Lani Ramos, ringleader of Big Pearl & the Fugitives of Funk, had written and, in many ways, shelved a song for over a decade. Recently, she revisited it and developed a music video for “See (Just What We’re Fighting For)” with a refreshed but familiar message.
“I wrote the song initially after the Iraq war broke out,” Ramos tells OffBeat. “I wrote it because I couldn’t believe that we were going to war over Saddam Hussein being blamed for 9/11, and what I thought were lies.” She adds, “I also kept in mind the general terms of war and its destruction and how it tears apart lives. I didn’t want to believe that in my generation, I would witness something that I read in history books and was taught in school that this scenario was supposedly passé.”
The video accompanies ardent lyrics such as “repeating history / haven’t we had enough stupidity”, which reflects why Ramos has chosen to resurface the track.
“I felt like a hippie generation let their children down. They’re repeating the same mistakes and putting us through what they went through,” Ramos said.
The video features footage from the Women’s March, a worldwide protest held to advocate legislation and policies regarding human rights. Ramos believes the song is as relevant today and it was over ten years ago.
“Here we go with Trump in office setting it up to repeat history, and so I pulled the song back out and produced the music video,” she said.
Lani Ramos even performed at the march in New Orleans. “I heard about the women’s march and I wanted to be a part of it,” said Ramos. “I started to talk to the organizers about it and asked about the music side. They liked my song and wanted me to perform it at the end of the March at Duncan Plaza. So I did.”
Of the video, Ramos says “I produced the video with a couple college kids at Loyola University. I [also] partnered with OurRevolutionNola.org organizer, Mathew Schoenberger, assembling and editing in the Women’s March footage, per my direction. Little did I know LaToya Cantrell would be running for mayor and actually win!”
“See” can be found on Ramos’ 2004 CD, Scoot Boogie Baby.