Rapper T.I. Shares A Powerful Message In New Music Video "Warzone"
|Rapper T.I. Shares A Powerful Message In New Music Video "Warzone"|
T.I. recreates the deaths of Tamir Rice (a 12-year-old killed by police while playing with a toy gun in Cleveland), Eric Garner (who died after being placed in an apparent chokehold by NYC policemen) and Philando Castile (shot and killed by a St. Paul, Minnesota police officer during a traffic stop) with white victims taking their place.
Hip-hop star T.I. is best known for vividly rapping about his days as a youth hustling on the streets of Atlanta and in his words "having a good time," but a series of controversial killings of unarmed African-Americans -- some of which were captured on video -- has compelled him to step outside of his comfort zone
"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 -- we wanted to give them the least amount of ammunition to oppose our message," he added.
"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."
According to T.I., it's the insidious nature of modern prejudice which makes the topic so toxic.
"White supremacy [used to be] in the forefront of America's sights and thoughts. You knew where you stood, what position you held in this country, good bad or indifferent.
Now, it is covertly done," he said. "It is covertly done through the judicial system, the financial system, the educational system and some may even say through medicine.
So it being so covert -- those who either don't know or want to pretend they don't know can act as if it doesn't exist when it really does.
And the only people who ever really see it, feel it, or acknowledge it, are the ones who are affected by it. And that to me is what makes it much more difficult to combat because you can't fight what you can't see."
With "Warzone," and his upcoming new EP "Us or Else," T.I. is using his celebrity platform, charisma and flair for the dramatic, to make the realities of racially-motivated violence unavoidable.