On the one-year anniversary of George Floyd’s murder at the hands of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, Bun B has released “This World,” whose video serves as a capsule of intense, historic protest against anti-black racism.
“They’ve been treating my people like they unequal since the slave ships,” the UGK rapper notes in a verse that threads the abuses of the past to today’s injustices. The song, which Bun B shared a snippet of last August, also features Mississippi rapper Big K.R.I.T., George Floyd’s friend Trae Tha Truth, and singer Raheem DeVaughn. It was produced by Cory Mo and Zaytoven.
The music video for “This World” is a collage of powerful images of collective action and troubling vignettes of brutality, with timely news footage of protests in response to Andrew Brown Jr.’s fatal shooting by police on April 21. Brown Jr.’s killing has earned renewed scrutiny in recent days. “The blacker the berry, the more weight to carry on these shoulders of ours/While the candles burn dimly on corners and we mourn the slain with bouquets of flowers,” raps a solemn Big K.R.I.T.
In his verse, Trae Tha Truth offers painful details of the killing of Breonna Taylor and memorializes George Floyd. “Big Floyd shook the whole globe up,” he raps. “I’ll be damned if I fold up.”
Last year, Rolling Stone spoke with Houston rappers Bun B, Trae Tha Truth, Paul Wall, and Cal Wayne about George Floyd’s hip-hop and human legacy in their city and beyond.