Atlanta hip-hop star Lil Baby delivered a chilling performance of his 2020 protest anthem, “The Bigger Picture,” at this year’s Grammys. The song was nominated for rap song and rap performance.
As Lil Baby spit verses in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, actors played out harrowing scenes inspired by real life violence against African Americans, as well as the 2020 uprisings that took place in cities across the United States. Proceeds from the song’s sales benefited the National Assn. of Black Journalists, the Bail Project and Black Lives Matter, as well as a fund for Breonna Taylor, who was shot dead in her bed by Louisville, Ky., police.
“It’s bigger than black and white / It’s a problem with the whole way of life,” rapped Lil Baby. “It can’t change overnight / But we gotta start somewhere.”
Surrounded by protesters wielding Black Lives Matter signs, New York civil rights activist Tamika Mallory took the podium for her own cameo — which included a plea to President Biden. “It’s a state of emergency,” said Mallory, “a hell of a 400 years. President Biden, we demand justice, equity, policy and everything else that freedom encompasses. … This is not a trend, this is our lives.”
Killer Mike also appeared for a striking surprise verse from his Run the Jewels cut “Walking in the Snow.” “You so numb you watch the cops choke out a man like me / And ‘til my voice goes from a shriek to whisper, “I can’t breathe,” he rhymed. “And you sit there in the house on couch and watch it on TV / The most you give’s a Twitter rant and call it a tragedy.”
“Until freedom!” the performers chanted, in reference to Mallory’s nonprofit organization, Until Freedom.
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