Usher And Nas Tackle Police Violence With Stark Imagery
  • TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 02, 2016

  • Posted by: Emily Oldenquist



Police violence is a prominent aspect in culture today. News mediums across the nation cover instances of police or authority based situations of prejudice-driven oppression. Varieties of newspapers, tabloids, magazines, websites, and television channels have projected many versions of this cultural epidemic. With all of this going on, it was so refreshing to see Usher's track, titled "Chains." presented through a highly captivating music video.

"Chains" emphasizes the issue of police violence going on in contemporary society. The track features rap icon Nas and Bibi Bourelly. Lyrics like "Yelling at Senators, Presidents, Congressmen/We got a problem that needs some acknowledgement/I am no prison commodity, not just a body you throw in a cell/For any reason, just to bother me/Just for your quota, so it's rest ...Conspiracy, new world order" frame the issue with a perfect combination of factual references, and the often-times, very true motive behind unjust arrests: meeting a quota.

Usher and production really do a great job of using every tool possible to get the point across. There is a beautiful, strategic combination in this song. Everything from the opening note of the song, where an inquiring child is sampled saying "justice, justice for all?" in an eerie, fading lead; to the heavy concise jabs at our failing democracy like "They won't have votes but refuse the discussion/On how certain cops stay shoot us for nothing." Usher, Nas and Bibi hit the point very directly here. Police violence is unjust and harmful, and the matter should be as heavily addressed as Usher does so in this song and video.

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