There are some songs that just stick with you. Whether it’s production, the hook, or lyrics, some songs just really resonate with you. For me one such song is KB’s recently released “DNOU” (Don’t Nobody Own Us). This single has been nothing short of infectious and inspirational to me. I don’t even consider myself the biggest KB fan, but there is something special about that single. Why? Let’s break down the lyrics and see why this resonates with myself, and I’m sure, other people around the world.
As soon as I heard the name of the song, I already knew where I believe the song came from. Earlier this year, KB dropped a single “Tempo” and near the end of the song he chanted, “Don’t nobody own us, don’t nobody own us.” But what does that really mean? At the very beginning of the song KB states that a lot of people still don’t know “us.” This could be referring to the subgenre of CHH but is more likely talking about his Reach Records camp. In the face of this he says “so what,” which is a statement in and of itself. Quiet or not as quiet as kept, it appears as if some of the faith based artists lament the fact that nobody knows what they are doing. But it’s not that no one knows, but perhaps the mainstream audience hasn’t paid attention. KB knows that he is still relatively unknown but doesn’t let that deter him from fulfilling his calling and vocation.
KB constantly reminds people that “don’t nobody own us” and that he is generous with his money. When you are owned by something or someone, you have no say and no bearing on how things operate. Slavery of any sort except a slave of righteousness is unbiblical. KB chants his freedom from anything, whether it’s the music industry, people’s expectations, or anything else, KB refuses to be owned by anyone other than God. The Reach Records naysayers all speculated that Reach as a whole was selling out for the money, and things really went into a fever pitch when Lecrae announced his deal with Columbia. Despite what those on the outside say, KB continues to say that he and his team aren’t owned by anyone.
Some other lyrics that stood out to me: “Squad needed merch so we bought our own shop/ free as my own hair but I got it on lock.” To buy your own shop so you can produce merchandise for yourself and others speaks to ownership, which is something you don’t hear a lot of in CHH outside of Lavoisier over at Grow The Heck Up. I really appreciated KB saying this, and to see the actual building in the music video really brought the point home. Cut the middle man out and use your own resources to fund your own dreams. That will preach.
Two of my favorite lines from the song “in a lane with myself” and “bet the bag on myself” resonated so strongly with me, and truth be told, are probably the reason I enjoy the song and return to it so often. It seems as if “bag” is the hot new term for now, and KB said he “bet the bag on myself.” What that meant to me is that KB is betting his bag or resources on himself and his interests. It seems as if people are prone to bet on and believe in other people but never themselves, myself included. Why is that? Whatever the reason, KB doesn’t seem to have this problem as he’s betting on himself. Whenever I hear KB say that, I say it and point to myself as a reminder. People believe in me, my wife believes in me, but I need to believe and bet on myself. KB’s “in a lane with myself” is such a powerful and poignant statement that I wish more people would take to heart, once again, this applies to me as well. If the truth be told, many of us aren’t as efficient as we could be because we are busy looking at someone else. The oft mentioned saying “comparison is the thief of joy” is very true and can be very draining. Only a person who is free and confident will understand that their race can only be won by staying in their lane. I’m convinced that we are too busy watching how another person is running and we want to run like them, but that never works. KB on this song seems to have no issues with running in his own lane by himself, and that is a powerful sentiment.
If you haven’t watched KB’s roll out for his upcoming album ‘Today We Rebel’ you really should. It’s quite clear the theme of the project is freedom. Freedom to be who God created you to be and to do what God designed you to do. KB’s single “DNOU” does an excellent job of encapsulating the theme of freedom and even serves as an anthem the listener can use in everyday life. Give the song a listen and watch the music video; I’m sure it will inspire you as it did me.
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