As protesters march for “Black Lives Matter,” Charles Hamilton rises up in the cinematic video for “New York Raining.” In the black-and-white clip, directed Max & Dania, the Harlem rapper plays a Black Panther during the civil rights era. While he types a letter to his lover Patricia from behind bars, there are flashbacks of him fighting to end racial discrimination, mixed with romantic scenes and a cameo from Rita Ora.
The video has many parallels to today. “With the recent increase in reports of police brutality, I feel strongly about vividly depicting the struggle we as African-Americans historically had to go through to reach equality, an equality that is eroding in modern times,” Hamilton tells the New York Post.
The powerful visuals “walks on the path of Public Enemy, Talib Kweli, and others by creatively depicting a simple yet poignant message: Black lives matter.”
The song appears on the “Empire” soundtrack is also the first single off Charles’ upcoming debut album.