The Black Eyed Peas release new music video depicting students fleeing a school shooter
Ever since politics and celebrity collided with the election of Donald Trump, more and more political issues have been bleeding into the mainstream media. Comedians deliver entire sets of jokes roasting members of the White House, musicians such as Eminem and Childish Gambino have released tracks that comment on the current political climate, and you can hardly make it through any sort of modern sitcom without coming across at least one allusion to the current president.
However, while many of us have accepted that these sorts of political commentaries are just a part of life these days, there are some issues which are still considered to be too close to the bone for popular culture.
Attitudes towards gun control, particularly in the wake of mass shootings, for instance, especially those that involve children, are seen as incredibly divisive partisan issues, and are not often discussed by public figures who wish to retain a politically neutral audience. So, it came as something of a shock to some people when The Black Eyed Peas released a music video depicting a school shooting.
The song, which is called Big Love, contains the lyrics "Everybody's following/Ain't nobody leading/People lovin' guns more than cases and season/And they say the reason is to protect their freedom/But we don't believe 'em", and was made in partnership with two non-profits: March for Our Lives and Families Belong Together.
A message at the beginning of the music video warns that the content is "hard to watch", but that "this is the point of the film... No kid should have to live through what you’re about to see."
Just after a minute into the video, a shooter, whose face has been blurred out, storms into a science classroom and opens fire at students, instantly killing one boy with a shot to the head. The video continues unapologetically, going on to show the shooter continuing his spree, the response from police officers, and the eventual funerals of the deceased.
The band also released a second video for the same song, with the alternative version tackling another divisive issue: immigration. This video starts halfway through the clip below, and uses the same stylistic technique of having the victims of the issue lipsync the lyrics throughout.
As already mentioned, the following video contains graphic content, so please avoid watching if you think you may find it distressing:
The Black Eyed Peas have always been a fairly socially-conscious band, and, indeed, their first breakout hit, Where Is The Love, tackled the exact same issues that they're still talking about today.
will.i.am, in particular, has been particularly vocal about his views on social injustice in the past, and recently shared his video on Twitter with a message to the president.
@realDonaldTrump," he wrote. "How can we help you make U.S schools the best & safest in the world? I’m tired of the divide & I want to help. our kids should be going to school fearless to push America forward. NOT IN FEAR. This video shouldn’t be our reality."
While school shootings and brutal immigration regulations may be uncomfortable topics to see in mainstream media, The Black Eyed Peas have proven that they are also necessary to see. Without such reminders, it's easy to convince ourselves that these issues don't matter, because they're never going to happen to us. But, in reality, they could.
And perhaps we should start doing something about it.