While some don’t want the revolution to be televised, artists like Teyana Taylor are trying their hardest to make sure the plight of Black people past, present and future continues to stay front and center on your screen. Like many contemporary artists inspired and heartbroken by the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Aubery, Breonna Taylor and the other countless Black bodies littering the nation, Teyana channels her feelings and fury into her art. The multi-faceted creative gets in front of and behind the camera for the compelling music video for The Album track “Still” to express her rage along with a wish for hope against hope.
For the visual, Taylor combines classic footage from civil rights protests with more recent images of victims of police brutality. The video starts with a speech from Malcolm X asking his audience to come together against a common enemy. She then shares the names of the countless victims of police brutality across the country and across the time. We then see Taylor dressed like Brother Malcolm paying homage to the classic image of him with his rifle looking out of a window, with the very same image in the background. This then fades to a visual of Taylor dressed like Black Panther Huey Newton sitting in an ornate wicker chair. As the video progresses, she continues to mimic the looks of others lost to police violence, including Breonna, George and Trayvon Martin, as their black-and-white images hang behind her. The video ends with a very emotional Teyana dressed up as Breonna Taylor crying while the audio of George Floyd screaming for his mother as he is killed plays. It all makes for a heartbreaking work of art.
With all the death and despair present in “Still,” there is also the beauty of new life with Teyana’s then-pregnant belly on display a few times in the video. Since the video’s release, our girl has given birth! Congratulations to Teyana and her husband Iman Shumpert on the birth of their second child, a daughter who they’ve named Rue Rose.