Music is one of the most, if not the most, effective way to articulate a communal frustration towards governmental injustice and prejudice. For many decades now, protest songs
have had an overpowering presence among important movements in American history (the Civil Rights movement, the Vietnam War protests, etc.).
There's a lot to protest against in American politics right now, but there's perhaps nothing more harmful and poisonous than the absurd cognitive dissonance that the majority of our government now has towards immigrants. While these political figures praise the founders of our country and celebrate the inspirational story of America's upbringing, many of them are in support of moving forward with what is undeniably an anti-immigrant agenda, despite the fact that the very same inspirational American story that they're celebrating was written by the very same people they're attacking: immigrants. It's an odd, contradictory mindset to say the least.
With that in mind, the incredible new video for "Immigrants (We Get the Job Done)," which comes off of The Hamilton Mixtape
, is one of the best and most necessary articulations of the immigrant story since the election. After all, who better to address the issue than Lin-Manuel Miranda, the mind behind the most celebrated and diverse musical about American history?
While Miranda himself does not make an appearance in the video, which was directed by Tomás Whitmore, there are a ton of notable artists featured throughout, all of them using the opportunity to make their poetic voices heard. These artists include K'naan, Snow Tha Product, Residente and Riz MC (AKA Riz Ahmed, who has also starred in critically acclaimed films like Nightcrawler
and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
). The production design on the video is absolutely incredible, with amazing attention to detail and scripted moments that make it feel moreso like a short film.
And, of course, the lyrics are insightful, clever, and hard-hitting. Here's a few examples:
"You claim I'm stealing jobs, though peter piper claimed he picked them but he just underpaid Pablo."
"Na, they don't play British Empire Strikes Back. They're beating us, like 808s and hi-hats, at our own game of invasion, but this ain't Iraq."
"Buckingham Palace or Capital Hill, the blood of my ancestors had that all built."
The video for "Immigrants (We Get the Job Done)" is meant to help promote fundraising for the Immigrants: We Get The Job Done Coalition, which is comprised of various non-profits fighting for immigrant rights. You can donate to the cause here