Gary Clark Jr. Inspires Us To 'Hold On'


Last fall, Gary Clark Jr. unloaded his impressive release The Story of Sonny Boy Slim and a trio of accompanying visuals for "Grinder," "Church" and "The Healing." The project was more than just a critical success, it was also a personal accomplishment as he wrote, produced, arranged and played most of the instruments himself. Since then he's maintained an exhausting schedule of touring, but we're glad he managed to squeeze in a powerful clip for "Hold On."

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Upon initial viewing, our immediate thought was that it would've been awesome if he released this two weeks ago while we were enjoying the Blackest Black History Month Ever. Director Nate Weaver weaves a gripping patchwork of archival media footage, photos and news clippings from the past several decades – including Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech, civil rights rallies, the Rodney King verdict and subsequent L.A. Riots, acts of police brutality, the Million Man March and Ferguson protests. But as the images continued to flash across the screen, reality sunk in. Our history...our present...isn't confined to the month of February.

Clark bemoans, "Seem like new news is the old news from a different angle / Another mother on TV crying 'cause her boy didn't make it." His rap-sung vocals bear the weight of our burden and the intense howl of his guitar cries out with fury over voices of the silenced. We celebrate and applaud Beyoncé's slayage, but Clark offers something a little deeper. It's not gussied up and styled to perfection -- it's gritty, raw and unapologetically real. But the underlying message is one of hope. "Hold on, we're gonna make it."

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Watch the video below and let's hope that more artists will move in this direction of compelling lyrical and visual content beyond the month of February. Gary Clark Jr. is still on tour in support of The Story of Sonny Boy Slim, making stops across the US, Canada and select cities in Europe. Visit the website for ticket info and grab yourself a copy of the album if it's not already a part of your collection.

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