On Christmas Day local hip-hop artist Johnny Jr. released a video for “Black in America,” an unapologetically blunt new track off the artist’s second mixtape, Jah.
The video features Johnny Jr. standing among protestors with signs reading “Black Power” and “No Justice, No Peace,” while the emcee sings, “You gotta walk around with a bullet-proof vest, Being black in America/ You get laid to rest with no thoughts of arrest, Being black in America.”
The last straws that inspired “Black in America” were the murders of Tamir Rice and Mike Brown. “Unresolved, blatant murders of two young black individuals, how nothing ever added up when it came to the final verdicts — when the evidence was clear in both cases,” says Johnny Jr. “I wrote that song angry, like pure anger.”
That was two years ago. It wasn’t until a year ago that the artist found the perfect beat to accompany the track, courtesy of Harlem, New York’s Austin Marc. And it was Sean Morgan of local production company MUVI Films that helped Johnny Jr. make his vision come to life in video form.
The album Jah officially dropped on Thurs. Dec. 30 and can be streamed now, along with the video, at jahjr.com.
Johnny Jr. will perform at the Charleston Hype showcase this Saturday along with Black Dave (DJ), Tyler Ca$h x Skrilla, Pluto Dash, Sunny Malin, and Jaee Bryan at Compass on King. He'll also hit the stage at IllVibetheTribe and SwimClique's Elevators Vol. II showcase with Benjamin Starr and DJ Dubb on Sat. Jan. 21 at the Purple Buffalo.