That's my reaction after I watched the brand new video for Adair Lion's song "US" which is taken from his most recent mixtape release "Michael & Me". When I reviewed the mixtape, which is a tribute to the late Michael Jackson (many of the songs utilizes vocals from some of his tracks), I enjoyed it all, but as I said, the one song that stood out more than any other, and the one that got the most replays from me, was this song.
Adair has long been a politically motivated artist. He's done songs about LGBT rights/Marriage Equality ("Ben"), The Immigration policies in this country ("Am I Dreaming"), and so this isn't really that shocking from the idea that he would do a song like this. What WAS something that took me aback was how in your face, confrontational, and provacative the song was.
Lyrics such as the following, give you an idea of the subject matter involved here:
Relax, Gringo, yeah I'm here legally
And it's my right to protest shit peacefully
I speak English & Spanish, two White languages
Stripped of my Native Tongues but I survived the damages
They lied about our history, turned it Disney
And tried to sell the DVD to me for $19.50
Too many sheep, not enough rebels
Too many brakes, not enough gas pedals
Too many yes men, not enough defiance
Too many pussies, not enough Pussy Riots.
The song is incredibly emotional and angry and one of the more pointedly aggressive songs that Adair has done in his career so far. So when he posted up on twitter one day a month ago or so and asked what song from the release he should do a video to next (He had already released videos for "Ben", "Another Part of Me" and "BAMF"), I quickly responded with "US", and he agreed.
In my view it was an obvious choice. From my perspective, it is the strongest track on the mixtape, and the potential for something truly special and meaningful was seemingly endless.
The video was released this morning. And my reaction as it ended was: Whoa.
MORE AFTER THE BREAK
I've never had a hip hop music video bring me to tears like this one did, and I'm not ashamed to say that. In fact, in my view, if you can't get emotional over this video, then something is wrong. It's not emotional in the sense of softness, as often men crying is labeled, but more of tears of anger and frustration and just wanting to fucking break something.
The video begins with fire. Flames flickering all over, and then suddenly the imagery starts to rewind. You see the flames diminishing, and then we see it all came from a molotov cocktail that is now being lit. Rewinding some more, and you see a shocking and truly fucking intense image: Adair walking in a hoodie, with a white T-shirt, with blood on his face, and covering his shirt, flanked on all sides by people marching the street with him. Some in masks, most carrying weapons. It is a truly revolutionary moment that is occurring, and then it cuts to earlier that day and how everything came to that point.
After watching the 30 second teaser that was released in the past week, I commented on twitter that this had the potential to be a truly powerful and important video. I truly had no idea what was coming.
For everyone that is sick and tired of those in power using that power to squash those that have none, for all who are tired of seeing political prisoners such as Bradley Manning, Edward Snowden, Julian Assange and Pussy Riot being either having their freedoms taken away, or seriously limited, then this video is for you. Take about five minutes out of your day when you have nothing to do, and you can truly focus and pay attention to the video and appreciate what Adair has put forth.
I've never reviewed a music video before now. I've never seen a music video until now that has had such an emotional impact on me to the point that I had chills and tears. I jokingly told Adair on twitter that he had broken me with this video.
The only negative aspect of this though, is I have no clue how he's ever going to top this.
Here's the video, and then there's a link to download the mixtape "Michael & Me".