T.I.'s new song "Warzone" off his upcoming mixtape Us or Else addresses many of the recent deaths of Black men, women, and children in the United States. The song talks about Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Philando Castile, Michael George Smith, and the Charleston church shooting.
The song's chorus also echoes statements that have become mainstays in rallies across the country. T.I. says, "Ain't got no pity for the innocent, so I'ma represent it / Hands up, can't breathe / Hands up, can't breathe / Hands up, can't you see we livin' in a war zone?"
After putting his Dime Trap project on hold, T.I. told Billboard he wanted to create a politically charged song because he didn't feel as though it would be "responsible" to record a club-type track at the moment. "It's basically my take on things that are going on, how we got here, why we're here, speaking to the oppressor," he said."
While the song itself is powerful, the video — released on Tidal — drives home that there is inherent racism throughout the legal system. In order to show that there are racially driven tactics in place, as Gawker pointed out in the Department of Justice's report on the Ferguson Police Department, the video depicts White people in the place of Black victims, and Black cops in place of White cops.
Now that roles are reversed, it very much looks as though Black police officers are most definitely treating White people differently. They aren't innocent until proven guilty and are not given the benefit of the doubt.
By the end of the video, we see this is not the product of bad police work or careless error, these deaths are happening because of the people's skin color. The video also quotes anti-racism activist Jane Elliot, who states, "If you White folks want to be treated the way Blacks are in this society, stand. Nobody's standing here. That says very plainly that you know what's happening …"
The discomfort one might feel watching this happen to White people, as opposed to seeing these events play out in real life to Black people, can hopefully drive home the fact that racism is a motivating factor in these cases. The video is putting everyone on the same level, showing they are being judged and executed due to race, not circumstance.