyrics I also think about how hard our ancestors had to work and the belief that slave owners used to justify slavery: that we were made to work, we are strong, and we don’t get tired. The sad part is, even though we get tired, we don’t have the time to be. We never did. Not here in this country, anyway.
For our history in this country, we were made to be workers. Whether we have the top executive job at a fortune 500 company, a professional athlete job, a blue collar job, or a fast food job, we are workers. As much as we work, we hardly ever have time for our own families, friends, or ourselves. Our economic status does not allow us the time or space to take a break because we are tired. Oppressed people cannot succumb to their exhaustion. They have to keep going. So as black folk, we keep going.
I know most people would say that it’s not that deep, or I’m thinking too hard about the lyrics. But the fact that it’s a black man saying these things, saying he got six jobs, but don’t get tired, makes it that deep. And I don’t think Kevin Gates was really even thinking about all that. The song is mostly just a motivating song to push people through their hard times, and that it does. As I sit here exhausted, I’m listening to the song able to muster up some energy to write this post.
If you’re tired, take a breather, and remember that our parents, grandparents, great grand parents and further ancestors had it much harder than us. So….. I DON’T GET TIRED. (sigh smh). Listen to the song below to get you through, and let me know if you get tired and how you deal.