AIDS and Race

You know the best medicine go to people that’s paid

If Magic Johnson got a cure for AIDS

And all the broke motherfuckers passed away

You telling me if my grandma’s in the NBA

Right now she’d be okay?

  • Kanye West


In the song, “Roses” by Kanye West, west details his experience in a hospital room with someone he loves and his heartbreak at the fact that they may not survive. In the first verse kanye Chimes in the the inner workings of the healthcare system, simultaneously tying the socioeconomics of health care to the disproportionate treatment of different races. West states that only those with the financial means to stay alive are the ones that do. He uses the AIDS epidemic and Magic Johnson as an example of this. West alludes to the fact that Magic Johnson was one of the few in the black community to contract the virus and have the means to pay for the treatment necessary to keep him alive.


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