Vic Mensa has enlisted Wyclef Jean and Chance The Rapper for "Shelter," a new song from his upcoming project I TAPE. Seizing on the momentum of the Black Lives Matter movement, "Shelter" is an acoustic rap ballad that decries the myriad ways Black life can come under threat, from institutional to interpersonal. The video, directed by Andre Muir, builds on these themes with magical realism set in an urban environment.
"Shelter is a spiritual note, a healing frequency," Mensa writes in a press release. "It was inspired not by Hollywood or Paris, but by what's going on on the ground - in the real world, with the real people." In his own statement, Jean says, "The journey of this song was so important. It's very crucial we, as musicians, use our voice to represent those who are not so easily able to be heard."
The song references the incarceration of Julius Jones, a Black man on death row whose case has faced increased scrutiny, with a growing movement claiming his innocence and calling for his release. Find out more information here.
Thumbnail photo by Danielle DeGrasse-Alston