One of the best R&B/soul albums of 2021 was Leela James' See Me. Not only was the set one of last year's top drops, but it is one of Leela's best to date. If you still have the album in heavy rotation since its July release, then you already know. But in case you need a reminder of how fire this project is, Leela is here with a new music video for the track "Trying To Get By."
On "Trying To Get By," James brings us modern movement music. She sings directly to Black people to let us know that she understands the struggle and how hard it is to find peace in the midst of chaos. She also encourages us to keep holding on and to keep moving on no matter what.
These themes are carried over into the video. Director Javeon LaRay mixes archival clips of Black people from various walks of life and footage of leaders such as Malcolm X, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Huey P. Newton with current videos of protests and marches. In between those scenes, we get glimpses of Leela dressed in all black – from her leather trench coat to her combat boots. She's by herself outside just walking around and keeping her head to the sky while reminding everyone watching her to do the same.
Leela was intentional about releasing this visual during Black History Month. She shared on Instagram, "It was only right to drop this during this month ✊🏾." With everything going on at home and abroad right now, this video is quite timely. Watch Leela James' "Trying To Get By" and do your best to keep on keeping on.