"People Everyday" by Arrested Development (2023)

As noted later in this article’s course, Arrested Development is a conscious hip-hop group. And within the context of the era “People Everyday” was dropped that generally means two things.First is that the lyrics would be such that they’re intended to elevate the mindstate of Black people.

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And relatedly, the content of the music would logically be counter-mainstream, since mainstream rap tends to promote standards that aren’t deemed as positive per se.Or rather, let’s say that African-American culture at large has its issues.

So conscious hip-hoppers like Arrested Development task themselves with using their artistry to mitigate said issues.And such is the case with“People Everyday”.

So how the main vocalist, Speech, goes about achieving this task is presenting what we can call a quintessential ‘hood tale. This is the same type of confrontational stories you would more or less come across in standard rap songs. But in-between he also interjects his own thoughts on the matter, which gives the tune an Afrocentric feel.

Story of “People Everyday”

The story starts off with the vocalist chillin’ in the park listening to his boombox, as people tended to do in those days.Then “out of nowhere” a romantic interest of his pops up on the scene.So they’re hanging out together, and she’s receptive, and at this point the singer it all like a blessed day.

However, some misfortune also materializes, in the form of a “group of brothers” who are rowdy, drunk and “going the n*g*er route”.Now the fact that the Speech initially refers to these dudes as “brothers” is the first overt sign of this song’s Afrocentricity.In other words, he perceives all Black people as family, so to speak.But at the same time, the “n*gger route” terminology points not only to them misbehaving but also, all things considered, doing so as inspired by the prevailing stereotypes of African-American males. Moreover and shall we say most alarming, these dudes are armed.

A Common Occurrence in the ‘Hood

But scenes such as these are quite common in the ‘hood.Indeed Speech acknowledges as much by stating, in reference to these guys, that he “know(s) their type”, and as such he attempts to ignore them.

But these are also the types who don’t like leaving people at peace, especially “a young couple having a time that’s good”.Moreover the vocalist himself is a self-described “fashion misfit” whose style doesn’t fit the norm.

So the homeys proceed to start “dissing” his attire since.And considering that he’s wearing “loud bright colors” and all, they’re definitely not intimidated by him.

Throughout the whole ordeal the narrator himself is ‘staying calm and praying they leave’.But then they proceed to, most simply put, sexually assault his date.So then it degenerates into the kind of situation where the vocalist doesn’t know what to do.Why? Because on one hand he can’t sit back and let these dudes treat his girl that way. But on the other, he’s afraid that if he loses his cool he may reach the point of no return.

“I Am Everyday People”

That then brings us to the chorus, whereas the narrator is proclaiming to be “everyday people”. Said statement is meant to be more literal than allegorical.Or put differently, the vocalist is presenting himself as just an average dude.

And such an assertion can be taken different ways in relation to the featured storyline. For instance, he may be saying that this kind of occurrence is not as unusual as some listeners may believe, at least not in some neighborhoods, i.e. the type that he comes from.

But what Speech is most likely putting forth primarily, considering how the first verse concludes and leads into the chorus, is something like he’s not a killer or anything like that. Instead, once again, he’s just an average person.So he finds it challenging, to say the least, ending up in such a situation.

"People Everyday" by Arrested Development (1)

Accordingly, Speech then advises the rabble-rouser, referring to him as “friend” in the process, to just let him and his lady friend leave.Apparently it is just one of the posse who is really persistent in terms of causing trouble, and he doesn’t let up even after being begged to do so by the vocalist.

So you can see that this story is short of shaping up like a karate flick.And sure enough, Speech loses his cool and proceeds to thrash the bad boy. Also as predicted in the first verse, it takes quite a few people, who end up being cops actually, to pull him off of the troublemaker.

The Moral of the Story of “People Everyday”

So yes, to some degreethis song does read like your quintessential rap, with the vocalist proving his physical superiority over a rival.However, there is a “moral of the story” as opposed to Speech just setting out to present himself as a bada-s when provoked.And that is if someone decides to act up in the ‘hood, in reality they may not know who they’re stepping to.

Case in point, the “n*g*a” who provoked the vocalist wound up getting his behind kicked by him.

But the main lesson this song is meant to put forth isn’t about the fear of retribution.Rather the conclusive idea being relayed is that Black people, who are ideologically presented as “Africans”, should not be behaving in such a manner as the antagonists of the story but rather “loving each other and unit(ing)”.

And also we would have to believe that Speech himself is someone who found it frustrating dealing with certain accepted aspects of African-American culture.Or at least he is portraying the role of someone who does not fit in, though for all the right reasons we shall say.

In Conclusion

So again, this song is from a different era of hip-hop then the one we’re currently in. That’s not to say that conscious rappers no longer exist, nor is it to imply that everything was peachy-keen back in the 1990s.But back then, it was almost like rap music was just discovering Africa.

Or instead, let’s put forth that the spirit of social responsibility which was strong in genre during its foundational years was still alive, even if on the verge of being overtaken by gangsterism. So to artists like Arrested Development, being an “African” also meant a Black person being more knowledgeable of one’s history than the average African-American would be.And part and parcel of this knowledge of self would be an aversion to behaving like the quintessential “n*g*er”.

The said quintessential “n*g*r” is an ignorant Black person who doesn’t seem to have anything better to do than get into trouble.

Arrested Development

Arrested Development was one of the last conscious American rap acts to really make it big mainstream, even if their moment in the spotlight was somewhat short-lived.The crew actually had three big hits, which also were their three first singles and all came out in 1992 being from the same album.

The name of said album is“3 Years, 5 Months and 2 Days in the Life of…”(1992) .The first of those singles wasTennessee.The last wasMr. Wendal, and in-between we had“People Everyday”.

Who wrote “People Everyday”?

This song was written for the most part by Arrested Development frontman Speech, who has been down with the crew throughout all of its years of activity.And he based the lyrics on“real-life experiences”.

"People Everyday" by Arrested Development (2)

Moreover,“People Everyday”it relies on the interpolation of another tune, actually entitled“Everyday People”, which came out 1968.That particular song by Sly and the Family Stone, was written by their own frontman, Sly Stone.Thus he is also credited as a co-author of Arrested Development’s track.

"People Everyday" by Arrested Development (3)

Dionne Farris and Sister Paulette

According to Wikipedia, the female vocalist on this track is Dionne Farris, who served a similar role onTennessee.To note she was not a formal member of Arrested Development.But according to some sources, it is rather a singer named Sister Paulette who is also credited for participating on“People Everyday”.

Meanwhile the lady on the music video is obviously Dionne Farris. However, it also doesn’t appear, according to her own Wikipedia page, that she has ever operated under the moniker Sister Paulette.

Meanwhile thisselfsame Sister Paulette is mentioned by Wikipedia as being one of the artists behind the aforementioned album.However, this may not be an error on any of their behalf. Rather there areactually two versionsof“People Everyday”– the original as featured on the album and the single. So it would appear that Sister Paulette participated on the former and Dionne Farris the latter, with the latter being the one that hit.

1 Response

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  1. Noah phillip says:

    July 21, 2022 at 11:51 am

    Could u tell youtube to take down all videos of a guy in jail who has on a mask i do not like to see it , coming as recommendation.


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