Hear the Drive-By Truckers Take on Racism in New Song, ‘What It Means’
The Drive-By Truckers have never been afraid to tackle heavy topics, and they're doing just that with their new song "What It Means."
"What It Means" reflects on racism and the political turmoil facing the United States following numerous recent shootings of Black men by police. The Truckers don't veil the subject of the song, either, with lyrics that include specific references to the 2012 death of Trayvon Martin and the 2014 shooting of Michael Brown.
"I mean, we try to be politically correct when we call names / But what’s the point of post-racial when old prejudices remain?" Patterson Hood sings with refreshing honesty. "And that guy who killed that kid down in Florida standing ground / Is free to beat up on his girlfriend and wave his brand-new gun around.”
Hood tells Rolling Stone that he wrote "What It Means" a couple years ago following Brown's death in Ferguson, Mo., but, "[u]nfortunately, the song is still timely today."
"I hope and pray that one day it won’t be," Hood adds.
"What It Means," which readers can listen to above, appears on the Drive-By Truckers upcoming new album, American Band, due out Sept. 30.
“[T]hese songs are mostly set front and center in the current political arena, with [the album containing] songs dealing with our racial and cultural divisions, gun violence, mass shootings and political a–holery,” Hood says. “American Band is a rock-and-roll call to arms as well as a musical reset button for our band and the country we live in.”
The Truckers are celebrating their 20th anniversary as a band in 2016 and are currently touring the country as part of their Darken the Flags tour. For a full list of dates and more information on the tour, check out the group’s official website; American Band is also available for pre-order there.