Riz Ahmed Delivered A Passionate Call For Unity On The Tonight Show

'I'm losing my religion to tomorrow's headlines'

Riz Ahmed stopped by The Tonight Show Monday night (August 14) to discuss the standard late-night TV topics: blown movie auditions, favorite concert memories, and getting detained at airports. All classic talk-show gab, right?

But Ahmed, who in addition to being an Emmy-nominated TV and film actor is one-half of the hip-hop duo Swet Shop Boys with Heems, had more to say than just couch-comfy chit chat. At the end of his conversation with host Jimmy Fallon, Ahmed asked for a microphone, walked to the performance area, and delivered a three-minute a cappella rhyme that began simply enough: "In these sour times / Please allow me to vouch for mine."

The piece, which he wrote 10 years ago, touches on issues from both the 2007 political landscape (the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, for one) and from today, including a jab at President Trump. "The way that Trump talks gives a lost boy a cause," Ahmed says in new updated lyrics.

Ahmed's reason for speaking out, he said before grabbing the mic, stems from "all the current events that are going on," and the fact that "it just seems like we're living in really, really divided times, and it really hurts." Fallon began the show by addressing this past weekend's bloody protests in Charlottesville, Virginia and calling the president's response to them "shameful."

As Billboard points out, Ahmed's "Sour Times" first appeared on his 2012 album Microscope, released under the Riz MC name. You can watch the updated version above and the original version below.