Barkaa has taken aim at the Indigenous Voice to Parliament rejection in her powerful new single, “Division”, the title saying it all, really.
The hip hop artist’s track was born out of her frustration at watching the No vote come in last month. “My mum said New South Wales is a ‘No’. I felt sad at first, and mum just couldn’t fathom it. I was just so sad. But then a part of me was like, ‘At least I’m not crazy. Everything I’ve been feeling is real, is the truth.’ The nation’s rejection of us confirms it,” she says.
That’s why Barkaa isn’t waiting around on her new single: “You want division? Ok listen…” she fires at the beginning of the track, going onto list statistics such as “my people making up 28% of these prisons.”
Later, she raps, “I’m sick of my mob locked up, all over petty crimes / White man gets let off and the black fullas lose a life.”
“Whitefellas were worried that they were going to lose their houses and stuff. And it was all lies and falsehoods. The Vote No campaign, and I mean the whole No campaign, encouraged a nation to be dumb. It encourages a nation not to read and to be stupid. Like, why are you encouraging people not to read about their country’s own constitution and their country’s own laws?” Barkaa says.
“I’m entitled to be a black, angry woman. We’ve now got to try to keep the effects of the No result away from our children. It’s hard to keep that from little ears. My little fella asked me, ‘Why do they hate us?’ And I had to be the one to try to pick up the broken pieces. I had to pick my son up and be like, ‘No Bub, in this home we’re alright. In here, you’re loved and fed and safe. Everything else is outside noise.”
But Barkaa’s spirit is undeterred by last month’s referendum. “Now you’ve said “No” to the Voice proposal, you’re gonna be hearing a lot more from us,” she adds.
Barkaa’s “Division” is out now.