Blackalicious condemn police brutality with their provocative video for “On Fire Tonight,” a track from their 2015 LP, Imani Vol. 1. The James Connelly-directed clip incorporates footage from the Ferguson and Baltimore protests, along with disturbing images of police killings from around the United States.
The soulful track, featuring vocalist Myron (of Myron & E), finds rapper Gift of Gab at his words-per-minute peak, unfurling lyrics that play with the duality of “fire.” (“As the whole place burned down to ashes and decay / and you looked back and all through the flames rising in a massive array”).
“Our audience seems to be people who see music and art as essential parts of life, and not just disposable accessories,” producer Chief Xcel told The Guardian of Imani Vol. 1, their first album since 2005. “That’s who we make music for – people who need it in their life. I’m one of those people. Imani is Swahili for faith, and that’s really where we’re at at this juncture. We’re so rooted in our purpose that we don’t have to second-guess, we just know. There’s no fear of the unknown, there’s just the fire to move forward and get to wherever the journey takes us.”
Blackalicious will kick off a mini-tour on Thursday, February 18th in Atlanta that will run through March 1st.