T.I. is posing a powerful question in his new music video “Warzone.”
The rapper uses white actors to recreate the deaths of African-American men Tamir Rice, Eric Garner and Philando Castile, all of whom died at the hands of law enforcement. The clip ends with the quote: “The new racism, is to deny that racism exists.”
In the 30-second clip of the song, chants of “hands up” and “can’t breathe” are heard, a clear reference to the death of Eric Garner, a 43-year-old who was placed in a chokehold by New York City police that led to his death in 2014.
T.I. released a brief look at the “Warzone” music video on his Instagram last week.
“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.”
The rapper said modern prejudice is more subtle today compared to years ago.
“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,” he said. “Now, it is covertly done … through the judicial system, the financial system, the educational system and some may even say through medicine.”
The song will be featured in T.I.’s new mix tape “Us or Else.”
The new album comes at an important time in the rapper’s life. His stepdaughter, Zonnique Pullins, was arrested in an Atlanta airport in June for having a gun in her purse.
Her mother, and T.I.’s wife, Tiny Harris, legally purchased the gun for her daughter’s protection.
“I just want her to be safe and feel safe at home by herself because if someone comes in or if something happens, she’s all alone, then what is she going to do?” Harris said.
T.I. plans to return to the music scene, with the intention of transitioning into political activism, according to NBC News.
“I think one of the things that has put our people so far deep into the darkness is the disconnect from our predecessors and so I would like to just feed from the wealth of knowledge that is available,” he said.