The powerful visuals for the song depict the deaths of Tamir Rice, Philando Castle, and Eric Garner with white victims and black cops as T.I. raps, “Hands up, can’t breathe, hands up, can’t breathe.”
The rapper told NBC News that he wanted to “give the other side the least amount of ammunition.”
“We wanted to give ‘the other side’ — and when I say the ‘other side’ I don’t mean police, I don’t mean white people, I mean people who think we’re just overreacting, the ‘All Lives Matter’ people — we wanted to give them the least amount of ammunition to oppose our message.
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T.I. added that racism today isn’t as blatant as it used to be, it’s more systemic and subtle.
“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. Now, it is covertly done. It is covertly done through the judicial system, the financial system, the educational system and some may even say through medicine,” he said.
“So it being so covert — those who either don’t know or want to pretend they don’t know can act as if it doesn’t exist when it really does. And the only people who ever really see it, feel it, or acknowledge it, are the ones who are affected by it. And that to me is what makes it much more difficult to combat because you can’t fight what you can’t see.”
The video sticks with you long after you’ve watched and T.I.’s lyrics cover everything from the prison system to police brutality and cultural appropriation to Dylan Roof.
‘Warzone’ definitely deserves a watch.