There’s no way to miss the point that Common, Stevie Wonder and a host of other artists are trying to make with their song “Black America Again.” They made that plain when they chose to start the video with an unedited 29 seconds of footage from the shooting death of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge. In the extremely unlikely event that you miss what they’re trying to do, the song — which also features jazz musician Esperanza Spalding and hip-hop legends Chuck D and MC Lyte — spell it out with a laundry list of topics central to the Black Lives Matter movement.
Common touches on Trayvon Martin (“Trayvon will never get to be an older man/Black children, their childhood stole from them”) mass incarceration, which Common calls “the new plantation,” and namechecks BLM explicitly. After opening with the aforementioned Sterling footage, the video highlights of the faces of black men and women looking distressed, inter-cut with historical protest footage and police dashcam videos.
The song was produced by jazz musicians Karriem Riggins and Robert Glasper and will serve as the title track to Common’s upcoming album. On top of this star-studded track, the rapper says his new album will feature John Legend, Anderson .Paak, The Internet and Jay Electronica.