Pitchfork's review of Bobby Sessions' "Like Me"
Bobby Sessions’ “Like Me” is a wrathful, compelling rap drama about the ongoing distress of being black in America, predating the nation’s birth. The song follows the tendrils of systematic oppression back to their root: the transatlantic slave trade, its auction blocks, and plantation fields. As the Dallas rapper traces the through line of black struggle, with his visceral scene-setting and storytelling, Sessions reveals himself to be both a thoughtful and forceful MC.
On “Like Me,” Sessions’ flow is rage-fueled and breathless, forcing some ideas out in fragments. “Need an angel/Dream the day of free escape and leave the cages,” he raps, before reenacting an attempted getaway. The beat buzzes and the drums patter, as if to replicate the urgency of shuffling feet retreating into darkness for a chance at life. He gasps like he’s the one being chased, as it gradually becomes harder to tell if he’s remembering slaves running from their masters to freedom or envisioning suspects fleeing from the cops to escape a life in bondage. The parallels are almost painfully obvious, and he draws them with great finesse. His second verse more bluntly unpacks the ramifications of generations of black bodies being bought and sold and handled as property—the physical, psychological, and economic toll taken, how plantations begat trap houses. In the banner photo on his SoundCloud page, Sessions wears a hoodie that simply reads “Legalize Being Black.” On “Like Me,” he forces the issue.