Elijah Blake is looking to take a stand and speak out as he talks a major problem we still face today in new single “Hanging Tree”.
In this track, Blake looks back on how inequality and oppression were in the early days and realizes it stills exist today as he uses his voice for social justice.
“He looks just like me / So tell me, am I really free? / Could have been my mother crying for my brother / Everybody’s praying for peace / But who’s going to protect us from the police?” He sings.
In a recent interview with Billboard Elijah explained: “One of my all-time favorite quotes happens to be from Nina Simone: “How can you be an artist and not reflect the times?” I started to feel like marching wasn’t enough, blacking out my Instagram wasn’t enough. I needed to use the greatest gift God has given me, given us all: My voice, our voice. Scream, shout, sing until we are heard; don’t just sit back and wait for what we believe is the inevitable. Because we are the change.”
In the visual, you see the R&B crooner is seen first dressed his best in a full tuxedo as he transitions to looking like a disaster as the video goes on ending up bloody and beaten in a ripped shirt, as a visual metaphor of the 21st-century social injustice.
Following up in the small interview, he also went on to explain the concept and process of the visual directed by Sean Alexander:”Director Sean Alexander and I sat in the basement level of my building forever, coming up with different ways to paint this picture without being too literal. We came up with this one, which shows that you can dress up an ugly system with a suit and tie. But as society and media continue to tear away at it… underneath it all the fact still remains that there’s still a whole lot of scarring, bruising and blood that needs to heal. I also wanted show that although we’ve come a long way as a people, we’re still not as far from the corruption to black lives that occurred in slavery as some would like to believe.”
Following up earlier this year released “Some Kinda Way” and “Black & Blue”, this new single serves as the first off of the Def Jam signee’s contribution to Harry Belfonte’s social injustice organization Sankofa.org, as the lead single for the forthcoming project due in later this year Sankofa EP 17 set to featuring Ty Dolla $ign, Mali Music, and Raphael Saadiq.
Until then check out how Elijah Blake uses his voice in his latest single “Hanging Tree”: