Music: Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler) by Marvin Gaye

“Make me wanna holler
Throw up both my hands”

Marvin Gaye’s album What’s Going On (1971) is getting attention on the 50th anniversary of its release. As it deserves. You’ll see lots about it, its creation, its qualities, its significance. All you really need are ears to listen and eyes to know a little about America in 1971 and 2021.

The title track, first on the album, may be the best known. But the last track, Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler), is the crown.


Rockets, moon shots
Spend it on the have nots
Money, we make it
Before we see it you take it

Make me wanna holler
The way they do my life
Make me wanna holler
The way they do my life

Inflation no chance
To increase finance
Bills pile up sky high
Send that boy off to die

Make me wanna holler
The way they do my life
Make me wanna holler
The way they do my life

Bad breaks
Set backs
Natural fact is
I can’t pay my taxes

Make me wanna holler
Throw up both my hands
Make me wanna holler
Throw up both my hands

Crime is increasing
Trigger happy policing
Panic is spreading
God knows where we’re heading