T.I. tackles racism and police brutality in his new music video “Warzone,” which was released exclusively Sept. 8 on Tidal. It premiered on additional digital platforms on Sept. 16. “Warzone” re-enacts the police-involved deaths of Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, and Philando Castile. Instead of black actors depicting the fallen, the rapper used white victims for the roles of the three men.
Check out the video above.
“The first thing that [director Laurel Richardson and I] wanted to do was make sure that it was powerful enough to create the type of dialogue necessary to inspire some form of change,” the rapper said. “We just kind of tossed it around and we came up with re-enacting the events and then he came up with the idea of the role reversals.”
In an interview about the video’s concept, T.I. told NBCBLK that “Warzone” is a response to the “All Lives Matter” refrain that has conveniently emerged as a response to the “Black Lives Matter” movement.
“We wanted to give ‘the other side’ ― and when I say the ‘other side’ I don’t mean police, I don’t mean white people, I mean people who think we’re just overreacting, the ‘All Lives Matter’ people,” he said.
The Atlanta-native said he specifically chose the deaths of Rice, Garner and Castile to help convey his message.
“We wanted to give them the least amount of ammunition to oppose our message. And the way to do that, we thought, was to go with the most atrocious of all of the travesties. And don’t get me wrong, there are still more that are equally atrocious, but for the purposes of our video … those were the ones that seemed most effective.”
The track will be featured on T.I.’s forthcoming mixtape, “Us or Else,” out September 23rd. The Grammy-award winner will address issues surrounding social justice and police brutality. The title is a call to action in response to the police killings of black civilians.
“That’s [as in] equality for us, or else. Unity for us, or else. Stop killing us, or else,” T.I. said during a July radio interview with Hot 97’s Ebro and Peter Rosenberg. “It’s basically my take on things that are going on, how we got here, why we’re here, speaking to the oppressor and just trying to put something out there, a platform for people to speak so we can address this and move past it.”
“I can’t really go into the studio and write records about throwing money in the club. It just don’t feel responsible,” he added.
(Photo Source: AP)