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Apeshit: Decoded

History teaches us that the best way to conceal something is to hide it in plain sight. Tell them they are valuable but only as labor and entertainment. Let them have the shortest month of the year, never more than 29 days to learn thousands of years of black history. Most of the backstory has been omitted or turned into alternative facts in textbooks. Tell them about the African Queens Cleopatra and Nefertiti then depict them as white in movies and television.

These Carter’s are coming for your black and ugly stereotypes one by one and they used the most visited museum in the entire world to speak facts to fraudulent narratives. The opening shows a young black man kneeling statue like with angel wings. For us that represents the young black men unable to spread their wings for fear of being targeted and shot down. Pan up to The Louvre ceiling and it’s beautiful and filled with color. Next you see Jay-Z and Beyonce standing side by side with the most recognized and protected piece of art in the entire world in the middle. We then see black women dancers of every shade moving as living artwork. There are multiple shots in front of a giant angel with no head. The statue below is The Winged Victory of Samothrace based on Nike (The Greek Goddess of Victory).

When researching Nike we came across the carving below of a woman with a raised fist that appears to have black features.

Colonizers conquer and destroy. When you see statues with no head or arms, monuments missing a nose or carvings missing a face nine times out of ten it’s been tampered with, robbing people of the connections to their past whether that past is glorious or painful. A modern example of monument destruction is during the Iraq War when US Troops used a tank to take down a statue of Sadam Hussein.

Jay-Z has one of the corniest lines in a rap song “Who been lyin’ king to you?” but it’s more clever than you think. We stumbled upon a title “The adoration of the Magi” there are multiple artists renderings of a prominently displayed Black King in the nativity like the picture below.

The full picture below, partially depicted in the video is called Portrait d’une négresse by artist Marie-Guilemine Benoist circa 1800. The painting symbolizes black rights and the freedom of women. Slavery ended in France just 6 years before the painting was created. Louis XVIII acquired the portrait in 1818.

Long before Black Panther and Luke Cage black heroes were immortalized in portraits. The photo below shows a black man waiving down a rescue ship to save the black and white crew members from drowning in The Raft of the Medusa.

The Carters referenced prison reform and the take a knee NFL protests. We believe the black men with left arms raised to a particular angle pays homage to the Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike that occurred in 1968 and lasted 9 weeks. Imagine the stench. We have always had the power within us to rise up and refuse to be treated as second class citizens. The picture below is a comparison of the two images.

The video closes out with Jay and Bey turning around to look at the Mona Lisa a little harder. The most valuable painting in the world worth upwards of 800 million dollars and protected by bulletproof glass has curly hair and brown eyes and resembles Beyoncé.

We were kings before Christ. We were painted as heroes long before we were painted as criminals. Black women from the darkest to the lightest were admired by kings. They told us we were cubic zirconia; we are diamonds!

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