There was a bit of a stir in the lead up to Lil Wayne's "God Bless Amerika" video, but when the clip finally dropped on Monday (July 15) there was no flag stomping or controversy to speak of, just Weezy celebrating his old stomping grounds.
The Eif Rivera-directed clip for the track from Wayne's gold-selling I Am Not a Human Being II takes the superstar rapper but to his native Hollygrove neighborhood in New Orleans, Louisiana. It all starts with Tunechi standing in front of an America flag, with a microphone, while singing over the rock-tinged track. "My mind's filled with minefields/ The ashes fall, the wine spills," he croons with his usual froggy-voice.
"I saw a butterfly in hell today/ Will I die or go to hell today," he belts out before the song's drums drop and the flag behind Wayne falls to the ground revealing the a crowd of residents from his old neighborhood standing behind him.
It was this particular scene which caused the small controversy after a behind-the-scenes clip leaked to the Internet in June. A number of sites reported that Weezy stomped the America flag in his new video, because after the stars and strips fell to the ground, Wayne was seen dancing around, at times on top of the flag. "I didn't step on the flag on purpose! It's a scene in a video where the flag drops behind me and after it drop it's just there as I perform," the MC wrote on his Facebook page. "In the final edit of the video you will see the flag fall to reveal what is behind it but will never see it on the ground."
Last week, on July 10, Wayne addressed another controversy and apologized again to the family of Emmett Till for his insensitive lyrics during a concert performance. Just as Wayne promised, viewers never see the flag touch the ground in the final edit.
The rest of the video finds Tune rocking out in an abandoned house with the words "They don't care" written with spray paint across the wall. The streets that Wayne performs on are broken down, leaving fans to assume that the damage was caused by 2005's Hurricane Katrina and eight years later has yet to be fixed. The heavy police presence in the video poses another problem for Weezy and his flock. Despite the bleak scene though, Hollygrove stands behind their most famous son in a show of solidarity.
Just when it appears that a clash between Wayne and the police is imminent, the rap rocker sings his last bars and the flag is hoisted back up to close the scene and the video, showing that America is as diverse as Lil Wayne's catalog.