Sources: Fader – By Adam Harper | All Things Michael
Beat me, hate me, you can never break me/ All I wanna say is that they don’t really care about us. Michael Jackson’s taut, furious voice writhes against a barrage of claustrophobic violence in Richmond artist Chino Amobi‘s remix of “They Don’t Care About Us.” Amid the chaos—alarms, gasps in pain, gasps for breath—the song remains firm and rhythmic, its resolution underscored by a sublime drone during the third and final verse.
Back in December, angry New Yorkers gathered to sing “They Don’t Care About Us” following the decision not to indict Eric Garner’s killer, a police officer. The song’s lyrics were written on a placard during a protest against the Ferguson police department in the wake of their fatal shooting of Michael Brown. It also provided the soundtrack to the Baltimore protests in response to the death of Freddie Gray in police custody, danced to by a Jackson impersonator amidst the chaos of helicopters and sirens. The song, which addresses racism, police brutality and the media, was written in response to the 1992 acquittals of the police officers who assaulted L.A. taxi driver Rodney King, and to a strip search by the LAPD on Jackson himself. The song has recently found new layers of meaning and urgency in the context of the continuing struggle against racist police violence, now taken up by the Black Lives Matter movement. As their website states, the movement is about even more than the assault and murder of countless black men and women: “When we say Black Lives Matter, we are broadening the conversation around state violence to include all of the ways in which Black people are intentionally left powerless at the hands of the state. We are talking about the ways in which Black lives are deprived of our basic human rights and dignity.”
It’s against this backdrop that Amobi’s remix sounds out. It was released through a new collective, NON Records, which is dedicated to artists from Africa and of the African diaspora.
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