On the 246th July 4th of our nation, Killer Mike sure knows how to make a statement. Last night at midnight, Mike dropped the music video for “Run,” his first solo track in over a decade since forming the Grammy-nominated rap duo Run the Jewels; alongside Brooklyn-based rapper and record producer EI-P.
As mentioned, the music video for Run features a brief introduction by comedian Dave Chappelle.
In the intro, Chappelle serves as a mentor to Mike. He touches on how difficult being a black man in America is. He compares everyday struggles and challenges to the soldiers who stormed the beaches of Normandy on D-Day during World War II.
The music video continues to evoke this striking similarity raised by Dave as black and brown men and women are shown dressed in military fatigues and running into the trenches of a battle. Armed with assault rifles and “Free YSL” armbands, many proceed to playfight white men dressed in similar outfits by using the buttstroke of their weapons as Killer Mike and eventually, Young Thug spit their rhymes.
Rather than wave the American flag, a soldier can be seen waving a banner that states to “Protect Black Art” and for freeing the incarcerated Young Thug and Gunna.
The song’s chorus, produced by a Chicago-based record producer who’s worked with Common and Jay-Z named No I.D, leaves little to be desired.
However, its overall message and the visuals were very moving, mainly as Dave and Mike consistently use the epithet for black people. While it can be polarizing and triggering to some, it did make the message feel a little more personal to me.
The Atlanta-based rapper, whose real name is Michael Santiago Render, recently weighed in on the recent RICO indictment charges brought against rappers Young Thug and Gunna.
The court of Georgia recently used the YSL-affiliated rappers’ lyrics that are said to be describing their criminal activities.
The co-frontman of Run the Jewels believes the lyrics are simply another form of artistic expression.
In an interview with ABC News, Mike states, “Young Thug- that’s a character that Jeffrey Williams created… but Jeffrey Williams is a father. He’s a human being that’s capable of love, care, and compassion”.