As hip hop culture continues to stand against what’s taking place in our country, its leading artists create needed music in response. For his latest music release, Maino decided to speak out against the racism and police brutality that has once again hit a boiling point since the recent passings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor. The track is titled “I Can’t Breathe,” named so for the last words spoke by Floyd, Eric Garner and Manuel Ellis, all of whom died by asphyxiation during their respective arrests:
“Think I’m tired of being silent, tired of people not tired of seeing us dying/
Tired of praying, think it’s time to pick up iron, what else is left, they ain’t tired of being violent?/
Look at how they killing us, they show us how they feelin’ us, lynching us in broad day, look, that ain’t real enough?/
Take it in our own hands, ‘cause it’s so hard to be a black man, well black man, we don’t have a black chance…/”
The accompanying visual flickers through different footage of protests that have taken place over the past several decades. The clip also uses video of Jane Elliott and the late Kobe Bryant speaking on racial injustice as bookends for added effect.
In addition to the music, Maino has also been active throughout other facets of media as well as on the ground during the protests in New York. As with his new single, he’s also made it clear that he’s done with trying to make peace with law enforcement, echoing New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s recent references to Amadou Diallo and Rodney King:
“It’s Only One Truth! I don’t believe in fighting Hate with Love. It doesn’t work. When Respect is Not given, then it has to be Taken! #ImWithTheProtestors”
You can press play on the GQ Beats-produced “I Can’t Breathe” below.