Venezuelan student protestors, Occupy Wall St, and equal screen time given to Harvey Milk and MLK — all in the video to The-Dream’s latest anthem?! Amazing. “Classism is the New Racism” he says. Now, a montage of various images of social struggle isn’t anything new, but this is The-Dream we’re talking about. He’s one of the most gifted R&B songwriters and producers out there, a bump & grind Michelangelo; he does not usually come near anything ‘political’. I hope we continue to see more of these moments– when the pop stars use their platforms to question rather than reinforce the status quo. “Black isn’t just a race anymore”, flashes on the screen as the last note dies down, “it’s a feeling and a place from which one feels isolated by the world of the governing elite.”
Terius Nash released this massive song last night, during the LA Clippers’ first game after Sterling got his NBA ban. An incredible use of timing. People left their TVs to watch this. Music suspended between the workaday realities. Music a bridge between what we know can be better and what happens to be here right now.
And can I point out the use of ‘news show’ style “lower thirds” in the video? (see below). It’s a relatively minor detail but strangely touching. We see this all the time on TV news: it’s the space of the objective information, the hard facts. Flipping that mode — from third person omniscient to a kind of one-to-one admission — is thrilling. Imagine a news program that is constantly streaming specific, personal, emotionally resonant commentary? It would be so much more honest.
We are all: hearts and soft shells, everybody touching, some pretending not to. The idea of equality is so beautiful because it is so simple.