The Wu-Tang Clan would never shy away from rapping about society’s ills, but with widespread protests following a lack of indictment in Eric Garner’s death-by-cop on the collective’s home turf—Staten Island, a.k.a. “Shaolin”—their newest track and music video feel acutely personal.
Emotional lyrics like “Politicians gotta listen to opposition / From my position / We still ain’t got a pot to piss in” are interspersed with calls to wake up and challenge system that has allowed dozens of police officers to walk free after killing unarmed people of color. Those victims’ names appear at the end of an affecting montage cut together from recent scenes of unrest in Ferguson, Mo., and New York, as well as funerals, lie-ins, and maddeningly measured comments from President Barack Obama.
Defeated as we may feel these days, the Wu seem to be saying there’s a light at the end of the tunnel—so long as we keep our voices raised and our message clear.