Last October, Usher, Nas and Bibi Bourelly premiered an interactive video on Tidal for their politically-charged song “Chains.” That vid used facial recognition technology to track viewers’ behavior, pausing the song and instructing them, “don’t look away” if their eyes left the screen.
On Tuesday, the trio of artists released a second, black-and-white video for the track, which follows a hoodie-wearing Usher as he flees from police and winds up at a closed-casket memorial service that he realizes is his own. Nas’ verse is lip-synched by kids on the street holding up signs that read “Am I Next?” and “Just Following Orders,” with stark images of guns and handcuffs interspersed throughout. It’s a chilling clip, but one that feels important, especially as Black History Month kicks off.
When the song was originally released, Usher said in a statement: “In writing this song, I was motivated by the events involving prejudicial injustice that are still happening today. The reality is that racial bigotry diminishes the lives of too many people in our country. We have to come together as a country to solve these problems and this is one way I can contribute.”