As police brutality against African Americans escalates, many artists of color are using their elevated platforms to raise awareness.
TI is set to release his new EP, “Us or Else,” with Meek Mill and Killer Mike. He has released a few music videos to accompany the EP, including the two below for “We Will Not” and “Warzone.” Both are very politically charged. “We Will Not” shows images of #BLM protestors, signs, and headlines from police killings. The imagery is powerful, especially when accompanied with the song.
TI took a different approach with “Warzones,” choosing instead to stage racial-reversed shootings of black men. The video shows black cops shooting and killing white men, with the cases of Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Keith Lamont Scott, and more. The video is dedicated to all the black victims of police violence.
Although this next song is older, it’s still very relevant to the movement. Everyone knows of Beyonce’s “Lemonade,” and the first single off the album “Formation.” “Formation” caused controversy over its performance at the Super Bowl halftime show (read more about the performance and the symbolism in the song here).
An even older song addressing the movement is “Alright” by Kendrick Lamar. “Alright” has been adopted as the anthem for the #BLM movement. Lamar specifically channeled the movement in his Grammy performance (watch it here).
Other artists contributing to #BLM include Miguel’s “How Many (Black Lives)?,” Jay-Z’s “Spiritual,” “Hands Up” by Daye Jack and Killer Mike, and “Black Rage” by Lauryn Hill. It’s important that artists (especially black artists) will large followings speak out against police violence and the institutionalized racism that continues to plague the U.S.
“Us or Else” is now available through Tidal.
What we're listening to.