John Legend's new video is a tough watch that is heavy on both thematic content and grandiose vocals. "Preach" should come with a trigger warning; what you'll see here isn't nice stuff, but it's necessary. If you think that it's too much after watching it, remember that these kinds of situations are happening every day and all across the United States.
Legend's bravery enables us to see reenactments of these serious news stories to help us have discussions about what we're facing and what we can do to collectively facilitate change. Take a look at the video below.
"Preach" is a video that tackles contemporary social issues that come across our Twitter feeds and push notifications. We see Legend in bed with his wife Chrissy Teigen and it becomes clear that the singer feels like something's just off. Indistinct chatter feels the air before he finally gets up to go and see what the noise is. From there, things get serious.
The video follows four separate stories through its runtime: a mother and daughter separated at the border, a child bringing in a large weapon to school to presumably start a mass shooting (later, we see children running out of a gym), a tense police situation involving white cops and black men that ends with one being shot while another records it on camera, and the funeral of a young black child followed by protests for justice. As these situations play out, Legend sings about the cyclical nature of the news and how these same things keep happening. He talks about the pain being all he sees, so, accordingly, this video is a reflection of that reality.
In January, Legend was one of the only musicians to appear in Lifetime's documentary series, Surviving R. Kelly that aired in January, applying the same level of social responsibility that exists in "Preach."