The-Dream is perhaps known more for his music concerning the bedroom than he is for making political statements, but that didn’t stop him from releasing his politically-charged single, “Black,” his first release since leaving his Def Jam home. The song finds the crooner contemplating his blackness, especially in regard to the oppression blacks face across the globe. “I think this way all the time, and I spend most of my day in the battle of being Black and being a minority. Money has not changed my status in the department of racism and or classism,” Dream says about the track.
For the song’s visuals, The-Dream took inspiration from the late Nelson Mandela and filmed in South Africa’s Langa Township and stages a rebellion in the streets. As he sings, the townspeople picket, protest and confront armed authorities. The Dream also adds some of his own commentary about blackness and the struggle for equality at the end of the video and even works in a symbolic message about the violence occurring in Chicago. For someone best known for songs more carnal in nature, it’s a pretty powerful statement.