In the year 2020, protest is taking on many forms, one of which is certainly not new. Protest songs. Boston hip hop artist, Darrell Kelley, uses his voice and his talents to bring to light the most recent killing of a black man while in police custody. “Police Brutality” is about the May 25, 2020, murder of George Floyd, which as a reader you might say doesn’t need to be brought to light as this case has shifted not only the American conscience, but crossed continents and oceans. It’s Kelley’s direct and fearless artistry is the standard by which 2020 protest music will be judged.

URL: https://darrellkelleyofficial.com/

This is a bold statement for a bold song. Kelley’s path to “Police Brutality” has never been left in the shadows of songs that play it safe. His previous releases “Because Of You” ferociously attacked the National Rifle Association and his recent song “Ahmaud” tells of the murder of 25-year-old, Ahmaud Arbery, out for a run in Georgia on February 23, 2020, before brutally being gunned down by two white males. Caught on the video, just as the Floyd murder, these horrendous acts of violence against blacks is further proof for social change. Our society depends upon it.

Kelley’s heed to listeners to remember Floyd’s last words “I can’t breathe” as Floyd, face down on the pavement and handcuffed, his neck under the oppressive knee of a white Minneapolis police officer resulted in his death. The lyrics, layered over a music bed jarring with blues and hues of black, moves the same way the story has unfolded in the news. Kelley raps his report, switching sometimes to the idea of speaking for Floyd. Kelley raps “I can’t breathe, you’re killing me…the racist copy wouldn’t release his knee…another black man is dead because of police brutality…my heart bleads, why does the black man have to die?”

The entire song is so powerful. But something that really stands out is the way Kelley presents “we want justice”. He doesn’t insert the chorus every other line, but takes a few stanza’ off when chants “police brutality”. But, as the song continues, the voices pushing the words “we want justice” become louder. The persistence is like the growing movements happening across the globe. “We want justice” is inescapable. It lingers for hours, more so than “I don’t think any black American is safe from racist police.” It’s too hard to discern the importance of any of these words over the others. All the lyrics play their part in the impact of “Police Brutality”.

In his “Police Brutality” press materials, Kelley states his outrage pointed at President Trump for calling the protestors and rioters “thugs”. Kelley also states, “Thousands of people across the USA are now putting their lives at risk in protest of police brutality, due to the coronavirus pandemic. We are America and can do better…standing together, marching together and united together with all races is the way to get justice. I stand for justice, but I will not stand for ignorance and I need you to help me fight this fight.”

Michael Rand

The music of DARRELL KELLEY has been heard all over the world in partnership with the radio plugging services offered by Musik and Film Radio Promotions Division.  Learn more https://musikandfilm.com

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