For the latest video from his album Entitled, Torae taps New Orleans spitter 3D Na’tee for the righteous “Crown,” where the two MCs trade verses about sustaining Black pride in the face of systemic oppression. The visual is literally and figuratively arresting, with Torae laying on the ground outlined in chalk after being shot by a cop. The timing comes a day after video of another unarmed Black man named Terence Crutcher was shot and killed by police in Tulsa.
“I was really on the fence about dropping this video today,” Torae wrote in a statement. “We shot “Crown” last month with plans to release it this week, then #TerenceCrutcher happened. Immediately I thought we can’t drop the video now, it’s in poor taste. However the more I mulled it over, the more I felt it was the perfect time to release this visual. These are the harsh realities we are facing as black men & women in this country every single day. The fact of the matter is today “Crown” is a music video I willingly filmed, tomorrow I could end up the same way in a video shot by a bystander.”
On the track produced by Mr. Porter, Torae speaks to the ongoing realities of living with brown skin.
“Yeah my skin brown it’s that melanin, I’m wearing it proud it ain’t no telling when/ They might come around screaming irrelevant, and gun the kid down then plant the evidence…”
3D Na’tee is equally staunch in her delivery as she rattles off names of victims of police brutality.
“The Erics/ the Sandras/ and Little Alyanas, turn in to hashtags/Shxt feel like Baghdad…”
Watch the full video above.