John Legend’s ‘In America’ Grapples With Paradoxical Feelings About His Country

Writing epic R&B ballads is not the only talent that entertainer John Legend has, proven by his role as an executive producer on WGN America‘s critically acclaimed new television series Underground. The show, based on the history of the Underground Railroad, after a terrific first season, Underground returned on March 8, 2017 for the season two premiere.

During this episode, John Legend’s original song “In America” was heard by America for the first time. Watch the clip from this dramatic scene in the show’s season two premiere above. Today, Legend’s honest, raw song, “In America” was released for purchase and streaming.

The song, co-written with and produced by R&B legend, Dave Tozer (Kanye West, Justin Timberlake, JAY Z), addresses a determination to achieve the American dream. Legend sings out that even though this dream may be a “fantasy,” he “won’t just stand around and watch it go down.” Struggling to understand life as an African American during amongst the horrors of slavery and the Underground Railroad, the song wonders “can we build a new life? Was it ever meant that we could make in America?” The song resolves its questioning by ending with the assertion that “we’ll make it in America.” The haunting track navigates through the paradoxical emotions of both hope and distrust in the United States of America.

Underground airs Wednesdays at 10PM EST/PST on WGN America.