Joyner Lucas wants America to confront racism head-on. In his new music video, "I'm Not Racist," the Massachusetts rapper creates a provocative and raw visual that showcases how divided our country is on the topic of race.
The clip features a conversation between a white man and a black man, mouthing Lucas' lyrics. "All the black guys rather be deadbeats than pay your bills," says the white man, wearing a "Make America Great Again" hat. He makes mention of Donald Trump, immigration fears and police brutality. "I'm not racist, and I never lie/But I think there's a disconnect between your culture and mine."
The video then switches to the perspective of the black man. "With all disrespect, I don't really like you white motherf*ckers...screaming 'All Lives Matter' is a protest to my protest. What kind of sh*it is that?" He then raps about topics like racism, the N-word and white privilege. "I love you but I f*cking hate you at the same time. I wish we could trade shoes so we could change lives."
In the end, the two men come together, finding empathy in each other's story, and embrace. The video has gone viral, with 5 million views and counting. Many music experts and fans have applauded it's honest, often uncomfortable take on race relations.
"Salute to the young king @joynerlucas very creative way to speak truth to power," tweeted Charlamagne Tha God of The Breakfast Club.
Another fan lauded the video for opening up race dialogue.
Some have criticized the video for being problematic and oversimplifying a complex issue. Damon Young of Very Smart Brothas writes that racism will only end when white people confront each other. "The only conversation that can do that is white people talking to other white people to try to find a way to be less awful to black people." He adds, "Yes, it would be great if whites and blacks came together on some Kumbaya shit. But there’s no meeting in the middle here." On Twitter, one user likened the video to sympathizing with white supremacists."The joyner lucas video is problematic as hell because it tells us to reason with white supremacy and we sure as hell ain't got to do that. ever.."
"Joyner Lucas had that problematic song where he has a black character tryna get a white character to see his humanity. I'll pass," tweeted another user.
What do you think about "I'm Not Racist"?
[Photo: Getty Images]