Today marks the release of T.I.‘s EP, Us or Else, which TIP says he felt compelled to write after “the repeated deaths of unarmed black citizens at the hands of police.” With six tracks, the project features “Warzone,” for which T.I. premiered a thought-provoking video last week.
“The first thing that [director Laurel Richardson and I] wanted to do was make sure that it was powerful enough to create the type of dialogue necessary to inspire some form of change,” T.I. explained to NBC News. “We just kind of tossed it around and we came up with re-enacting the events and then he came up with the idea of the role reversals.”
T.I. continued, “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 … through the judicial system, the financial system, the educational system and some may even say through medicine.”
T.I. carries these themes throughout Us or Else, which features appearances from Killer Mike and Meek Mill.
Check out other recent rap songs addressing police brutality below:
Jay Z – “Spiritual”
“Ya’ll can have that, I’m smack dab in the hurricane of emotions / Can’t even raise my little daughter, my little Carter / We call her Blue ’cause it’s sad that, how could I be a dad that I never had that / Shattered in a million pieces, where the glass at?”
The Game – “Let Me Know” Feat. Jeremih
“How we gon’ respect the badge if you don’t protect and serve? / They say life ain’t a movie but it’s feelin’ like The Purge / And this rag in my pocket match the blood in the curb / Hear the shots in the hood but can they feel it in the ‘burbs?”
Kap G – “La Policia” (Remix) Feat. T.I. & David Banner
“I’m yellin’ fu*k the police AKA them white sheets / Let them white folks come, everybody yellin’ ‘peace.’”