Multiple artists have been using their platforms to address the continued, senseless violence against the black community at the hands of police brutality, but few have depicted it as powerfully and as visually arresting as Common. The rapper has just unveiled a video titled "Black America Again," which will serve as the title track for his upcoming album. Simply put, it is heartbreaking.
"Black America Again" opens with footage of the shooting of Alton Sterling and continues to layer itself with powerful real world imagery, including shots of Malcolm X mid-speech. In between this found footage are gorgeously rendered shots of black men and women in throes of grief, all taken in close-up.
The imagery is capable of speaking for itself, but Common adds a truly blistering verse on top of it that barely suppresses his feelings of shock and rage. Everything from the Flint water crisis to Jim Crow laws to Viola Davis are brought up in his lyrics. And he receives some major musical assists as well; Stevie Wonder delivers a soulful outro, while the voice of Chuck D can be heard throwing in ad-libs throughout the track.
No official release date has been set regarding Black America Again, the album, but Common has revealed that it will contain collaborations with the likes of John Legend, Anderson .Paak and Jay Electronica.
Stay tuned for further information regarding Common's Black America Again.
In related music news, T.I. has just released an EP titled Us or Else that also takes on the issues of police brutality and race-related violence. Listen to it right here.