Take a moment to watch Keenon Rush’s video for “PSA,” the Atlanta rapper’s latest single from the Citizen Keen LP, and you can feel the frustration and anger bleeding through. Directed by John Dierre, Rush plays both a jaded businessman and an escaped convict kicked down by society’s oppressive boot. The recurring bars “I got a college degree / Why they be hating on me?” make his message clear: even as an educated black man, he still feels the intolerable stigma of systemic racism, which is as much of an illuminating social critique as it is plainly alarming. Carefully toeing the line between conscious lyricism and grimy trap, Rush appears to be on a similar aesthetic trajectory as the likes of Big K.R.I.T, Lupe Fiasco, and more.
Keenon Rush will perform on Mon., Nov. 13 at Terminal West alongside Azizi Gibson and Jaye Newton. Doors open at 8 p.m. Admission is $12-15. 18+ to enter.
Citizen Keen is available for streaming via SoundCloud.