Thousands of protestors have flooded city streets across the nation in recent weeks to rally against grand jury decisions not to pursue charges against police officers in the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York. The Wu-Tang Clan have captured this watershed moment with their music video for “A Better Tomorrow,” the title track off their new reunion album.
“This visual was created by Wu-Tang Clan in the hopes of inspiring change and promoting unity throughout the world,” the hip-hop troupe write on their YouTube page. While the video doesn’t feature any members of the group – it’s hard enough getting them all together in a recording studio, never mind a video shoot – “A Better Tomorrow” edits together footage from protests across the country and juxtaposes speeches by President Barack Obama with video of vehicles on fire and hundreds of people marching in unison.
The video concludes with a stirring graphic that shows the names of dozens of people who were unarmed when killed by police officers in the past decade, from Sean Bell and Oakland’s Oscar Grant to Michael Brown and Eric Garner. “This is not all of the names. When will it end?” the video asks.
Rolling Stone recently spoke to Wu-Tang mastermind RZA about the tumultuous creation of the Clan’s reunion album. While some of the Wu-Tang rappers were taken aback by RZA’s warmer, lighter productions and topical subject matters, “A Better Tomorrow” – with its lyrics about “today’s politics, today’s problems” – was one track that all the Wu-Tang members rallied behind.
“Listen to how [Method Man] goes in and talks about politics. It sounds light, it sounds warm,” RZA told Rolling Stone. “And then Masta Killa comes and it sounds like, woah, militant! Then Cappa comes in the middle. But [Raekwon], who we don’t hear rhyme like this, comes in with today’s politics, today’s problems. And when he did that, I said, ‘Yo, I know we had a hard time doing this record, but just by you having this verse right there, it was all worth it for me.'”